Risk advisor comments world news related to mining and health & safety

Risk advisor comments world news related to mining and health & safety

Aug 6th, 2015

Risk advisor comments world news related to mining and health & safety

Two separate instances just appeared in the South East Asia media which illustrate two cases of “involuntary risks” that populations may be exposed to. Here are the summaries of ou Risk advisor comments world news related to mining and health & safety:

Risk advisor comments world news related to mining and health & safety

1) Downpours in Quang Ninh (July 27 to August 2)

Considered the worst in the past forty years, have reportedly caused flooding and landslides, along with toxic sludge spills from coal mines which are now under Business Interruption.

  • NB: 1/40 is certainly not what one could call a Black Swan, right?

Authorities are struggling to support communities hit by toxic mudslides in the province, which is home to the UNESCO-listed Ha Long Bay tourist site.

  • NB: So, here we are talking about societal consequences, health and safety of neighboring populations at rather long range. Still not a Black Swan. Many example exist where this occurred. There is no “unforeseeability” factor, especially not for a 1/40 rain event.

The halt of coal supply and transport from these coal mines due to the flooding has caused significant shortage of fuel for many thermal power plants across the country.

  • NB: here we are talking about interdependencies. Another very foreseeable, but unfortunately not often considered, consequence factor.

2) Yesterday (Aug 3rd) Malaysian media reported radioactive contamination from the aggressive mining of bauxite in Pahang.

The contamination will put local communities in danger. Indeed “early stages” of radioactive contamination in various locations were exposing villagers to health risks and increase risk to marine life.

Local experts reportedly said the effects of overexposure to radioactive elements (surface elements) would be known only when it affected the skin, respiratory system and genes. The Asian Rare Earth plant in Ipoh shut down when the radioactive waste proved hazardous to the public. Reportedly people who lived near the area suffered genetic defects leading to stunted growth.

  • NB: radiations may have long delays between exposure and actual symptoms, they belong to a Cassandra type of risk.

Additionally the nutrient-rich run-off from bauxite would enter waterways. That would trigger a bloom of harmful contaminated microalgae in the area and also an increase in jelly fish population. Photos showed hundreds of dead cockles at the seashore. They are proof of the heavy pollution of the sea due to mining activities. There are also voices expressing concern over illegal bauxite mining in the district. They are urging authorities to take action against the culprits.

We you can read more about about populations exposed to neighboring mining activities in that particular case in the Appalachians, West Virginia and their health problems.

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Category: Consequences, Hazard, Risk analysis, Risk management

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