Toxic Japan I: Construction sites

Ishihara Sangyo Kaisha Ltd., a chemical products manufacturer headquartered in Osaka, has shown shocking disregard for its corporate social responsibility in responding to accusations it buried huge amounts of toxic material at construction sites. This editorial in Asahi is providing details about the Shocking Pollution Scandal:

An Ishihara Sangyo manufacturing plant in Yokkaichi, Mie Prefecture, was ordered by the Aichi prefectural government remove the material, a recycled product made from sulfuric acid waste that is believed to be dangerous to human health. Instead of rushing to remove the substance, however, the company went to court, seeking an injunction to annul the prefecture's order.

The recycled product, called ferrosilt, is used to fill holes created by construction work. The company buried 700,000 tons of the material at some 30 sites in Aichi, Mie, Gifu and Kyoto prefectures. The contamination came to light when red-colored water seeped from the burial sites. The liquid was found to contain chromium hexavalent, which is believed to cause cancer.

In the biggest case, 140,000 tons of ferrosilt was dumped in Seto, Aichi Prefecture.

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