The deadly arsenic "time bomb"Published by MAC on 2007-08-30
The deadly arsenic "time bomb"
30th August 2007
It's not widely appreciated that arsenic is a toxic heavy metal employed in a variety of industrial applications (as arsenate), as well as being a noxious byproduct of metals smelting, coal-fired power plants, incineration, and mining.
Last week, Hurricane Katrina was held to blame for severe arsenic contamination recently discovered in New Orleans schoolyards. However, the state Department of Environmental Quality says this predated that climactic event. And threats elsewhere from historic arsenic poisoning in soils and groundwater are often ignored.
A few days after this disturbing news broke from New Orleans, a Cambridge University (UK) researcher revealed that some 140,000,000 people are currently being affected by arsenic poisoning around the world - half of them in South and East Asia.
The MAC website took up this vital issue three years ago.
Let's hope another three years don't pass before these issues are thoroughly addressed and, along with them, the contribution that mining makes to the scourge.