Incinerator workers become first to file dioxin claims

March 26, 1999


Two former workers at an incinerator in Nose, Osaka Prefecture, applied Friday for work-related damages, claiming their illnesses were caused by exposure to high levels of dioxin at the facility.

Toyono Clean Center is the incinerator, which had discharged the highest level of dioxin contamination in Japan. The incinerator is to be dismantled next month.

Mitsuo Takeoka, 67, who worked at the incinerator for eight years since it started operating in 1988, said he was diagnosed with colon cancer in 1997, one year after leaving the job.

When at the facility, he operated a crane to dump garbage into the incinerator and checked incinerator meters.

Katsuo Hatanaka, 61, was in charge of encasing the concentrated ash in cement for nine years between 1989 and last March.

For the past three years, he has suffered from pigmentary deposits and acnelike dermatitis on his face and legs.

The Ministry of Labor announced March 26 that dioxin of maximum 805 pg/g fat in blood was detected in the blood of the people working in this incinerator.(ASAHI newspaper, March 27, 1999)

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Source; The Japan Times and ASAHI newspaper.