Eighty years old, Thomas used to bathe in the Mogpog river every day when he was younger. His body is now covered with skin discolouration which he started developing about forty years ago when Placer Dome�s mine was in full operation. Marinduque has never been able to afford conducting a full medical survey of the island, but smaller studies have shown that, of 59 children tested, every one of them had unacceptable levels of lead in their blood, and a quarter of them had dangerous levels of cyanide in their blood. Soil and air samples also showed unacceptable levels of dangerous chemicals. When Placer Dome left Marinduque, they left behind them the mess from years of dumping mine waste into Calancan Bay; the island's two main rivers of Mogpog and Boac were poisoned by separate dam collapses in 1993 and 1996; a population suffering from heavy metal contamination; stripped forests; and a nine-hole golf course. The province never saw a single centavo of the profits that Placer Dome raked in. When the first dam collapsed in 1993, the flash flood of toxic waste swept away Thomas' treasured cow and he nearly drowned. With the San Antonio Pit now on the verge of collapse, Thomas knows that his home will be one of the first ones swept under by the coming flash floods, but he has nowhere else go. With his already deteriorating health, he stands little chance of surviving.   (image by Allan Lissner)
Eighty years old, Thomas used to bathe in the Mogpog river every day when he was younger. His body is now covered with skin discolouration which he started developing about forty years ago when Placer Dome�s mine was in full operation. Marinduque has never been able to afford conducting a full medical survey of the island, but smaller studies have shown that, of 59 children tested, every one of them had unacceptable levels of lead in their blood, and a quarter of them had dangerous levels of cyanide in their blood. Soil and air samples also showed unacceptable levels of dangerous chemicals. When Placer Dome left Marinduque, they left behind them the mess from years of dumping mine waste into Calancan Bay; the island's two main rivers of Mogpog and Boac were poisoned by separate dam collapses in 1993 and 1996; a population suffering from heavy metal contamination; stripped forests; and a nine-hole golf course. The province never saw a single centavo of the profits that Placer Dome raked in. When the first dam collapsed in 1993, the flash flood of toxic waste swept away Thomas' treasured cow and he nearly drowned. With the San Antonio Pit now on the verge of collapse, Thomas knows that his home will be one of the first ones swept under by the coming flash floods, but he has nowhere else go. With his already deteriorating health, he stands little chance of surviving.
©Allan Lissner
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