Mmmmm… the smell of chocolate. Some days the entire River West area is perfumed with this decadent scent, and for decades, the Blommer Chocolate Co. factory has been responsible. Pedestrians have been able to freely enjoy the aroma without worry of extra calories.
But it turns out that the smell might not be completely harmless. Recently, the US Environmental Protection Agency has ordered Blommers to install equipment to reduce the potentially harmful chocolate emissions.
"I don't believe it!" says Helen, who looks forward to the free chocolate treat whenever she has lunch in the neighborhood, "We're forced to inhale toxins from industry, cigarettes, car exhaust, and perfume, and the EPA is cracking down on chocolate? That's insane."
It seems that not everyone is pleased with the smell, and that complaint led to EPA action. While the agency and Blommers do not wish to discuss any details, many wonder how chocolate— the smell at least— can have any harmful effects. While some environmentalists note that any large concentration of airborne particles (even cocoa powder) can have a negative effect on health, power plants and other polluting industries seem to be of greater concern.