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Heavy Metals

Poisoned food

Issue Date: Jan 31, 2000
thousands of people living in cities in Pakistan are consuming vegetables contaminated with heavy metals, says a study conducted by the department of soil science at the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad. In the cities, vegetables are cultivated on land irrigated with city effluents, which have excessive quantities of metal ions. In many countries, including Pakistan, industries dispose off their untreated metal-rich effluents into city drains, the study notes.

Brain drain

Issue Date: Dec 31, 1999
green vegetables are good for the health. How many times did our parents tell us this? But in days to come, the fresh leafy green vegetables may lose their place on the table, if we believe the latest findings. Recent studies have showed that at many places in India, vegetables are contaminated with heavy metals and pesticide residues.

Metals for food

Issue Date: Oct 31, 1999
the agricultural produce from 24 villages in the Vadodara and Bharuch districts of Gujarat have shown evidence of heavy doses of -- not nutrients -- but heavy metals. For, the villagers in these regions have found a dangerous alternative to supplement depleting groundwater: industrial effluents. "Not a single drop (of these effluents) reaches the Gulf of Cambay.

Disasters in the making?

Issue Date: Aug 31, 1999

How did it go wrong?

Issue Date: Aug 31, 1999

Manimata and mercury: the rude awakening

It was like the loss of innocence, one of the first incidents to open humankind's eye to what industrial pollution can do. One of the earliest tragedies caused by chemical pollution was the painful death and disability that afflicted thousands of people living around Japan's Minamata Bay in the 1950s-60s. The victims had eaten dead fish with very high content of methyl mercury in their body tissue. A local chemicals giant, Chisso Corporation, had been callously dumping mercury into the waters of the bay for 12 years.

What goes down must come up

Issue Date: Aug 31, 1999
in february 1999, a Delhi newspaper reported that a tubewell sunk to a depth of about 200 feet (61 metres) by Suruchi Dyeing Udyog, a factory south of the G T Road in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, was yielding yellow-coloured water. Arun Agarwal, the factory's owner, was quoted in the report as saying: "Initially, we thought it was surface impurities that came up with the water. But then we found it was the groundwater itself.

Flight to nowhere

Issue Date: Jun 15, 1999
more than one in 10 of the aquatic birds in Spain's Donana National Park are suffering from the effects of high levels of heavy metals after a toxic spill at the Los Frailes zinc mine a year ago, said a report. The report by Spain's Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas ( csic ) said 11 per cent of the birds in the area, in southern Spain, had high levels of zinc, lead, cadmium and copper in their blood.

Limited laws

Issue Date: May 31, 1999
toxic waste from metal mining poses a major threat to environment and human health across Europe, and existing laws can do little to solve the problem, according to the World Wide Fund for Nature ( wwf). The waste storage lagoon which burst at Boliden Limited's Los Frailes zinc mine in Spain, which polluted the Donana National Park, a year ago could just be the tip of the iceberg, warned Jane Madgwick, wwf 's expert on freshwater pollution.

Hard facts

Issue Date: Jun 30, 1998
spain will require more than us $100 million to clean up the toxic sludge that burst from a mine reservoir and flooded rivers and farms in the southern part of the country, informed officials. Thousands of workers are busy hauling away tonnes of sludge containing zinc, lead, iron, cadmium and other heavy metals spread by the spill.
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