Tianjin Explosion Threatens Environment And Citizens

Nearby Tianjin residents may be inhaling toxic gases and air and wildlife ecosystems could suffer as the fallout from the Tianjin explosion continues to run amuck along the coastlines of the city.

With more than 110 people dead and another 100 people still missing after massive explosions destroyed a chemical warehouse in Tianjin China, the government and other departments still need to address the issue of environmental damage.

Residents of the port city may be inhaling toxic gases and consuming poisoned water as chemicals including sodium cyanide may have spilled into the water.

Information regarding the spillage and warehouse contents are still trickling down. However, local newspapers and media believe there were hundred tons of sodium cyanide, more than the 24 ton limit allotted by local safety regulators.

Greenpeace Research Laboratories Senior Scientist David Santillo said it will be difficult to predict the environmental effects of the explosions and the fallout. However, he said sodium cyanide has destructive environmental consequences. Its extreme toxicity will kill quickly by poisoning the respiratory system of both animals and humans.

Sodium cyanide is a chemical used for anti-rust coatings for metals. It is also used in the fertilizer industry. Mixed with water, sodium cyanide turns into acid. Cyanide in groundwater can last for a long time. If the spillage reaches fish-filled rivers and animals living on contaminated soil, it could destroy entire Chinese ecosystems.

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