Mother Nature: “Waste Not..Please!”

Japan To Dump Radioactive Waste From Fukushima Disaster Into Pacific Ocean

By Amanda Froelich (July 15, 2017)

The head company responsible for cleaning up the Fukushima disaster plans on dumping 580 barrels of water tainted with tritium — a radioactive form of hydrogen — into the Pacific Ocean.

Though it is well-established that the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear disaster is a detriment to human health, wildlife and the environment, the head company responsible for the Fukushima clean-operation, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), is intent on dumping water tainted with tritium — a radioactive form of hydrogen — into the Pacific Ocean. Presently, there are about 580 barrels of the radiative water which were used to cool the nuclear plant’s damaged reactors.

According to The Independent, the company’s decision to dump tainted water from Fukushima’s triple meltdown has outraged locals and citizens around the globe. Despite the fierce outcry, Takashi Kawamura, chairman of TEPCO, declared: “The decision has already been made.” However, TEPCO is not legally allowed to release the nearly 777,000 tons of radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean until the government gives the final approval. “We cannot keep going if we do not have the support of the state,” said Mr. Kawamura.

Among those infuriated by the proposal to dump tritium-tainted water into the ocean are fishermen, who say the decision will affect their livelihoods. Kanji Tachiya, head of a local fishermen’s cooperative, for instance, told the press: “Releasing (tritium) into the sea will create a new wave of unfounded rumors, making our efforts all for naught.”

TEPCO claims tritium is of little danger to humans unless exposed to high quantities. Said NRA chairman Tanaka, the chemical is “so weak in its radioactivity it won’t penetrate plastic wrapping.” Oceanagrapher Simon Boxall, who works at the University of Southhampton, agreed. He told The Guardian, “In the broad scale of things, if they do end up putting the material in the Pacific, it will have minimal effect on an ocean basin scale.”

Whether or not the water harms wildlife is questionable, but of more concern, it seems, to environmental activists is the potential that similar practices may become more common. “They say that it will be safe because the ocean is large so it will be diluted, but that sets a precedent that can be copied, essentially permitting anyone to dump nuclear waste into our seas,” said Aileen Mioko-Smith of Green Action Japan. Considering radiation from Fukushima crippled two robots in the past, some believe there is cause for concern.

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Toxic Nail Polish!

Toxic Nail Polish
April 10, 2012
Toxic Nail Polish

The California Department of Toxic Substances Control released a report today that found nail polishes sold in the Bay Area frequently contain chemicals toxic to nail salon customers and workers. Department officials held a news conference this morning at Laney College’s School of Cosmetology in Oakland to discuss the hazardous chemicals in nail polish and reveal the findings of their report.

According to Karl Palmer, a spokesman for the DTSC, the study tested 25 random nail polish products for sale by six distributors in the San Francisco Bay Area. The report showed that 10 of the 12 products that claimed to be free of toxic ingredients on their labels in fact contained hazardous chemicals. Palmer said three chemicals known as the “toxic trio” were prevalent in the polish. The chemicals toluene, dibutyl phthalate, and formaldehyde make up the trio and are believed to cause respiratory harm, reproductive issues and cancer.

Palmer said a high level of inconsistency was discovered in product claims. He called for manufacturers who print false information on their packaging to adhere to state law for everyone’s safety. “We know and they know there is a hazardous chemical in it,” Palmer said. Hue Nguyn, a nail technician from Vietnam who works in San Leandro spoke through an interpreter at this morning’s press conference. Nguyn said she had worked in a nail salon for eight years before being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008.

She said she is now in remission and works fewer hours. “I know it is not good for my health to be exposed to the toxic chemicals 10 to 12 hours a day,” Nguyen said. Sushma Bhatia, the Toxics Reduction Program Manager at the San Francisco Department of the Environment said that in San Francisco alone there are about 200 nail salons that employ about 18,000 nail technicians, most of whom are female. “Manufacturers need to be prohibited from using the toxic trio. We need to be sure that labels are accurate,”

Bhatia said. State Sen. Leland Yee, who authored a law in 2006 requiring sanitary conditions at nail salons said today that he wants to stiffen penalties for nail polish manufacturers who mislabel their products. “There are no excuses for manufacturers to mislabel their products. If they can’t clean up their act on their own, then we have no choice but to force those changes by law,” Yee said in a statement today. Yee said he plans to review existing penalties to determine if they should be increased or if particular chemicals should be banned outright.