Sunday, October 08, 2006

Minamata disease

Thanks to wiki for informing me about Minamata disease via their "did you know" section: -

.......that the photograph Tomoko Uemura in Her Bath of a severely deformed, naked child was deliberately posed with the agreement of her mother to illustrate the terrible effects of Minamata disease, a form of mercury poisoning?

Minamata disease ( Minamata-byō?) is a neurological syndrome caused by severe mercury poisoning. Symptoms include ataxia, numbness in the hands and feet, general muscle weakness, narrowing of the field of vision and damage to hearing and speech. In extreme cases, insanity, paralysis, coma and death follow within weeks of the onset of symptoms. Minamata disease was first discovered in Minamata city in Kumamoto prefecture, Japan in 1956. It was caused by the release of methyl mercury in the industrial wastewater from the Chisso Corporation's chemical factory, which continued from 1932 to 1968. This highly toxic chemical bioaccumulated in shellfish and fish in Minamata Bay and the Shiranui Sea, which when eaten by the local populace resulted in mercury poisoning. As of March 2006, 2,955 victims have been officially recognised (2,009 of which have died) and over 10,000 have received financial compensation from Chisso.[1] Lawsuits and claims for compensation continue to this day. It is speculated that over 2 million people may have eaten fish contaminated with mercury from the Chisso factory.
In Japan, it is sometimes referred to as Chisso-Minamata Disease. It is one of the
Four Big Pollution Diseases of Japan.

the photo is stunning. I find it hard to add anything.

Tomoko Uemura in Her Bath


Post a Comment

<< Home