GB No. 5-6, summer-fall 1991


Krosno Glass Works came into being before World War II. The first glass work started existing in 1924.

For many years KGW didn't care for the problems of protection of environment. Most of noxiously substances which are emitted through theese works are imperceptible and that's why KGW were able to avoid people's protests.

However, ecological consciousness raised here and now KGW are "on the top". Not only people from Polish Green Party talk about it. It is also an important problem among the inhabitants who live near by KGW. People are just afraid about their lifes. And it is not strange because KGW emit: hydrogen chloride (HCl), Hydrogen fluoride (HF), nitric oxides (NOx), sulphur oxides (SOx), lead oxides and aromatic hydrocarbonaceouses.

Sulphur dioxide is rather harmful for air passages. Hydrogen fluoride, which pollutes plants and rain-waters, in the next stage gets at alimentary system and causes dangerous illnesses for people as well asanimals. These illnesses - in the long run- are the reasons of very serious pathological changes.

Nitric dioxide causes changes in lung bladders; it's concentration ca. 188 mg/m3 is deadly for most species of animals - the death is the result of a lungs swelling.

Aromatic hydrocarbonaceouses cause neoplastic illnesses, especially cancer of the lungs.

Also very harmful is - mostly for KGW workers - silica (silicon dioxide), because the system doesn't eliminate it.

One of the doctors said that people who work at glass fibre's production, have their lifes shorter for about 15 years than other people - this is the result of the old technology.

KGW exceeds admissible quotas of fluoride 3,5 times; they emit 1,5 - 3 kg/h of lead oxides (admissible quotha of this emission is 0,12 kg/h).

There are technologies and installations which can clear the fumes out of nitric, lead and fluorine compounds but they are too expensive.

There is a possibility of purchasing a new non-phenol technology in Poland. But when? As for minimization of the deal of dusts KGW should turn to pneumatic (with the air) transport of stocks - from unloading to pouring to glass tanks.

As for the heating substances' emission KGW have two ways: either buying a better coil or installing reducing installations. KGW aren't so unfriendly to the environment, though: at least as for lead oxides' emission they try to do something. A contract about purchase of tanks for electric melting of lead glass was signed (the cost of one such a tank is 21 mld zlotys). They want to eliminate lead tanks. At present one lead tank is out of gear.

Owing to the new tank KGW will be able to reach the safe level of emission of lead oxides and of nitric oxides in particular. The new tank was to be installed till the end of June but now they have some financialtrouble, so it cannot be installed till the end of October.

It's just a pity they haven't decided to do it before. Till now over 6,5 ha of ground (maybe more) is so polluted that it is useless for agriculture. The parcels of ground are taken away from the people. Of course KGW pay them compensations but it's not the same as the ground.

The group of people who live near the KGW and the ground around KGW were examined and it only proved the high pollution. A protected zone is formed around the works. On October 2nd 1990 KGW became a private factory. Now they have to pay 17 mln zlotys (for 12 months) to the Krosno's Department of Protection of Environment.

In KGW there is rather proecological attitude but what of it if there is no money?

Malgorzata Kortylewska
"I prefer to be" movement

ZB 11/90

GB No. 5-6, summer-fall 1991 | Contents