Health & Chemicals

Minamata Disease The History and Measures - Chapter 1

1. Introduction

In Japan, the building a system of environmental conservation has been advanced since the 1960s, and today there are various types of measures for environmental conservation. However, because the previous period was the rapid economic growth period, various types of pollution-caused damages including damages to human health were created through productive activities which lacked proper attention to the environment.
Minamata Disease is the typical case of pollution-caused damages in Japan, that is, due to the drainage from the chemical plant, the environment was destroyed, damage to human health occurred and also the community received a strong influence. On the other hand, because of occurrence of Minamata Disease, the importance of pollution problems came to be widely recognized in Japan, and measures for pollution developed drastically, as a result, it was the opportunity which measures for the environmental conservation that we have today came to be developed.

To understand the importance of measures for the environmental conservation, it is very meaningful to provide our knowledge, that is, when a pollution problem occurs, how serious damages would appear and what kind of measures would be necessary. So we would like to introduce the occurrence of Minamata Disease problem and the progress of measures.

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