Sunday, October 10, 2010

Red Toxic Sludge Is Radioactive Warns WWF

"Radioactive and highly corrosive material contains toxic heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, arsenic and chromium... " says the World Wildlife Fund

As attempts are made by sludge officials and scientists to play down the ecological disaster caused by a tsunami of Millions of gallons of toxic red mud that poured out across farmland in Hungary, the WWF had been warning of leaks from the containment pit since June 2010 .. but no one was listening until now.

The WWF says it is fearful of the long term environmental impacts of the toxic mud disaster in Hungary. Covering around 40 square kilometres of land the toxic sludge has already made its way to the river Danube, killing all life in the now polluted Marcal River.

A video report by AlJazeera uncovered information that workers have been warning of danger and potential 'disaster' since the 1970s.

The AlJazeera report reveals that the dam was constructed using waste materials. Coal and wood ash were used to build the dam, which appears to be central to the gradual dissolving of the walls locals claim were aggravated by filling the dams with much more red sludge than the firm had permits for.

A June 2010 WWF aerial photograph of the wall of the Kolontar sludge reservoir clearly shows damage and leakage - three months before dam walls breached, killing seven, covering 40 sq km with toxic red sludge and sending a plume of caustic pollution down rivers into the Danube.

With rain forecast there are now fears that the continuing cracking of the wall of the reservoir could collapse sending a new wave of caustic red sludge into the devastated towns.

WWF - Our Chemical World

UPDATE - 11 October, 2010 have reported that "Hungary Takes Control of Alumina Plant, Detains CEO on Sludge" .. The government is taking over management of the company and freezing its assets. Magyar Aluminium Zrt.’s chief executive officer has been detained and the Hungarian government will take control of the company after a reservoir burst last week unleashing toxic sludge that killed at least seven people.