|Hungary: Red Ecological Disaster|
|Written by Diana-Adela Ionita|
|Wednesday, 13 October 2010|
Eight people died in Hungary, because of the industrial accident from a factory in Kolontar region. Experts estimate that red mud that covers the area contains around 50 tons of arsenic, cadmium and mercury.
The Hungarian Head of Government announced that the plant where the industrial accident occurred will be nationalized. The director of the company that owns the factory was already arrested. These measures come after the government was accused of too much indulgence after the disaster. Moreover, the inspection at the factory made two weeks before the catastrophe didn’t reveal anything wrong, although now it is clear that the plant violates various safety rules.
A team of five European experts has arrived in Budapest on Monday, to assist local authorities in the efforts to mitigate the effects of ecological disaster in this country. European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso paid a visit yesterday, a meeting planned long before the accident that now coincided with a critical moment for Hungarian community.
The effects of contamination with heavy metals leaked from the aluminium tank plant are disastrous. The Danube River has been poisoned. In Hungary the pH was 14, in Croatia, and Serbia around 9. In Romania, pH was diluted at 8. Here, experts say flora and fauna are not in such a great danger. Mortality increases with the level of toxicity, fish density and species sensitivity. For example, the carp can not survive when the water has a pH greater than 9.
Because high concentrations of lead, red mud affects the kidneys and nervous system, especially at children. Moreover, red mud also contains carcinogenic heavy metals like mercury and arsenic. In the last days, toxic mud began to dry and turn into red dust. Experts have warned that everyone in the area must wear mask in order not to inhale poisonous sand. Everyone is concerned about another break of the tank that is likely to happen.
Diana-Adela Ionita/ LaSpecula.com
|Last Updated ( Wednesday, 13 October 2010 )|
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