Fire Earth

Earth is fighting to stay alive. Mass dieoffs, triggered by anthropogenic assault and fallout of planetary defense systems offsetting the impact, could begin anytime!

Posts Tagged ‘arsenic’

How Your World Continued Shrinking

Posted by feww on April 18, 2014


Trinity of Death: Contaminated Soil, Smog and Polluted Water

Fifth of the farming land in China is contaminated, according to a joint report issued by the country’s Ministry of Environmental Protection and the Ministry of Land and Resources.

The report, based on  surveys  conducted between April 2005 and December 2013, found 16.1 percent of the land including 19.4 percent of the farmland in the Chinese mainland contaminated with heavy metals.

Nearly 83 percent of the polluted land is contaminated with cadmium, nickel and arsenic.

[Note: Based on the data available, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies cadmium, nickel and arsenic and their compounds as “carcinogenic to humans.”]

“The general condition of the land is ‘not optimistic’ as the quality of farming land is worrying and deserted industrial and mining land suffers serious pollution,” said Xinhua citing the report.

The levels of cadmium contamination rose by 50 percent in southwestern and coastal regions and 10 to 40 percent in other parts of China between 1986 and 1990, said the report.

Dabaoshan Mine
File photo shows low-lying land near the Dabaoshan Mine heavily polluted with waste metals. Soil pollution has severely worsened in Guangdong province, home to more than 3,000 mines, since 2008, according to the Guangdong Institute of Eco-environment and Soil Sciences. A survey conducted by the institute found that  40 percent of the soil throughout the province were tainted with heavy metals. [Source: China Daily]

Dangerous levels of cadmium were detected in rice produced in central China’s Hunan Province, the country’s top rice-growing region, which caused a public outcry last year.

“Heavy metal pollution alone has resulted in the loss of 10 million tonnes of grain and the contamination of another 12 million tonnes annually, incurring 20 billion yuan (3.17 billion U.S. dollars) in direct economic losses each year,” said the report citing official estimates.

“The main pollution source is human industrial and agricultural activities,” the report said. Collection, storage, transfer and disposal of dangerous waste are currently unregulated.

“Compared with air and water pollution, soil pollution is more difficult to control and remedy, taking a much longer time and needing more resources,” a researcher at Chinese Academy of Sciences told Xinhua.

The report cites the Dabaoshan coal mine in Shaoguan City in Guangdong, as an example.  Since the 1970s, untreated coal residue and wastewater from the mine  has contaminated the soil in the surrounding region up to 44 times above the national limit.

“Known to produce some 6,000 tons of copper and 850,000 tons of iron ore annually, the mine has produced a growing amount of sludge and wastewater that has contaminated some 585 hectares along the lower sections of the Hengshui River running atop the mountain,” said China Daily.

At least 250 cancer-related deaths associated with soil pollution were recorded in Shangbai village, located downstream of the Dabaoshan mine, between 1987 and 2009.

In 1990, a farmland area of 0.06 hectares near Dabaoshan Mine could yield about 350 kilograms of rice, but by 2010 it could only grow less than 100kg due to heavy soil pollution, said Li Deng’e, a despondent 74-year-old villager, who sprays ever-increasing amounts of pesticides on her land to slow down the daily erosion, reported China Daily.

Posted in environment, Global Disaster watch, global disasters | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Toxins Leak into North Carolina River [Again]

Posted by feww on February 19, 2014

UPDATED on February 20, 2014


Dan River water samples show elevated levels of arsenic

Groundwater is showing elevated levels of arsenic reportedly leaking from a Duke Energy coal ash dump in Eden, North Carolina into the Dan River, which was already contaminated following a massive spill on February 2.

The discharge from a large stormwater pipe under a coal ash dump was the second so far this month at the Eden plant.

“The duration and volume of the discharge are not known.” Duke Energy said. [More likely, they are unwilling to disclose the extent of damage. Editor]

DUKE-ENERGY is preventing FIRE-EARTH moderators in FIVE locations from accessing its website.

When tried to access their website using a different system we received the following WARNING:

duke snoop

The first [known] spill at Dan River Steam Station, a Duke Energy retired power plant in Eden, NC, occurred on February 2, 2014, when another broken stormwater pipe located under a 27-acre ash pond released about 27 million gallons of ash basin water, according to the company.

coal ash dump at eden plant
Close up of excavation and pipe work inside the Dan River ash basin. Source: Duke Energy

Earlier this month FIRE-EARTH commented:

Other than for obvious reasons, there were no immediate comments from Duke Energy as to why the ash pond was built over a stormwater pipe and so close to Dan River, nor any reason why the largest electricity provider in the U.S. failed to remove the toxic ash nearly two years after the plant was retired.

dan river steam station - Ash Basin Diagram
Source: Duke Energy

Aerial view of retired Dan River Steam Station and ash basins
Aerial view of the retired Dan River Steam Station and ash basins in North Carolina. Source: Duke Energy [This photo taken on February 5, 2014 shows the primary basin almost completely drained into Dan River.]

On January 12, 2014 FIRE-EARTH said [but was censored by Google, WordPress and others]

If Anything Can Explode, Leak, Contaminate…[IT WILL]

Estimated 100,000 HAZMAT storage sites across the U.S. can potentially explode, leak, contaminate the environment—FIRE-EARTH

United States is dotted with an estimated 100,000 HAZMAT storage sites containing one or more of deadly substances including radioactive, biohazardous, toxic, explosive, flammable, asphyxiating, corrosive, oxidizing, pathogenic, or allergenic materials, as well as herbicides, fungicides and fertilizers that don’t fall into those categories.

Some of the substances (hazchems), which include more than 200 types of dioxins, are so lethal that even a small leak into the water supply could kill or permanently harm millions of people, before they are detected.

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Posted in Global Disaster watch, Significant Event Imagery, significant events | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

1 in 5 Bangladeshi deaths caused by arsenic: Study

Posted by feww on June 24, 2010

About 200,000 Bangladeshis Die from Arsenic in Their Drinking Water Each Year

The death rate in Bangladesh is 8 deaths per 1,000 population (2009 est.). The population is about 125 million. The rest is easy maths:

125 million x 8/1,000 x 1/5 = 200,000 arsenic deaths per year [Nearly 23 people per hour!]

The following is a News Release  by Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health

New study links 1 in 5 deaths in Bangladesh to arsenic in the drinking water

Increased mortality is linked to chronic diseases with a 70 percent increased mortality risk among those with the highest level of exposure

Between 33 and 77 million people in Bangladesh have been exposed to arsenic in the drinking water—a catastrophe that the World Health Organization has called “the largest mass poisoning in history.” A new study published in the current issue of the medical journal The Lancet provides the most complete and detailed picture to date of the high mortality rates associated with this exposure, which began with the widespread installation of tube wells throughout the country 30 years ago—a measure intended to control water-bourne diseases.

Among the surprising findings of the study, conducted by a team of researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, and the University of Chicago, and led by Dr. Joseph Graziano are these:

  • One in five deaths in Bangladesh (population: 125 million) is associated with exposure to water from wells with arsenic concentrations greater than 10 micrograms per liter.
  • Arsenic exposure was associated with increased mortality due to heart disease and other chronic diseases in addition to the more familiar medical consequences of arsenic exposure: skin lesions, cancers of the skin, bladder and lung.
  • An increase of nearly 70 percent in all-cause mortality was found among those exposed to the highest concentration of arsenic in water (150 to 864 micrograms/liter). But researchers found a dose-related effect that included increased mortality even at relatively low levels of exposure, including the Bangladesh safety standard (50 micrograms/liter) and the WHO recommended standard (10 micrograms/liter).

The study draws its results from a carefully designed, prospective, longitudinal study involving 12,000 people in Bangladesh who were tracked for over a decade. To gather data for the Health Effects of Arsenic Longitudinal Study (HEALS), researchers traversed the tropical landscape over wooden bridges to interview each of the 12,000 participants and take urine samples every two years. Lifestyle and health data were tracked, allowing researchers to control for factors such as smoking, blood pressure and body-mass index. In addition, nearly 6,000 wells were tested to establish the arsenic concentration of the water source for each participant.

In an accompanying commentary in the same issue of The Lancet, Margaret P. Karagas of Dartmouth Medical School, describes the study design as “a substantial advance over previous ecological studies.”

The mass poisoning in Bangladesh was a result of well-intentioned efforts on the part of aid and development agencies in the 1970s, which built 10 million tube wells in an attempt to reduce water-bourne diseases such as cholera and dysentery, according to Dr. Graziano, professor of Environmental Health Sciences at the Mailman School. While the new wells reduced exposure to the microbes causing such diseases, they yielded water contamined with arsenic, which occurs naturally in the region. Arsenic can be avoided, however, by digging deeper wells—an approach that is already yielding safer drinking water for roughly 100,000 people. The Columbia Mailman School team has been at the forefront of this effort.

“The need for a global response is apparent because the situation goes far beyond the Bangladesh borders,” says Dr. Graziano. “Arsenic in ground water is affecting 140 million people across many countries and especially in South Asia. “There needs to be a concerted effort to bring safe to millions of people. Investment has not been commensurate with the magnitude of the problem.”

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Posted in Arsenic exposure, arsenic poisoning, Bangladesh deaths from arsenic, water-bourne diseases | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Are You Allowed to Live Free of Toxic Pollution?

Posted by feww on July 25, 2008

The Right to Live Free of Toxic Pollution Must Be Made A Fundamental Human Right!

Of nearly 90,000 chemical compounds in use, the majority of which have never been tested for health effects, only a fraction are registered and of those only a handful have been banned by EPA in the last thirty years. Meanwhile, about 2,000 new chemicals are introduced each year.

See Main Entry: The Right to Live Free of Toxic Pollution

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Posted in air pollution, BMW, environment, food, germany, health, Munich, politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »