An analysis of samples of waste dumped in Ivory Coast in 2006 from the ship Probo Koala shows it does contain high concentrations of lethal chemicals, the BBC reports, quoting Dutch scientists.
The waste, owned by Amsterdam based oil trader Trafigura, was dumped in the port city of Abdijan by a local contractor, killing at least 16 people and making tens of thousands ill.
Toxicologist John Hoskins from the Royal society of chemistry told the BBC the waste ‘would bring a major city to its knees’.
The waste includes tons of phenols which can cause death by contact, tons of hydrogen sulphide, lethal if inhaled in high concentrations, and vast quantities of corrosive caustic soda and mercaptans which Hoskins describes as ‘the most odorous compounds ever produced’, the BBC states.
The waste, which was created after Trafigura refined oil with a high concentration of sulphur on board the ship Probo Koala, was originally unloaded for processing in Amsterdam.
But questions were raised about the waste and the cleaning firm upped the price to €500,000. The waste was pumped back onto the ship which was then allowed to leave.
Two court case are currently under way, one in London and one in Amsterdam. In the Dutch capital, Trafigura, the ship’s captain, Amsterdam city council officials and staff from waste processor APS all face prosecution.
Trafigura denies responsibility for the waste dumping, blaming the local contractor, and denies that the waste itself was toxic
For the full BBC report click here
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