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Pesticide goes down with ferry off Sibuyan island

2008.07.11 Makoto Nakagawa

It was revealed that 10,000 kilograms of the pesticide endosulfan was in the passenger ferry which capsized off central Sibuyan island with more than 850 passengers on board during a typhoon on June 21. Commercial divers, in coordination with the coast guard and the military, started removing the toxic material.

This pesticide was intended for killing mites in the pineapple plantations of Del Monte Philippines in the south. Since direct contact with the pesticide can be fatal to humans, the government stopped retrieving around 800 casualties until the pesticide could be removed. The initial laboratory test found that no pesticide had leaked into the ocean so far.

Philippine maritime rules prohibit the carrying of toxic materials on passenger vessels. The violation of this rule delayed the prompt reporting of the pesticide from the ferry company to the government. Rescue divers who worked in the sea without knowing about the pesticide have been sent to hospital for medical checks. The government also advised local people not to eat fish from the area.

Photo:The pesticide also threatens the rich marine diversity in the area.

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Health, Water

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Philippines (Asia/Oceania

Makoto Nakagawa

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