Wednesday, December 21, 2005


VIA Breitbart from AFP:

"South China metropolis on alert as toxic slick approaches"

This time its cadmium, presumably a plating salt: Best guess, either cadmium sulfate or cadmium chloride. Both are common, used in metal finishing, and water-soluble. At least, let's hope it's one of the simple salts. If so, the solution to pollution is dilution. The river will self-cleanse fairly quickly. Other less soluble compounds could be real trouble.

Any cadmium compound, like the metal, is highly toxic. The good news there is the stuff tends to cause massive vomiting and diarrhea, so it's hard to hold down enough to kill. You just wish you're dead..

Discouraging, it is... Even Ghenghis Kahn knew enough to put the latrines downstream of the cookhouse... The problem is, the ding-dong way they developed, everybody's "latrine" is upstream of someone else's kitchen.

This as the last big Chinese eco-mess finally makes it downstream to Russia. The chemical spill in the Songhua river, resulting from an accident November 13th at a petrochemical plant in Jilin, has reached the Amur river in Russia:

Six weeks, shutting down water system after water system as the plume wends its way to the sea.

At least that one cost some bureaucrats their jobs and maybe more: The issue isn't closed. As noted before, the history of environmental awareness is the history of the burned hand teaching best. Eventually public and economic pressure will force greater safeguards.

Just like it did here in the good ol' USA.

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