9/11 Scholars Forum

Exposing Falsehoods and Revealing Truths

“Tests revealed the dust to be extremely alkaline with a pH of 12.1 (out of 14). [St Louis Post-Dispatch, 2/10/02] and that some of it was as caustic as liquid drain cleaner. “We were startled at the pH level we were finding,” Swayze adds. “We knew that the cement dust was caustic, but we were getting pH readings of 12 and higher. It was obvious that precautions had to be taken to protect the workers and people returning to their homes from the dust.” Sam Vance, an environmental scientist with the EPA, sends the results to officials at the EPA, the NY Health Department and US Public Health Service.”

What Could Have Caused The Dust To Have Such A High pH
i.e. Be More Caustic Than Drain Cleaner?

It is not possible to measure the pH of a dry substance. The high pH readings the USGS obtained were actually measured by putting the dust in water first and then seeing how alkaline or acidic the solution became. On the site, which is likely where pH tests took place (if you’ve ever tested your pool pH you might know how easy this is and it seems logical and plausible that pH testing was done on site), this moisture would come from the hands, skin and lungs of rescue workers – and the people of New York – and all of the moisture in the air, carrying the dust.

The fact that such high pH was measured means that the concrete dust either contained or had been turned into a strongly caustic or alkaline reagent by whatever it was subjected to when the towers collapsed.

How Could This happen?

Dry cement powder is comprised of 64% Calcium Oxide (CsO). When this is combined with water it forms an alkaline solution of Calcium Hydroxide or Ca(OH)2 similar to “drain cleaner” which is Sodium Hydroxide. In ready to mix cement and concrete, the Calcium Oxide is combined with other oxides. When water is added, the CaO turns into Ca(OH)2 which then in turn reacts with the other oxides present in the raw cement to form the inert finished mass of Calcium Silicate, Calcium Aluminum Silicate and similar substances which we call concrete.

Therefore pulverized concrete or cement dust is not in itself caustic but in fact very inert. The only way the concrete dust could be made caustic would be for it to be subjected to intense heat of over 800 degrees C.

The intense heat generated during the collapse of the World Trade Center literally calcined the Calcium Silicate and Calcium Aluminosilicate of the concrete back into Calcium Oxide.

Other Caustic Sources

There is another source of caustic agents that would have raised the pH in the dust: the radioactive oxides of Calcium, Barium, Strontium and Zinc produced by the nuclear fission and decay. These oxides all form an alkaline solution on contact with water. We have seen that the jet fuel could not possibly have calcined enough concrete to turn the dust caustic. The shock wave itself from the nuclear blast would not calcine the concrete either, but there were eyewitness accounts of the pyroclastic dust “sizzling” as it passed, so evidently the dust was at a high temperature – whether it was hot enough to have calcined the concrete we don’t know at this time.

However, if we say that the intense volcanic heat was localized to the sub-basement levels under the tower, coming from the molten core of some type of nuclear event, and that this heat had no effect on the majority of the dust from the disintegrating towers, the radioactive fallout in the dust would be caustic.

Therefore, the caustic nature of the dust could yet be another indication that the towers were subjected to a nuclear explosion. We can certainly agree we would expect to find caustic dust, caused by the presence of alkali forming oxides of the common nuclear fission products – Barium, Strontium, Zinc and also Calcium.

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