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SHAKE AND BLOW
Tsunami debris includes toxic chemicals
by Staff Writers
Toronto (UPI) May 28, 2012


disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

Industrial chemicals from the March 2011 tsunami in Japan are reaching the West Coast of North America, and contamination is a risk, scientists say.

"Finding one drum of paint thinner, or something you might find in your garage, is not hugely toxic, but if you find 50 of them all washed up on a rocky shore and then breaking and leaking, then you have some problems. If one tiny community got hit, it could wipe out their tourism industry for a year or it could wipe out their fishing for a year," said Dr. M. Sanjayan, lead scientist of the conservation group The Nature Conservancy.

A report by the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. Monday pointed out the risk of chemical contamination is sizable as slow-moving debris from the tsunami reaches the west coast, since the affected area of Japan was industrial, and used many toxic chemicals in manufacturing operations.

The majority of the debris is heavy and slower-moving than the more buoyant items that have already been observed on the coastline, said Dianna Parker of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, one of the few organizations keeping tabs on debris movement.

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SHAKE AND BLOW
Japan tsunami bones to wash up in US: oceanographer
Los Angeles (AFP) May 24, 2012
Shoes containing human bones from people killed by the 2011 Japanese tsunami are likely to begin washing up on the US West Coast later this year, an expert said Thursday. Curt Ebbesmeyer, a retired oceanographer and expert on marine currents, drift patterns and beachcombing, said the leading edge of a debris field from last year's killer tsunami should begin arriving in October. "I think ... read more


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