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High level of toxic chemical detected at Nagoya factory

NAGOYA, June 2 Kyodo

A toxic substance suspected of causing cancer has been detected in ground water taken from a factory in Nagoya, central Japan, in a concentration that is 15,600 times the amount allowed under Japan's environmental standards, a municipal government panel said Tuesday.

The amount of trycholoroethylene detected in ground water taken from the plant of Toshiba Corp., Japan's second largest all-round electric machinery maker, totaled 470 milligrams per liter. The Japanese environmental ceiling for the substance is 0.03 milligram per liter.

The Nagoya municipal government will conduct medical checkups for residents near the plant, officials said.

The municipal panel had been studying the area after a high concentration of the substance was found in ground water taken from the site last fall.

The panel said it could not determine whether the substance came from the Toshiba factory or other plants nearby, and urged Toshiba plant officials to conduct thorough research of the soilin the area.

Toshiba officials said they do not think the chemical, which is believed to cause liver and kidney ailments, came from their plant.

Municipal government officials said the tests were conducted in May on seven spots inside and outside the eastern part of the factory site. Water was taken from 6.5-9.5 meters underground, they said.

Concentrations of trychloroethylene exceeding environmental standards have also been detected at Toshiba's plants in Shizuoka, Saitama, and Oita prefectures.
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Publication:Japan Weekly Monitor
Date:Jun 8, 1998
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