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Gallo sued over traces of arsenic in bottles

California wine giant Gallo is being sued for allegedly illegally introducing hazardous dust containing traces of arsenic and other toxic substances into wine bottles made at its glass plant in Modesto.

As reported by Capital Public Radio, Gallo Glass is being taken to court by the California Department of Toxic Substances Control.

Gallo denies the charge of introducing hazardous dust containing traces of lead, arsenic, cadmium and selenium into wine bottles made at its glass plant between 2009 and 2014.

“Gallo was getting this dust that was collected by the air pollution control device and reintroducing it as an ingredient in the glass making process,” Keith Kihara of the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, told Capital Public Radio.

“They should have been managing it properly by either sending it to a treatment or a disposal facility,” he added.

Gallo claims that it used the waste in place of salt cake in an industry-wide process that follows state and federal law.

“To suggest that this is a safety concern is irresponsible and risks the entire California wine industry as hundreds of wineries purchase bottles from Gallo Glass,” the company said in a statement to Fox News.

“I want to be very clear – this is a legal issue and not a health issue.  There is no health threat from the bottles,” a Gallo spokesperson told db

Gallo has since started trucking thousands of tonnes of the arsenic-laced dust to landfill.

“It would be far better to put it back into the glass making process versus filling up landfills,” Chris Savage, senior director of global environmental affairs for Gallo told Capital Public Radio.

Gallo and the California Department of Toxic Substances Control have been in negotiations about the practice for the last six years.

The lawsuit was filed now to avoid letting the statute of limitations pass. Each violation carries a fine of US$25,000 per violation per day.

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