Global Dumping Ground: The International Traffic in Hazardous Waste

Global Dumping Ground: The International Traffic in Hazardous Waste

Global Dumping Ground: The International Traffic in Hazardous Waste

Global Dumping Ground: The International Traffic in Hazardous Waste

Excerpt

The images refuse to go away: the distressed mother along the Mexican border, her children bathing in polluted waters; the Brazilian workers suffering the effects of lead poisoning; children in Taiwan wearing protective masks at school to guard against the fumes next door.

These are only a few of the human costs exacted by the world's new commerce in hazardous waste.

A disturbing, illicit side to this growing trade evokes other images as well: ghost ships laden with toxic cargo, midnight haulers, and shadowy characters in a business with few rules.

For four years, reporters and researchers at the Center for Investigative Reporting have tracked our collective descent into a global dumping ground. They have charted how industrial wastes are surreptitiously shipped abroad to the often unsuspecting and unprepared peoples of the Third World--to Panama, Zimbabwe, China, and other nations around the globe. As the following pages reveal, the effects can be devastating. Simply put, the world's wealthiest nations are exporting vast quantities of toxic waste, potential Love Canals and Minamatas for others to handle. One more burden for the poor of the world.

I became involved in this story in my role as a member of the Center's board of advisors. At the time, the Center had launched a documentary project for public television, entitled "Global Dumping Ground," and asked for my support. After examining their research, I knew they were onto . . .

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