Neutralize toxic wastes with prayer

Off the southern coast of Italy, a sunken ship carrying 120 barrels of toxic waste is one of more than 30 such vessels that authorities think the Calabrian mafia scuttled in the Mediterranean Sea. It's one of the "short cuts" companies sometimes take so they can avoid the expense of properly disposing of toxic materials.

Evidence of this global problem can be found in many places. Trafigura, a Dutch oil trading company, recently settled a case in which toxic wastes from one of its ships were spilled at 17 or 18 sites around the Ivory Coast's capital of Abidjan. Fifteen deaths are attributed to the event. Although the company disputes the claim, it has agreed to pay about $1,500 to roughly 30,000 residents who believe they were affected by the spill.

Meanwhile, people in Bhopal, India, are still feeling the effects of the 1984 release of toxic gas that may have killed as many as 20,000. The company held responsible has provided millions of dollars in help and compensation, which continues today as thousands more deal with birth defects believed to be the result of that event.

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November 2, 2009

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