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Arsenic found in well water in quake-hit Kesennuma


NHK World English News

Arsenic found in well water in quake-hit Kesennuma

Officials in disaster-hit Kesennuma City, Miyagi Prefecture, say that well water and streams near a defunct mine are contaminated with toxic arsenic.

They say that slag and mud containing arsenic and other toxic substances flowed out of Oya mine after the massive quake on March 11th. They believe these toxic substances have contaminated streams and soil in residential areas.

When the officials examined 6 water samples from the area, they found that 3 contained levels of arsenic which exceeded the permitted limits for drinking water.

The highest figure was 0.24 milligrams of arsenic per liter, or 24 times the legal limit.

Local health authorities are warning residents not to drink well water or from mountain streams, although water with this level of contamination can be used for washing and cleaning.

JX Nippon Mining & Metals says it will remove the contaminated slag as quickly as possible.
Sunday, April 10, 2011 18:35 +0900 (JST)



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