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Industrial Poisoning

Industrial Poisoning The milk poisoning was caused by the Morinaga Company’s use of disodium phosphate as a stabilizer to facilitate the dissolving of its powdered milk in water. Even in its purest form, disodium phosphate contains 0.0001 to 0.01 percent arsenic, and is regarded as dangerous to human health. Morinaga used an inferior grade of the chemical intended for industrial use, and the powdered baby’s milk that resulted contained 24 to 38 ppm of arsenic! It has since been revealed that the company carried out checks neither on the safety of the additive before introducing it into the powder, nor on the safety of the powder before distributing it for human consumption. Use of the product resulted in symptoms including diarrhea, fever, dark-spotted skin, extreme weakness, and convulsions sometimes ending in death. Research carried out by a government team in late 1955 concluded that arsenic poisoning from contaminated milk left no permanent brain damage, but fourteen years later, Professor Hiroshi Maruyama of Osaka University found very serious after-effects, including a high incidence of cerebral palsy and brain damage. The long period of official inaction and silence after the outbreak of the milk poisoning reflects the government’s bias in favor of http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Public Culture Duke University Press

Industrial Poisoning

Public Culture , Volume 11 (3) – Oct 1, 1999

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 1999 by Duke University Press
ISSN
0899-2363
eISSN
1527-8018
DOI
10.1215/08992363-11-3-442
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The milk poisoning was caused by the Morinaga Company’s use of disodium phosphate as a stabilizer to facilitate the dissolving of its powdered milk in water. Even in its purest form, disodium phosphate contains 0.0001 to 0.01 percent arsenic, and is regarded as dangerous to human health. Morinaga used an inferior grade of the chemical intended for industrial use, and the powdered baby’s milk that resulted contained 24 to 38 ppm of arsenic! It has since been revealed that the company carried out checks neither on the safety of the additive before introducing it into the powder, nor on the safety of the powder before distributing it for human consumption. Use of the product resulted in symptoms including diarrhea, fever, dark-spotted skin, extreme weakness, and convulsions sometimes ending in death. Research carried out by a government team in late 1955 concluded that arsenic poisoning from contaminated milk left no permanent brain damage, but fourteen years later, Professor Hiroshi Maruyama of Osaka University found very serious after-effects, including a high incidence of cerebral palsy and brain damage. The long period of official inaction and silence after the outbreak of the milk poisoning reflects the government’s bias in favor of

Journal

Public CultureDuke University Press

Published: Oct 1, 1999

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