Hungary’s Toxic Sludge Flood Kills Civilians, Worries Many More   Leave a comment

Toxic Red Mud from Hungarian Spill

Toxic Red Mud from Hungarian Spill

Earlier this month, a tragic event unfolded in Hungary and civilians were subjected to a caustic nightmare:

On Oct. 4, 2010, an accident occurred at the Ajkai Timföldgyar alumina (aluminum oxide) plant in western Hungary, when a corner wall of a waste-retaining pond broke, releasing a torrent of toxic red sludge down a local stream. Several nearby towns were inundated, including Kolontar and Devecser, where the sludge was up to 6.5 feet deep in places. Four people were killed immediately, several more were missing and dozens of residents were hospitalized for chemical burns. (Nasa)

According to the Associated Press, “The caustic spill — Hungary’s worst ecological disaster — also has raised questions about whether investors who took over Soviet-era factories from the state 20 years ago are at fault for not spending enough on safety.”

The horific sludge deluge has focused international attention on the industrial contamination problems throughout Eastern Europe. For example, according to the Associated Press,

  • “Abandoned mines in Romania leach waters contaminated by heavy metals into rivers.”
  • “Soil in eastern Slovakia is contaminated with cancer-producing PCBs.”
  • The Borsodchem plant in northeastern Hungary “churns out 100,000 tons of the toxin PVC that contains dioxin.”

Several precautions are being taken to prevent such disasters from occurring in the future. Government officials in Bulgaria have called for structural inspections of their waste reservoirs. Romanian Environment Minister Laszlo Borbely is expediting environmental cleanup operations in his country. However, many fear that despite these efforts, there are many potential disasters throughout Eastern Europe, and toxic spills still pose a real threat. To read more about this alarming issue, click here.

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Posted October 29, 2010 by lymphomactivist in Uncategorized

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