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Abandoned Diamond Magnesium/Uniroyal Chemical

Posted: Sat Oct 09, 2021 4:45 am
by kestrel9 ... magnesium/
During World War II, the Defense Plant Corporation paid for the construction of a magnesium production facility in Painesville, Ohio. The Federal Government acquired the land that the facility would be placed on. The facility operated as the Diamond Magnesium Company, from 1942 to 1953 in support of World War II, as well as later government operations. Between 1951-1953, approximately 1,650 tons of contaminated scrap steel were transferred from the Lake Ontario Ordnance Works, and placed on the land. This steel was brought in to be consumed in the magnesium production process to control chlorine emissions. The scrap metal was known to be contaminated with radium, thorium, and uranium and their naturally occurring decay products, but went undisclosed by the Federal Government prior to its use at the facility. What was somehow not foreseen, were the results of the metal, creating contaminated soils at the site where they had previously stored the radiated scrap. Who would have thought, right?
The scrap metal – which was used to scrub chlorine gas – was immersed in weak hydrochloric acid for complete digestion. The liquid acid waste resulting from these processes was dumped directly into the Grand River until June of the year 1952. At this time, discharge was redirected across the Grand River into a waste pond, which was owned by the Diamond Alkali Company.
The plant was sold by the General Services Administration to the U.S. Rubber Company in 1963, and later became the Uniroyal Chemical Company. Uniroyal would continue to produce nitrile rubber, polyvinyl chloride nitrile rubber, and various polymers at the site. The company also contributed with the addition of new buildings, while still utilizing many of the original Diamond Magnesium Company buildings.
Uniroyal is an American manufacturer of tires and other synthetic rubber-related products, alongside a variety of items used in the military, such as ammunition, explosives and operations and maintenance activities. The company was founded in Naugatuck, Connecticut, in 1892. Uniroyal was one of the original 12 stocks in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, and became Uniroyal, Inc., as part of creating a unified brand for its products and subsidiaries in 1961.
Levels of radiation were officially documented by Uniroyal after performing a preliminary radiological survey between 1988-1990. The Uniroyal brand continues to exist today, but the company itself no longer exists as a separate business, having been purchased in 1991 by French tire maker Michelin for $1.5 billion.
Operations at the Painesville facility were halted, and the building was vacated in 1999, only three years after the land was acquired by the Crompton Manufacturing Company, Inc. – more recently known as Chemtura Corporation – in 1996. The only remaining building has sat vacant since.
see link for further history and pics