Dangerous dumping grounds

Because slum and squatter neighbourhoods are outside the protection of the law, it is possible for them to becoming dumping grounds for unwanted chemicals, garbage and refuse. Industries that would not be acceptable in middle class neighbourhoods because of the dangerous toxins involved can thrive in slum and squatter neighbourhoods. These include tanning, battery recycling, casting, vehicle repair, chemical manufacture and storage. ‘If natural hazards are magnified by urban poverty, new and entirely artificial hazards are created by poverty’s interaction with toxic industries, anarchic traffic, and collapsing infrastructures’. In Klong Toey, the succession of chemical explosions, fires and mysterious illnesses have all been linked to the environmental hazards created by such dumping.

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