Rachel Maddow reports:
Tag Archives | toxic waste
Basement Geographer on a lake in the Russian mountains which may be the single most concentrated spot of environmental desecration:
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Imagine a lake so polluted and contaminated that spending just an hour on its shores would result in certain death, and the only way seen fit to deal with it is to fill the entire water body with concrete blocks to keep the toxic soil underneath from moving onshore. That lake is Lake Karachay in Russia’s Chelyabinsk Oblast, and it is considered by many to be the most polluted place on the planet.
Lake Karachay lies within the Mayak Production Association, one of Russia’s largest and oldest nuclear facilities and a major source of plutonium during the Soviet era. Built immediately following World War II, Mayak has been the site of numerous nuclear-related accidents throughout its history, some approaching the size of the Chernobyl meltdown but far more concentrated.
Statistics reveal that by the 1990s, there had been a 21% increase in the incidences of cancer, a 25% increase in birth defects, a 41% increase in leukaemia, and a rendering of 50% of the population of child bearing age sterile in the Mayak region.
Dahr Jamail reports for Al Jazeera:
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Injected with at least 4.9 million barrels of oil during the BP oil disaster of last summer, the Gulf has suffered the largest accidental marine oil spill in history. Compounding the problem, BP has admitted to using at least 1.9 million gallons of widely banned toxic dispersants, which according to chemist Bob Naman, create an even more toxic substance when mixed with crude oil. And dispersed, weathered oil continues to flow ashore daily.
Naman, who works at the Analytical Chemical Testing Lab in Mobile, Alabama, has been carrying out studies to search for the chemical markers of the dispersants BP used to both sink and break up its oil.
According to Naman, poly-aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) from this toxic mix are making people sick. PAHs contain compounds that have been identified as carcinogenic, mutagenic, and teratogenic.
From Dr. Joseph Mercola’s mercola.com:
The U.S. government is encouraging farmers to spread a chalky waste from coal-fired power plants on their fields to loosen and fertilize soil.
The material is produced by power plant “scrubbers” that remove acid-rain-causing sulfur dioxide from plant emissions.
The substance is a synthetic form of the mineral gypsum, and it also contains mercury, arsenic, lead and other heavy metals.
The Environmental Protection Agency says those toxic metals occur in only tiny amounts. But some environmentalists say too little is known about how the material affects crops, and ultimately human health…