Main man made environmental disasters in Brazil

There are several environmental disasters caused by man in Brazil, the most recent being the accident in Mariana (MG).

One of the most notable accidents in Brazil was with Cesium-137 in Goiânia

Man is often responsible for causing damage to the environment, damage that not only affects plants and animals, but also causes a negative impact on water, soil and air. When we carry out an activity, we are aware that it can have a negative impact on the environment and that is why accident prevention measures are necessary. The problem occurs when these measures fail.

The environmental disasters that occurred in Brazil and in the world are mainly a consequence of the precarious structure of some facilities and lack of constant maintenance to avoid the risk of accidents. This could be resolved with stricter laws and greater awareness on the part of companies. Below we will list some of the main environmental disasters caused by man in Brazil and how these accidents have harmed the population and the environment as a whole.

→  Accident with Cesium-137

The cesium-137 accident, considered the biggest radioactive accident in Brazil, occurred in September 1987, in Goiânia. On that occasion, two garbage collectors found a radiotherapy device in an abandoned building. Believing that the device would earn them a good amount of money, they took the object to the house of one of them and later sold it to the owner of a junkyard. In the junkyard, the equipment was opened and a bright blue powder was observed inside: cesium-137 chloride. Not knowing what it was and enchanted by the color of the cesium, the owner of the junkyard took it home and showed it to several of his family and friends. All people who had contact with the product had signs of intoxication. In view of this, the material was taken for analysis and it was discovered that it was a radioactive product.

→  Oil leak in Guanabara Bay

The oil spill in Guanabara Bay occurred on January 18, 2000 as a result of the rupture of a pipeline that connected the Duque de Caxias Refinery to the Ilha d’água terminal, on Ilha do Governador. This incident became known as one of the biggest environmental accidents that occurred in Brazil and stood out for the large amount of oil spilled – about 1.3 million liters. This large spill killed practically the entire marine environment in the region, directly affecting the economy, as several fishermen had to abandon the area that was once rich in fish.

→  Oil leak in Campos Basin

On November 8, 2011, the US oil company Chevron was responsible for a major oil spill in the Campos Basin, in Rio de Janeiro. The spill was intense and killed several species of animals, such as fish, mammals and seabirds. About 3,700 barrels of oil are believed to have been released into the sea.

→  Mariana dam failure

The Mariana accident occurred on November 5, 2015 when the Samarco mining dam broke and released a large amount of mud, which destroyed the district of Bento Rodrigues, in the municipality of Mariana, Minas Gerais. The bodies of 18 victims were found after the accident, and one person is still missing. In addition to human losses, the accident had a major environmental impact, since large regions were covered in mud and rivers were affected by tailings. In this accident, several species died, both plants and animals and microorganisms. In addition, the large amount of waste affected the soil and rivers. According to experts, the Rio Doce, the hardest hit, will need about ten years to fully recover from the disaster.

Back to top button