The Minamata Disaster

The Minamata Disaster

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  • 1932, Chisso Co began releasing toxic mercury waste into Minamata Bay
  • In the 1950s, tests were put to action when fish started to die. They found them contaminated with mercury. Next the birds and cats that ate those fish began dying
  • 1953, people were complaining of a strange illness, which caused them to be dizzy and have slurred speech. Then, they slowly started to die
  • In 1968, the blame was finally pointed to Chisso Co. After 900 people died and more than 12000 were affected
  • In 1995, Japan’s court found the president and director of the company guilty of the disaster and were sentenced to 2 years in prison
  • Finally, in 1997, the fish from the Minamata Bay were declared safe to eat. Nets trapping fish were then taken away 65 years after the pollution began.
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