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Pollution caused by a Chemical Factory in the Westphalian town of Iserlohn (1839-1852)

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II. Letter from the Royal Government, Arnsberg, May 1852

The expert investigation that was conducted last August regarding the complaints submitted by your neighbors about the deleterious effects of your chemical factory has established, beyond any doubt, that neither the facilities nor the manner in which the factory is operated are such that the environs are protected against considerable disadvantages and nuisances.

It is not only that the vegetation of the surrounding gardens has suffered considerably from the effect of acidic vapors and that its development has been interfered with, but also on the day of the inspection, such a suffocating, saltpeter-acidic mist was found throughout the factory rooms and their environs that the inspection had to be temporarily suspended.

In order for these grievances to be effectively addressed once and for all, we find ourselves compelled, pursuant to the decrees of April 12 and October 11, 1850, to make the continued operation of your factory contingent upon the exact fulfillment of the following conditions, some of which were already previously found to be advisable, but which were postponed at your request.

For the operation to exist without doing harm to the neighbors, it is essential to ensure, if possible, that the acidic gases and vapors are condensed and prevented from escaping, and that those that invariably escape are conducted into higher regions of the air.

To that end, the following facilities are necessary:

1. The rooms in which
a.) the sulfur-burning oven is located,
b.) the hydrochloric acid is distilled,
c.) the sulfuric acid is vaporized and distilled,
must be given a funnel-shaped and leakproof roofing that is entirely in accord with the expert opinion of Herr Grothe of March 2, 1850, and that of Herr Dieckmann of January 31 of this year. For that reason, neither the broken-funnel-shaped form of the roofing of the distillation room for nitric acid, nor the partial or complete absence of the prescribed clay covering is acceptable any longer.

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