News24

Johannesburg faces health danger

2011-11-05 14:35

Johannesburg - At least 380 mine dumps and slime dams around Gauteng could be a bigger threat than acid mine drainage, the Saturday Star reported.

A draft report by the provincial department of agriculture found that the mine dumps were causing radioactive dust fallout, toxic water pollution and soil contamination, the paper said.

It warned that if the province did not act, Johannesburg would eventually be seen as "an old mining town that has reached the end of its working life".

Wind-blown mine dust being inhaled could cause respiratory diseases, it said.

The report was completed in July but has not yet been released.

Comments
  • Horst - 2011-11-05 15:07

    Like to read the report. After more than 100 years of mine dumps suddenly they are a danger. Get real!

      Silvana - 2011-11-05 15:21

      Horst I agree. I grew up in Jhb at a time when mine dumps were all over the city. I'm still around after 50+ years and my lungs are very healthy. Another project to be put out to "tender".

      Billy - 2011-11-05 15:46

      No Horst - 100 years ago when you were still a boy, no-one had the brains to figure out the dangers, they were too busy chasing profits. Things have evolved since then. (100 years ago smoking was considered cool and fashionable, asebstos was a great insulator...)

  • Nicholas.Spaggiari - 2011-11-05 15:45

    And they only figure this out now...

  • insectking - 2011-11-05 16:00

    You don't always get lung cancer from high energy radioactive decay. Just think of all the places dust can get into. And the risk of cellular damage depends on the elements involved. Once we know what it or they are, we will know the danger. If it's something potassium, don't worry. If it's something like plutonium, start worrying. I'm just annoyed (yet again) that this report has been buried since July.

      Shannon - 2011-11-05 16:52

      What crap are you spewing??

      insectking - 2011-11-05 16:54

      It's most likely uranium. Uranium is a byproduct of the acid baths used to clean gold.

  • Paul - 2011-11-05 18:42

    The stereotypes once again exonerate the corporates responsibility of environment leadership as the 'poor' shareholders cannot be held responsible for any effects on middle and lower class citizens.

  • Glenda - 2011-11-05 19:03

    insectking get your facts right before you make a statement like 'It's most likely uranium. Uranium is a byproduct of the acid baths used to clean gold.' It is a natural product and not a byproduct. You do not have acid baths to clean the gold!

  • insectking - 2011-11-05 21:39

    As I understand it, by using a process called Heap Leeching, the raw ore is broken down in an acid bath to extract the gold for further refinement. The waste material also contains uranium. But that is dumped. The Witwatersrand area is known for both gold and uranium mining. So, every time the wind blows over the mine dumps small amounts of uranium dust on the surface carried further out. Uranium also releases radon as part of its alpha and beta decay chain into lead. While the amount of uranium may be small, it has been slowly and contuously migrating from the dumps as an airborne particlulate.

      jacques.koorts - 2011-11-06 12:57

      hectic bro

  • Alan - 2011-12-19 19:13

    what a load of crap !!! Thousands of us old Transvallers grew up near to a mine dump and are still here to tell the story!

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