E Minamata disease Q&A

1. Outbreak & Cause

Q3: What a company was the source of the pollution that caused Minamata disease?

A3: Chisso Corp. (called Shin-Nippon Chisso Hiryo K.K. at that time) was responsible.

Around 1955, Chisso Corp. produced the majority of the acetaldehyde used in Japan at its factory in Minamata.
Acetaldehyde was largely used as a raw material for manufacturing products such as plastics in those days.
In the manufacturing process, methylmercury was formed and contaminated wastewater, a large amount of which was discharged into the sea.
In addition, Niigata Minamata disease was caused by methylmercury discharged from Kanose factory of Showa Denko K.K. into the Agano River.