Tag Archives: Toxic

Lebanon’s toxic history


National Geographic

On Monday, custom officials confiscated radioactive material at the Beirut port. The officials found “industrial and kitchen goods that contain dangerous radioactive material [that threaten] public health.” Lebanon also has a history for receiving toxic waste from developed countries. During the civil war foreign companies paid Lebanese militia leaders to dispose of various types of industrial waste in the country. Between 1987 and 1988, an Italian firm allegedly dumped 2,400 tons of chemical waste on Lebanese soils. In 1988, barrels of hazardous waste were discovered on the Keserwan shore and off the coast of Tyre, and 2,411 tons of waste was discovered in East Beirut. Even after the civil war Lebanon was still receiving this toxic waste. In 1996, Greenpeace helped uncover German, Russian, and Lebanese traders that were involved in of illegally shipping 36 containers full of 680 tons of plastic, chemical and outdated medical waste. These practices caused a lot of controversy and in 1995 two Lebanese men were charged with illegally importing 24,000 tons of industrial waste during the civil war. Continue reading