Pollution and Health: tragedy due to mercury

Saturday, October 30, 2010

tragedy due to mercury

Waste such as mercury polluting the environment. picture via php.med

You talk about a tragedy! Imagine that. You are growing in Japan in 1950. War which completely destroyed the country eventually disappear into a distant memory as the economy recovers, and suddenly, the sister of the child is suddenly able to walk on a button or buttons, and even talk. Sometimes, crises of. Soon all the children in the region suffer from similar diseases. Then the birds begin to fall from the sky and flying fish to the surface. Above all, my sister, and several of its neighbors to slip into a coma and die soon. This, in brief, what happened in Minamata, Japan in 1950. I fear my head. Fortunately for the world, there was a new deadly plague. Unfortunately for poor people in Minamata, it appears that acetaldehyde local factory dumping tons and tons of mercury into the nearby ocean. This event has become one of the largest man-made disasters on the environment of the 20th century (and gave a more serious mercury poisoning exotic names - Minamata disease)

Minamata disease symptoms include terrible numbness, muscle weakness, vision unstoppable, hearing and speech, and in severe cases, coma and death. Among the first batch people diagnosed with the disease in 1956, over 30% died. As scientists first thought, the disease of the pathogen because of the local nature (it seems to occur in groups of families and neighborhoods), people were terrified. Mortality from infectious diseases to 30% can cause serious problems. This led to the first patients in quarantine, after ostrasized community. Unsurprisingly, access to the panic spread of the disease Brough local community. It took three years to the full extent of mercury pollution and contamination to be disclosed to the public.

In fact, as the water sample, researchers were surprised by the amount of mercury found in the water there. It turned out there were about 2 kg of mercury per ton of sediment. Just to give you an indication, the mercury content was so high that the company later returned to the mercury mines of the colonies! Unbelievable. After testing the hair of the local population, it has been conclusively established that they were exposed to massive doses of mercury in fish and shellfish, he drank local water. While people living outside of Minamata mercury levels recorded only 4 parts per million (ppm) of asymptomatic persons with Minamata often have a level of 190PPM, 705PPM and as high as reported in some patients. Almost 200 times normal!

In response worthy of the stereotypical evil corporation (as described by Hollywood), as evidence mounted against his company Chisso (spills of mercury) has stopped the discharge of pollutants directly into the ocean. Instead, he decided to be good neighbors and began to throw into a river near Minamoto, causing a number of further suffering. Well done guys. The road to accountability.

Unfortunately, when this knowledge was not power for many years. It took 12 years before any serious action has been taken by someone to stop this disease. Although there is no way to pay people to suffer, and at least some financial compensation. Not perfect, but better than nothing. At the end of 2265 was officially recognized as suffering from Minamata disease and more than 10,000 people were officially recognized, but no compensation for their suffering. Depressing, but only because he was arrested pollution that the production process, which resulted in the production of mercury waste is outdate and was replaced.

It's a real tragedy that we hope to avoid many environmental disasters in the future (even if a second outbreak in 1960 on average in a separate part of Japan have shown that all not had a lesson). Lawsuits from patients and their family life are still ongoing today.

via alex-esoterica

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