Lessons in the "toxicleak" Category

The Great Hungarian Toxic Disaster

Hungary’s recent toxic sludge spill is the country’s worst ever environmental disaster. On the 4th October a reservoir holding deadly waste burst after heavy rains, releasing at least a million cubic metres of toxic red muddy water. It was like a mini tsunami and devastated three nearby villages.

The Hungarian government immediately declared a state of emergency in three counties. Seven people were killed; 150 were injured, with hundreds suffering toxic burns. The deadly sludge came from an aluminium plant reservoir. The toxic muddy waste is a waste product from the refinement of bauxite to alumina, the material used to manufacture aluminium.

The red mud contained an oxide that gave it a red colour. It also contained heavy metals, such as lead, that have a caustic affect on the skin and was slightly radioactive. The toxic water killed fish, and many other life forms. It made the immediate area look like the red planet Mars. The smell from the spill was also pretty bad.

Category: Europe / Hungary / Toxic Leak