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Hungary toxic sludge spill an 'ecological catastrophe' says government

Deuce

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Hungary today declared a state of emergency in three western counties after a dam holding back a vast reservoir of toxic red sludge, from an alumina plant, burst, killing four people and injuring 120 others in what officials said was an "ecological catastrophe".

An elderly woman, a young man and a three-year-old child died in the deluge and six others were reported missing. Two of the injured were in a serious condition.

The sludge, which is waste produced during aluminium manufacture, swept cars off roads and damaged bridges and homes, forcing the evacuation of 400 residents. About 7,000 people are thought to have been directly affected by the spill.

Hungary toxic sludge spill an 'ecological catastrophe' says government | World news | The Guardian

Holy CRAP.

The waste, known as red mud, is a mix of solid impurities, heavy metals such as cadmium, cobalt and lead, and the processing chemicals. The caustic mixture can burn skin on prolonged contact and is an environmental liability, difficult to store.

A tsunami of toxic sludge. That area is going to be contaminated for years :(
 

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It is a sad truth that lakes of toxic materials are located all around the world and present a clear danger.
 

Deuce

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It is a sad truth that lakes of toxic materials are located all around the world and present a clear danger.

Problem is, a better solution for dealing with the waste is probably extremely expensive. This disaster serves as an example for the problem we face on every environmental issue: How do you balance the lives at stake with the cost of increased safety? Perfect safety is impossible. The more safety you require, the more expensive things are going to get. Industry fights tooth and nail against any regulation of this nature. "It will cost jobs" is the new rallying cry for them, in the current political climate (globally, not just the US) that is a deadly blow for a politician who proposes such a thing. So, what, do we just call this acceptable losses?

Bleh. If I cared less, this wouldn't be so frustrating.
 

apdst

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If they were using a resevoir to store this toxic waste, then it was an environmental disater, before the damn even broke.

Holding vessels would have been the best idea and wouldn't have been as expensive.

BTW, was this a government funded deal??
 

Deuce

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If they were using a resevoir to store this toxic waste, then it was an environmental disater, before the damn even broke.

Holding vessels would have been the best idea and wouldn't have been as expensive.

BTW, was this a government funded deal??

Apparently privatized several years ago, according to the article.
 
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apdst

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Apparently privatised several years ago, according to one of the articles I saw.

And, should I be surprised that you didn't post a link?
 

Deuce

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And, should I be surprised that you didn't post a link?

It's the article in the OP, but I figured you would have read that one.
 

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Not long ago something similar happened in Tennessee. It was coal ash then but it was also held in a massive lake.

Just hope to god this crap does not get into the Danube.
 
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