Fukushima, Japan China Syndrome or Chernobyl

Christopher Busby: Chernobyl-like radiation found in Tokyo

Aug 17, 2011

Workers at Japan’s Fukushima plant say the ground under the facility is cracking and radioactive steam is escaping through the fissures. They also say pipes and at least one reactor were seriously damaged before the tsunami hit the area in March. RT talks to Christopher Busby of the European Committee on Radiation Risks.

Aug 18, 2011

Paul Gunter, Beyond Nuclear joins Thom Hartmann. Meanwhile, Japan is not out of the danger zone…in fact the nuclear crisis is getting worse and worse! We’ve recently learned from Japan that the amount of radiation released was more than 20 times that from the Hiroshima bomb, and now it looks they may be experiencing the early stages of a total China Syndrome meltdown.

Hartmann – Fukushima…is this the China Syndrome?

Safe radioactivity? Experts say no

I just came across this. There is a lot of information there. Do take a look.

Fukushima radiation alarms doctors

August 18 2011

“How much radioactive materials have been released from the plant?” asked Dr Tatsuhiko Kodama, a professor at the Research Centre for Advanced Science and Technology and Director of the University of Tokyo’s Radioisotope Centre, in a July 27 speech to the Committee of Health, Labour and Welfare at Japan’s House of Representatives.

“The government and TEPCO have not reported the total amount of the released radioactivity yet,” said Kodama, who believes things are far worse than even the recent detection of extremely high radiation levels at the plant.

___________________________________

Recent readings taken at the plant are alarming.

When on August 2nd readings of 10,000 millisieverts (10 sieverts) of radioactivity per hour were detected at the plant, Japan’s science ministry said that level of dose is fatal to humans, and is enough radiation to kill a person within one to two weeks after the exposure.

10,000 millisieverts (mSv) is the equivalent of approximately 100,000 chest x-rays.

_____________________________________

According to Dr Kodama, the total amount of radiation released over a period of more than five months from the ongoing Fukushima nuclear disaster is the equivalent to more than 29 “Hiroshima-type atomic bombs” and the amount of uranium released “is equivalent to 20” Hiroshima bombs.

Source

A Canadian is traveling from province to province finding radiation. The Highest has been in the western provinces to date but he also found some high readings in Shawville Quebec as well.

Another take on the situation.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Depopulation has been on the agenda for many years. I first heard about way back in the early 1980’s. I was informed by the Catholic Church. Obviously this has been happening for some time.

NATO and the US have been dropping DU everywhere they go. There definitely is a genocide happening.

They are now dropping it in Libya. This of course will affect the rest of Africa and contaminate it.

War “Pollution” Equals Millions of Deaths

The Fukushima Nuclear Disaster: High Radiation Levels In America! Oklahoma City

America’s Northwest sees 35% infant mortality spike post-Fukushima

August 10 2011

Physician Janette Sherman, M.D. and epidemiologist Joseph Mangano published a report Monday highlighting a 35% spike in northwest infant mortality after Japan’s nuclear meltdown.

The report spotlighted data from the CDC‘s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report on infant mortality rates in eight northwest cities, including Seattle, in the 10 weeks after Fukushima’s nuclear meltdown.

The average number of infant deaths for the region moved from an average of 9.25 in the four weeks before Fukushima’ nuclear meltdown, to an average of 12.5 per week in the 10 weeks after. The change represents a 35% increase in the northwest’s infant mortality rates.
In comparison, the average rates for the entire U.S. rose only 2.3%.

Source

Maps of Nuclear Sites in US, Europe and Japan

Governments around the world are not telling people the truth.

Try to find real facts about how much radiation is in your country through the government and you will be probably find very little.

Even finding media reports of how things are going are getting pretty hard to find. Seems the private citizens are doing the work the Government should be doing.

Safecast volunteers are doing it in Japan

Radiation: Radiation exposure, especially the levels associated with cancer treatment, can cause infertility in both women and men. High doses can cause miscarriage or fetal defect in pregnant women.

The more people that get cancer the more treatments that will be given and the more treatments given equals less people to have children. About One in three people get cancer. One third of the population could become sterile.  Give or take a few.

Effects of Radiation

 Rem is the term used to describe equivalent or effective radiation dose. In the International System of Units, the sievert (Sv) describes equivalent or effective radiation dose. One Sievert is equal to 100 rem. It is a unit that is the product of energy absorbed in human tissues and the quality of the radiation being absorbed (the ability of the radiation to cause damage).

We have a lot to be concerned about. Some people say small amounts of radiation are good for you while others say there is no amount of radiation that is safe. So why can’t someone make it easy to decide when or if you should worry about radiation exposure? That is exactly what we’re going to do here—help by providing the facts. If you want additional information on why there is disagreement about the effects of low-level radiation, we have provided this in the section titled “Controversy.”

Let’s Begin

Radiation specialists use the unit “rem” (or sievert) to describe the amount of radiation dose someone received. We are going to use that unit throughout the sections. Without getting into technical specifics about that unit, it is enough to know that it indicates a measure of how much radiation energy is absorbed in our body. And, as we will see in other sections, the total energy that is absorbed and its effectiveness in causing change is the basis for determining whether health effects may result.

We’ll get into some detail later, but for a baseline—

  • 1 rem received in a short period or over a long period is safe—we don’t expect observable health effects.
  • 10 rem received in a short period or over a long period is safe—we don’t expect immediate observable health effects, although your chances of getting cancer might be very slightly increased.
  • 100 rem received in a short time can cause observable health effects from which your body will likely recover, and 100 rem received in a short time or over many years will increase your chances of getting cancer.
  • 1,000 rem in a short or long period of time will cause immediately observable health effects and is likely to cause death.

Safe or Not?

Why do some people say all radiation exposure is bad and others say it can be okay? Even the scientific community differs on the answer to the question of low radiation doses and health effects. Radiation can cause biological changes in cells when they are outside the human body, and these can be seen in a laboratory even when the dose is small. However, these changes are not seen or cannot be related to health effects in humans. The fact that changes can occur may make some people believe all radiation is bad and the fact that this is not related to human health effects may make others believe it is safe at low levels. The human health effects that have been observed have been when individuals or groups have received larger doses of radiation (more than 50 rem) from events like those due to military uses of nuclear weapons, accidents, and uses of radiation in medicine for therapy.

If a population receives a radiation dose of 100 rem in a short period of time, we expect health effects in some of the people who were exposed. However, many who receive a dose at that level will not have any long-lasting health effects. This is like so many other things in our lives. If we eat a high-cholesterol, high-fat diet, some of us may end up with heart disease. But that isn’t true for everyone; some can eat this way for a lifetime and not have any heart-disease symptoms.

It isn’t a complete guessing game, though. Because radiation has been studied so much, there are some things we can say with certainty that apply to a majority of the population. We can say that for a small radiation dose (<10 rem), the risk of cancer is very small, too small to have any observable health impact in the population of the United States. We know that if the radiation dose is quite large and given in a short period of time, like the 1,000 rem in the chart above, it will cause an individual to be very sick and die.

Let’s Learn More about the Effects of Radiation

Let’s fill in the chart with a little bit more of what we know about getting a radiation dose to our entire body:

  • 0 – 5 rem received in a short period or over a long period is safe—we don’t expect observable health effects.
  • 5 – 10 rem received in a short period or over a long period is safe—we don’t expect observable health effects. At this level, an effect is either nonexistent or too small to observe.
  • 10 – 50 rem received in a short period or over a long period—we don’t expect observable health effects although above 10 rem your chances of getting cancer are slightly increased. We may also see short-term blood cell decreases for doses of about 50 rem received in a matter of minutes.
  • 50 – 100 rem received in a short period will likely cause some observable health effects and received over a long period will increase your chances of getting cancer. Above 50 rem we may see some changes in blood cells, but the blood system quickly recovers.
  • 100 – 200 rem received in a short period will cause nausea and fatigue. 100 – 200 rem received over a long period will increase your chances of getting cancer.
  • 200 – 300 rem received in a short period will cause nausea and vomiting within 24-48 hours. Medical attention should be sought.
  • 300 – 500 rem received in a short period will cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea within hours. Loss of hair and appetite occurs within a week. Medical attention must be sought for survival; half of the people exposed to radiation at this level will die if they receive no medical attention.
  • 500 – 1,200 rem in a short period will likely lead to death within a few days.
  • >10,000 rem in a short period will lead to death within a few hours.

The health effects listed above are for a radiation dose to the entire body. If the radiation is given to a smaller area of the body, there are other effects that may occur, but illness or death is not expected unless noted:

  • 40 rem or more locally to the eyes can cause cataracts.
  • 100 rem – 500 rem or more can cause hair loss for a section of the body that has hair.
  • 200 rem or more locally to the skin can cause skin reddening (similar to a sunburn).
  • 1,000 rem or more can cause a breakdown of the intestinal lining, leading to internal bleeding, which can lead to illness and death when the dose is to the abdomen.
  • 1,500 rem or more locally to the skin can cause skin reddening and blistering. Source
  • The Fukushima Nuclear Disaster: High Radiation Levels In America! Oklahoma City

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Published in: on August 19, 2011 at 8:43 pm  Comments Off on Fukushima, Japan China Syndrome or Chernobyl  
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Switzerland’s explosive war effort threatens environmental disaster

Deformed fish are being landed and served as sightseers flock to view toxic Second World War munitions raised from the floor of Lake Thun

By Tony Paterson
September 13 2009
Down at the bottom of Switzerland’s deepest lake is one of the country’s murkiest secrets. For here is disturbing evidence of Switzerland’s little-known Second World War defence effort. It poses a potentially devastating threat to the Alpine nation, 70 years after the conflict.

The placid waters of Lake Thun spread out for 11 miles beneath Faulensee village. Some 700 feet beneath the surface more than 9,000 tons of Swiss army munitions lie dumped on its watery floor. The ordnance includes artillery shells, hand grenades, and explosives that were meant to defend Switzerland against a Nazi invasion that never happened. After the war, the army began a 20-year process of getting rid of its vast munitions stockpile by dumping most of it into four Alpine lakes, all of which are used to supply drinking water to the surrounding population. Lake Thun, in the central Swiss canton of Bern, took the brunt of the disposal programme, which ended in 1964.

The huge pile of underwater ordnance remained out of sight and minds until about a decade ago when local fishermen began to notice abnormalities in the reproductive organs of the lake’s whitefish – one of their chief sources of income. More recently the fishermen, who have seen their catches diminish by some 80 per cent over the past three decades, have been pulling bits of dumped munitions out of the lake with the few fish they still manage to net. Last month a rusting hand grenade was hauled to the surface.

Today, a tiny part of this underwater arms dump has been raised to the surface and is, of all things, a tourist attraction. The huge and immaculately polished Second World War guns would fit a battleship, yet they are hidden behind the walls of four innocent looking barns in an idyllic mountain village. As secret weapons they once formed part of the Swiss Army’s elaborate wartime defence system. This summer, however, the massive 10.5cm guns, the barns that camouflage their presence, and the network of tunnels linking them underneath Faulensee have been developed as a tourist attraction and thrown open to the public. “The Faulensee artillery battery is of national and historic importance,” says the brochure advertising the site as a “unique” Second World War experience.

Yet the promotional leaflet makes no mention of the rest of the arms. Switzerland’s environmentalist Green Party, which holds only a handful of seats in a national parliament dominated by the right-wing Swiss People’s Party, is appalled that nothing has been done to remove the munitions: “It is scandalous that this potentially lethal rubbish is still there,” said Christine Haesler, the leader of the Greens in Bern Canton. “We have been fighting a fruitless battle with the Swiss military for years to try to get the munitions removed, but the army insists that the remains are not dangerous and that their disposal would be too expensive,” she added.

The Swiss are not the only people with an underwater munitions problem. The countries surrounding the Baltic are still trying to deal with the threat posed by 300,000 tons of German wartime munitions that Britain the United States and the then Soviet Union dumped in the sea after the Second World War. Tengis Borisov, a Russian environmental researcher recently warned that the munitions meant that the Baltic faced a disaster “on a scale comparable with Chernobyl”.

In Switzerland, however, controversy over the issue of dumped ordnance appears to have been studiously avoided. Four years ago, Ursula Haller, a Thun MP and member of the country’s small citizens’ democratic party BDP, tabled a parliamentary motion calling for the munitions to be removed from the lakes. She argued that as the ordnance was bound to corrode, toxic substances would leak into the lake and pollute, the water supply and the fish. However, the Swiss defence ministry examined the problem and decided that it would not only be too costly but also too dangerous to attempt to remove the ordnance by the preferred method, which involves freezing the munitions and raising them sealed in block of ice.

Various studies were conducted, by the Swiss water board and the country’s fisheries department. Yet all of them insisted that there was no evidence that the dumped munitions were leaking toxins. One study even concluded that the sediment covering the munitions was sealing them off more and more each year and that the threat posed was diminishing as a result.

A fisheries department study found that Lake Thun’s plankton was the cause of the deformed gonads in the lake’s whitefish. However the study was unable to establish what was affecting the plankton and suggested that further investigation was necessary. Meanwhile fishermen and restaurant owners around Lake Thun argue that the whitefish are quite edible because they have been scientifically tested and because those who eat them don’t in any case consume the deformed intestines.

A special commission from Switzerland’s parliament rejected Mrs Haller’s motion by seven votes to five in 2006. Although the Swiss water board argues that the lake waters must be kept under regular observation and that more studies need to be carried out, the issue now appears to have been quietly forgotten by all but the country’s Green Party.

Source

See links below for more on War pollution

The world’s worst radiation hotspot

War “Pollution” Equals Millions of Deaths

Published in: on September 14, 2009 at 9:02 am  Comments Off on Switzerland’s explosive war effort threatens environmental disaster  
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The world’s worst radiation hotspot

At the start of the Cold War, Stalin chose one of the furthest outposts of his empire to test the Soviet Union’s first nuclear bombs. Sixty years on, their cancerous legacy is still being felt. Jerome Taylor reports from Kurchatov

Pictures

September 10, 2009

Walking through the flat and endless Kazakh steppe, Nemytov Oleg suddenly stops, fumbles in his desert camouflage trousers and pulls out a Geiger counter. The device bleeps into life. He peers pensively at the reading. When we got out of the car it read 3. Now, within a couple of hundred yards, it has jumped to 10. He unwraps breathing masks and two pairs of disposable shoe coverings. “If we want to go any further we will have to wear these,” he says.

Further along the dusty road he checks his device once more. “You see, the meter is now reading 21,” he says. “If we were in a city far away from here it would read about 0.1. The radiation increases very quickly.”

The reason Mr Oleg is keeping such a close eye on background radiation is because we are standing on the very spot where, 60 years ago, the Soviet Union launched the Cold War, with the detonation of its first nuclear bomb. Watched from a lead-lined bunker by Stalin’s feared secret police chief Lavrenti Beria, First Lightning exploded at exactly 7am on 29 August 1949, throwing up an enormous mushroom cloud which billowed over the steppe and, unbeknownst to people nearby, dumping huge quantities of radioactive material on them, their houses and their fields.

It is the names of Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Chernobyl that stand for the horrors of the new technology. The name of Semipalatinsk has no such resonance, and is all but forgotten. Yet nowhere else in the world was there such a large concentration of nuclear explosions in one place over such a long period. When Beria earmarked this far eastern corner of Kazakhstan to be the Soviet Union’s top secret nuclear test facility, he described the place as “uninhabited” – conveniently forgetting the 700,000 people who lived in the surrounding villages, towns and cities. Overnight the region was deleted from the map and for the next 40 years Soviet scientists detonated 615 nuclear devices at their secret Semipalatinsk Polygon.

For the first 13 years, tests inside the 80,000 square kilometre Polygon site were conducted above ground, throwing huge amounts of nuclear waste into the atmosphere. The underground tests that followed polluted vast tracts of land with a toxic combination of radioactive chemicals which will continue to contaminate the soil for thousands of years. Kazakhstan shut down the test site almost as soon as the Central Asian republic gained its independence in 1991 (and also became the first country in the world to voluntarily give up nuclear weapons). But the deadly legacy of those tests lives on.

In a new hospital on the outskirts of Semei – the new Kazakh name for the otherwise unremarkable provincial capital which lies 150km east of the Polygon – Galina Bityukova, aged 54 and painfully thin, is midway through a second course of chemotherapy for ovarian cancer. “Sometimes I feel that my cancer is linked to the nuclear tests, you can’t help but think so,” she says. “It could just be cancer like anyone else gets but when you remember what happened here and how many people have cancer it makes you wonder.”

On the bed opposite Svetlana, a woman in her late fifties who is recovering from a firmly agrees. “In my mind I know the nuclear tests had something to do with me getting ill,” she says, flashing a strained smile which reveals a full set of gold teeth. Dr Baipeisov Muhametkalievich is the head of oncology at Semei’s cancer ward, which treats up to 40,000 people every year. “It’s difficult to know whether their cancer comes from the testing or not,” he says. “But you only have to look at the data to know that this area of Kazakhstan has the highest rates of cancer of anywhere in the country.” It is roughly one-third higher than the national average, he says, a clear indication that the Polygon continues to make people sick.

When Kazakhstan gained its independence following the Soviet Union’s collapse, the country was left bankrupt and the damage caused by the nuclear tests was just one of the problems that Moscow consigned to the new government, dominated by the local Communist chief Nursultan Nazerbayev who is still Kazakhstan’s President. As the Russian military convoys rolled back over the border they not only took away all the scientific data regarding the Polygon, but also most of the modern equipment from Semei’s hospital.

For many years the victims of Semipalatinsk, unlike those of Chernobyl, were left to fend for themselves. But flush with new revenue from its enormous gas fields and mineral deposits, money is finally heading their way. The oncology department in Semei has just received state-of-the-art equipment from Japanese doctors in Nagasaki while a £40m radiology department is under construction. “When I first got here I was absolutely astonished at the level of poverty and neglect among the victims of nuclear testing,” says Fiona Corcoran, an Irish charity worker who had seen the effects of nuclear fallout in Chernobyl and who now runs two orphanages in Semei. “Children with horrendous birth defects were just left to rot in institutions. But recently there have been some major improvements.”

Ms Corcoran’s charity, the Greater Chernobyl Cause, was one of many working in Chernobyl but when she arrived in Kazakhstan a decade ago outside aid was almost non-existent. “The Kazakhs would always say to me, ‘People come here, they go and they forget’. There was none of the same sense of urgency that there was with Chernobyl. But what happened at Chernobyl was a single tragic accident. What happened here was the systematic and deliberate exposure of thousands of people to nuclear material.”

Most of those who worked on the test site have long since died, but the radiation levels continue to poison new generations of Kazakhs. In an anonymous-looking block of Soviet- era flats is Semei’s only facility for disabled children. According to the centre’s director Tylysova Toleakarovna, of the 346 children they regularly treat, 45 have illnesses which result directly from radiological contamination. Baurzhanaly Kuanysh is one of them. Now 16 years old, he was born in Abay district, one of the areas closest to the Polygon. He suffers from microcephaly, a common illness among radiation victims where the victim’s head is abnormally small. “We can provide for some of the victims who live near the city but we need to get out to the villages,” explains Mrs Toleakarovna. “That is my dream.”

Some 160km west of Semei lies Kurchatov, a meticulously planned settlement that was once the most secretive town in the Soviet Union. Here scientists work to map and contain the nuclear contamination inside the Polygon.

What is already clear is that the three sites where the explosions were regularly conducted will be uninhabitable for thousands of years, and a river that flows through the site into the Irtysh is contaminated. Yet that has not deterred new arrivals: government and private investors are keen to open up some areas of the test site because it is littered with deposits of coal, copper and silver. There are already 400 miners digging for coal close to where some of the later and most powerful tests were carried out in the 1960s and 1970s.

But the rush to extract minerals from this poisoned land has set alarm bells ringing among medical experts. Boris Gallich, a specialist in the effects of radiation, said: “My biggest fear is that these people could become contaminated and pass it on to their children and families. That may be a matter of indifference for the company directors, but not for the people on the ground.”

29 August 1949: The birth of the Cold War

* The Soviet Union’s first successful test of a 22-kiloton nuclear weapon – called First Lightning – on 29 August 1949 was, in effect, the day that began the Cold War.

* Ever since the USA dropped two atom bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, Stalin was desperate to obtain the same technology.

* Stalin placed Lavrenti Beria, the feared head of his NKVD secret police, in charge of the project and gave the country’s top atomic scientist, Igor Kurchatov, virtually unlimited funds.

*The successful first detonation led to a massive nuclear arms race as the two foes frantically built up their arsenals, a contest which only ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Source

Victims of Soviet nuclear testing

War “Pollution” Equals Millions of Deaths

Published in: on September 10, 2009 at 8:50 pm  Comments Off on The world’s worst radiation hotspot  
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A Few of the World’s most polluted places

Ten Most Polluted Places Named

Untreated sewage and mercury-contaminated sludge flow into a water system at Sumgayit, See a map of Azerbaijan.)

A major industrial center of the former Soviet Union and erstwhile home to more than 40 chemical factories, Sumagayit was recently named one of the ten most polluted cities in the world by the nonprofit Blacksmith Institute.

At their peak of production, the town’s factories released as much as 120,000 tons of harmful emissions annually, exposing workers and residents to high levels of contaminants, the institute said.

A study conducted by the Azerbaijani government and the UN revealed that cancer rates in Sumgayit are 22 to 51 percent higher than in rest of the country.

Ten Most Polluted Places Named

Workers dump waste at Vapi, a town in western India that marks the southern end of the country’s “Golden Corridor”a 400-kilometer (245-mile) stretch of industrial sites that manufacture petrochemicals, pesticides, dyes, paints, and fertilizers. (See a map of India.)

A survey by the Indian government revealed that the sites lack a proper system for disposing of industrial waste, which often contains high levels of heavy metals and cyanide, among other contaminants.

A new list issued by the nonprofit Blacksmith Institute places Vapi in the top ten of the most polluted regions in the world.

Vapi’s distance from sources of clean water has forced residents to consume the town’s contaminated water, the institute said.

As a result, incidences of respiratory diseases, carcinoma, skin and throat cancers, birth defects, and infertility are high in Vapi, the nonprofit added.

Ten Most Polluted Places Named

A doctor holds a newborn in Dzerzhinsk, Russia, in 1997. (See a map of Russia.)

The city, once the country’s Cold War headquarters for producing chemical weapons, was recently added to the Blacksmith Institute’s list of the world’s ten most polluted places.

Dzerzhinsk remains an important hub of chemical manufacturing.

Babies born here have birth defects at three times the national rate, the institute said on its Web site. A quarter of these babies will likely grow up and work in factories that still spew toxic chemicals, it added.

Dzerzhinsk’s average life expectancy is 42 years for men, well below the national average of about 58.

No major initiative to combat the pollution and health problems is underway, according to the New York-based institute.

Ten Most Polluted Places Named

Men search for metal at an abandoned lead mine in Kabwe, Zambia, the country’s second largest city, in this undated photo. (See a map of Zambia.)

Decades of unregulated lead mining have led to widespread poisoning in residents exposed to soil and water.

The New York-based Blacksmith Institute added the city to its list of the ten most polluted places for 2007.

Blood lead levels in children, who often bathe in contaminated water and play in the soil, are high enough to be potentially fatal, the institute reported on its Web site.

Although a local nonprofit educates families about avoiding lead exposure, entire communities may have to relocate, the institute said.

Ten Most Polluted Places Named

A cemetery of radioactive vehicles is seen near Ukraine‘s Chernobyl nuclear power plant in this November 10, 2000 photo. (See a map of Ukraine.)

More than 1,300 Soviet military helicopters, buses, bulldozers, and other equipment were used and contaminated while responding to the April 26, 1986 nuclear accident at Chernobyl.

The disaster’s residual effects and its potential for future environmental and health damage has landed Chernobyl on the New York-based Blacksmith Institute’s 2007 list of the ten most polluted sites.

A hundred times more radiation was released during the meltdown of Chernobyl’s reactor than was contained in the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The event created a spike in thyroid cancers among children and led to innumerable respiratory ailments, infertility cases, and birth defects in local residents.

Today a 19-mile (31-kilometer) exclusion zone around the reactor remains largely deserted.

Ten Most Polluted Places Named

Women work at an open chromite mine at Sukinda, in the eastern Indian state of Orissa, in this undated photo. (See a map of India.)

The Sukinda valley contains 97 percent of the country’s deposits of chromite a source of chromium and is the site of one of the largest open-cast chromite ore mines in the world.

A list issued by the nonprofit Blacksmith Institute cites the region as one of the most polluted in the world.

Twelve mines operate in Sukinda, generating about 30 million tons of waste rock and contaminating more than 60 percent of the water resources with hexavalent chromium, a known carcinogen, the institute said on its Web site.

A state government study has also indicated that 85 percent of the deaths in the mining areas and nearby villages are due to chromite-mine related diseases.

The government reportedly stated that the situation in Sukinda “is unique, it is gigantic, and it is beyond the means and purview of the [Orissa Pollution Control] Board to solve the problem.”

Ten Most Polluted Places Named

Cars inch through the smog-filled city center of Linfen, China, on July 7, 2007. (See a map of China.)

The city is listed among the world’s ten most polluted places of 2007, according to the New York-based nonprofit Blacksmith Institute.

Linfen sits at the center of China’s prodigious coal industry, which is largely unregulated by the government. Residents describe choking on coal dust, and local health clinics have reported an upsurge in bronchitis, pneumonia, and lung cancer, according to the institute.

“The one thing that blew me away was in Linfen, three million people are affected by air pollution,” said William Suk, acting deputy director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

“People assume a lot of these sites are in the middle of nowhere, but they’re not.”

By the end of 2007, Linfen plans to shut down 57 of its 153 coal-producing plants, to be replaced with cleaner, regulated facilities, the institute’s Web site reported.

Ten Most Polluted Places Named

Russia‘s northernmost major city, Noril’sk pumps out more than two million tons of pollutants a year making it one of the ten most polluted spots in the world, according to the New York-based nonprofit Blacksmith Institute. (See a map of Russia.)

Mining and smelting began in Noril’sk in the 1930s, and the city now houses the world’s largest smelting complex for heavy metals.

Snow is often blackened with pollution, the air tastes of sulfur, and the life expectancy is up to ten years lower than the Russian average, the institute reported.

Noril’sk Nickel, the major firm operating in the town, says it has invested millions in its dust and gas recovery and removal systems, according to the institute.

Ten Most Polluted Places Named

September 18, 2007Two girls walk to school amid smoky skies in La Oroya, Peru, in this September 2003 photo. (See a map of Peru.)

The congested mining town of 35,000 nestled high in the Andes was recently added to the Blacksmith Institute’s list of the ten most polluted places in the world.

A metal smelter run by the Missouri-based Doe Run Corporation has operated in the remote settlement since 1922.

Exposure to the smelter’s pollution has led to dangerously high blood lead levels in nearly all of La Oroya’s children, according to the New York-based institute.

Lung ailments are widespread, and high numbers of premature death have been linked to the smelter’s emissions, the nonprofit reports on its Web site.

Likewise, acid rain from sulfur dioxide pollution has destroyed much of the vegetation in the area.

Doe Run says it has invested approximately 1 million U.S. dollars a year in a joint program with the Peruvian Ministry of Health to lower blood lead levels in the region.

The Blacksmith Institute, which collaborates with local agencies to fight pollution worldwide, compiled its annual list of the most polluted places through a nomination process.

The entries were then reviewed by a technical advisory board of medical and environmental experts.

William Suk, acting deputy director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, was not involved in the report.

“What the [Blacksmith Institute] has done is a good thing,” Suk told National Geographic News.

“They are trying to bring to the attention of the world that these sites exist.”

Source

U.N. report warns toxic brown haze has devastating effect

November 14 2008

A satellite image shows a dense blanket of polluted air over central-eastern China, covering the coastline around Shanghai. The "Asian brown cloud" is a toxic mix of ash, acids and airborne particles from car and factory emissions, as well as from low-tech polluters like wood-burning stoves. </p> <p>A satellite image shows a dense blanket of polluted air over central-eastern China, covering the coastline around Shanghai. The

BEIJING

A noxious cocktail of soot, smog and toxic chemicals is blotting out the sun, fouling the lungs of millions of people and altering weather patterns in large parts of Asia, according to a report released Thursday by the United Nations.

The byproduct of automobiles, slash-and-burn agriculture, cooking on dung or wood fires, and coal-fired power plants, these plumes rise over southern Africa, the Amazon basin and North America.

But they are most pronounced in Asia, where so-called atmospheric brown clouds are reducing sunlight in many Chinese cities and leading to decreased crop yields in swaths of rural India, say a team of more than a dozen scientists who have been studying the problem since 2002.

“The imperative to act has never been clearer,” said Achim Steiner, executive director of the U.N. Environment Program, in Beijing, identified as one of the world’s most polluted cities and where the report was released.

The brownish haze, sometimes in a layer more than a mile thick and visible from airplanes, stretches from the Arabian peninsula to the Yellow Sea. During the spring, it sweeps past North and South Korea and Japan. Sometimes the cloud drifts as far east as California. The report identified 13 cities as brown-cloud hot spots, among them Bangkok, Thailand; Cairo, Egypt; New Delhi; Seoul, South Korea; and Tehran, Iran.

It was issued on a day when Beijing’s own famously polluted skies were unusually clear. On Wednesday, by contrast, the capital was shrouded in a thick, throat-stinging haze that is the byproduct of heavy industry, coal-burning home heaters and the 3.5 million cars that clog the city’s roads.

Last month, the government reintroduced some of the traffic restrictions that were imposed on Beijing during the Olympics; the rules forced private cars to stay off the road one day a week and sidelined 30 percent of government vehicles on any given day. Overall, officials say the new measures have removed 800,000 cars from the roads.

According to the U.N. report, smog blocks from 10 percent to 25 percent of the sunlight that should be reaching the city’s streets. The report also singled out the southern city of Guangzhou, where soot and dust have dimmed natural light by 20 percent since the 1970s.

In fact, the scientists who worked on the report said the blanket of haze might be temporarily offsetting some warming from the simultaneous buildup of greenhouse gases by reflecting solar energy away from the earth. Greenhouse gases, by contrast, tend to trap the warmth of the sun and lead to a rise in ocean temperatures.

“All of this points to an even greater and urgent need to take on emissions across the planet,” Steiner said.

Climate scientists say similar plumes from industrialization of wealthy countries after World War II probably blunted global warming through the 1970s. Pollution laws removed that pall.

Rain can cleanse the skies, but some of the black grime that falls to earth ends up on the surface of the Himalayan glaciers that are the source of water for billions of people in China, India and Pakistan. As a result, the glaciers that feed into the Yangtze, Ganges, Indus and Yellow rivers are absorbing more sunlight and melting more rapidly, researchers say.

According to the Chinese Academy of Sciences, these glaciers have shrunk by 5 percent since the 1950s and, at the current rate of retreat, could shrink by 75 percent by 2050.

“We used to think of this brown cloud as a regional problem, but now we realize its impact is much greater,” said Veerabhadran Ramanathan, who led the U.N. scientific panel. “When we see the smog one day and not the next, it just means it’s blown somewhere else.”

Although the clouds’ overall impact is not entirely understood, Ramanathan, a professor of climate and ocean sciences at the University of California, San Diego, said they might be affecting precipitation in parts of India and Southeast Asia, where monsoon rainfall has been decreasing in recent decades, and central China, where devastating floods have become more frequent.

He said some studies suggested the plumes of soot that blot out the sun have led to a 5 percent decline in the growth rate of rice harvests across Asia since the 1960s.

For those who breathe the toxic mix, the impact can be deadly. Henning Rodhe, a professor of chemical meteorology at Stockholm University, estimates 340,000 people in China and India die each year from cardiovascular and respiratory diseases that can be traced to the emissions from coal-burning factories, diesel trucks and kitchen stoves fueled by firewood.

Source

CO2

By Paul Eccleston
November 14  2007

Australians are the world’s worst polluters, according to a new ‘name and shame’ league table based on power station emissions.

Each Australian produces 11 tonnes of CO2 power sector emissions each year on a per capita basis. The United States comes second in the table on nine tonnes per person Britain is ranked 9th at 3.5 tonnes per person.

The findings are revealed in a huge survey of the CO2 emissions from 50,000 power plants worldwide by the Centre for Global Development (CGD) an independent think-tanked based in the US.

The on-line Carbon Monitoring for Action (CARMA) database shows where the worst power station culprits are, who owns them and how much of the greenhouse gas they are pumping into the atmosphere.

It includes 4,000 power companies, and nearly 200,000 geographic regions in every country on earth. Visitors to the site can view carbon emissions data for the year 2000, the present, and future plans.

Power stations are the planet’s most concentrated source of greenhouse gases – one of the main factors in global arming – producing nearly 10 billion tons of CO 2 per year. The US, with over 8,000 power plants, accounts for about 25 per cent of the total or 2.8 billion tons.

Although the developing nations are among the worst offenders they have a far lower per capita rate. The average Chinese citizen produces two tonnes of CO2 from power generation annually while Indians only about half of one tonne per person.

Although no single country comes close to the 2.8 billion tons of CO 2 produced annually by the US power sector, other countries collectively account for three-quarters of all the power-related CO2 emissions.

China comes second with 2.7 billion tonnes, followed by Russia with 661m tonnes; India 583m tonnes; Japan 400m tonnes, Germany 356m tonnes, Australia 226m tonnes, South Africa 222m tonnes, the UK 212m tonnes and South Korea 185m tonnes.

Power generation accounts for about one-quarter of total emissions of CO2. Through the website people concerned about climate change can check on the emissions of their local power station.

CARMA was set up to help the drive towards less carbon-intensive power generation and reducing global warming which will hit poor people in developing countries the hardest.

The man who led the research, David Wheeler, a senior fellow at CGD, said: “CARMA makes information about power-related CO2 emissions transparent to people throughout the world. Information leads to action. We know that this works for other forms of pollution and we believe it can work for greenhouse gas emissions, too.

“We expect that institutional and private investors, insurers, lenders, environmental and consumer groups and individual activists will use the CARMA data to encourage power companies to burn less coal and oil and to shift to renewable power sources, such as wind and solar.”

Statistics for the UK show it has the 9th highest CO2-emitting power sector at 212,000,000 tonnes of CO2.

The Drax power station in Selby, Yorkshire is named as the biggest UK polluter producing 23,700,000 tonnes of CO2 annually making it the 23rd most polluting power station in the world.

It is followed in the UK by Longannet in Alloa, Scotland at 15,700,000 tonnes; Ratcliffe in the East Midlands at 12,800,000 tonnes; Fiddlers Ferry in the North West at 12,300,000 tonnes; and Cottam in the East Midlands at 12,300,000 tonnes.

The world’s worst pollution power plant is Taichung in the city of Lung-Ching in Taiwan which pumps out 41.3m tonnes of CO2 per year.

Taiwan and China have four of the top six worst polluting power plants

Source

100 dirtiest power stations in the UK
25 dirtiest power stations in the world

World’s 10 Worst Pollution Spots

NEW YORK, New York, October 18, 2006 (ENS)
The world’s 10 most polluted places threaten the health of more than 10 million people in eight countries, according to a report released today by a U.S. environmental action group. Three of the most polluted sites are in Russia, the report said, with the remaining seven located in China, Dominican Republic, India, Kyrgyzstan, Peru, Ukraine and Zambia.

The report was released by the Blacksmith Institute and compiled by a team of international environment and health experts, including researchers from Johns Hopkins University, Mt. Sinai Medical Center and City University of New York.

“A key criterion in the selection process was the nature of the pollutant,” said Richard Fuller, director of Blacksmith Institute. “The biggest culprits are heavy metals – such as lead, chromium and mercury – and long-lasting chemicals – such as the `persistent organic pollutants.’ That’s because a particular concern of all these cases is the accumulating and long lasting burden building up in the environment and in the bodies of the people most directly affected.”

scavenge
Children scavenging a mine in Kabwe, Zambia, one of the sites on the list. (Photo courtesy Blacksmith Institute)
With the exception of Chernobyl, the Ukranian site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster, most of the locations on the list are little-known – even in their own countries.

The most-polluted sites primarily affect communities deep in poverty, the report said, but there are potential remedies.

“Problems like this have been solved over the years in the developed world, and we have the capacity and the technology to spread our experience to our afflicted neighbors,” the report said.

The list includes:

  • the Chinese city of Linfen, located in the heat of the country’s coal region and chosen as an example of the severe pollution faced by many Chinese cities;
  • Haina, Dominican Republic, the site of a former automobile battery recycling smelter where residents suffer from widespread lead poisoning;
  • the Indian city of Ranipet, where some 3.5 million people are affected by tannery waste, which contains hexavalent chromium and azodyes.
  • Mailuu-Suu, Kyrgyzstan, home to a former Soviet uranium plant and severely contaminated with radioactive uranium mine wastes;
  • the Peruvian mining town of La Oroya, where residents have been exposed to toxic emissions from a poly-metallic smelter;
  • Dzerzinsk, Russia, the site of a Cold War-era chemical weapons facility;kid
    A child stands on a battery casing in the Dominican Republic. The world’s most polluted sites all impact very poor communities. (Photo courtesy Blacksmith Institute)
  • the Russian industrial city of Norilsk, which houses the world’s largest heavy metals smelting complex and where more than 4 million tons of cadmium, copper, lead, nickel, arsenic, selenium and zinc emissions are released annually;
  • the Russian Far East towns of Dalnegorsk and Rudnaya Pristan, whose residents suffer from serious lead poisoning from an old smelter and the unsafe transport of lead concentrate from the local lead mining site;
  • and the city of Kabwe, Zambia, where mining and smelting operations have led to widespread lead and cadmium contamination.

“Living in a town with serious pollution is like living under a death sentence,” the report said. “If the damage does not come from immediate poisoning, then cancers, lung infections, mental retardation, are likely outcomes.”

The report warns that there are some towns where life expectancy approaches medieval rates, where birth defects are the norm not the exception.”

“In other places children’s asthma rates are measured above 90 percent, or mental retardation is endemic,” it said. “In these places, life expectancy may be half that of the richest nations. The great suffering of these communities compounds the tragedy of so few years on earth.”

Blacksmith said it plans to circulate the report extensively to development agencies and local governments, working to place clean-up on the policy agenda in their respective countries and to initiate fundraising to help these regions.

tannery

Tannery runoff in India is polluting the water supply of some 3.5 million people. (Photo courtesy Blacksmith Institute)

“The most important thing is to achieve some practical progress in dealing with these polluted places,” says Dave Hanrahan, Blacksmith Institute’s chief of global operations. “There is a lot of good work being done in understanding the problems and in identifying possible approaches. Our goal is to instill a sense of urgency about tackling these priority sites.”

“This initial Worst-Polluted Places list is a starting point,” Hanrahan added. “We are looking to the international community and local specialists for feedback on the selection process and on our list. We want to make sure that the key dangerously polluted sites get the needed attention and support from the international community in order to remediate them.”

Source

Pollution Reports including Top 100 Corporate Air Polluters 2007 in US

Alberta Oil Sands a Pollution Nightmare