The Kerr-McGee Chemical Corporation (now known as Tronox, Inc.) operated a wood-preserving plant in Columbus, Mississippi, from 1928 to 2003. The plant covers about 90 acres and is surrounded by homes and industrial properties. The company manufactured pressure-treated railroad products such as wooden cross ties, switch ties, and timbers.
The production processes at the site used creosote and creosote coal tar solutions. From the 1950s until the mid-1970s, the facility also used pentachlorophenol (PCP) to treat wood. The pentachlorophenol process exposed people to pentachlorophenol and to a much lesser degree to dioxin.
Quick Tips to Protect Your Health
- Avoid areas inside the wood-preserving facility;
- Stay outside of fenced facility areas;
- Do not enter areas with “Do Not Enter” signs posted; and
- Do not enter, contaminated or abandoned areas, areas undergoing cleanup, drainage ditches, or soil contaminated with creosote.
- If you use creosote at work, wash your work clothes apart from other household clothing.