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50.0 MB (50.0 MB compressed)
3407 x 5130 pixels
29.0 x 43.4 cm ⏐ 11.4 x 17.1 in (300dpi)
ROBERT BROOK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROBERT BROOK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Rattlechain Lagoon, Tividale, West Midlands. The lagoon has been used as a dump site since 1948 for waste contaminated with white phosphorus, phosphoric acid and sulpher. White phosphorus is both highly toxic (it was once used in rat poison) and extremely volatile if exposed to air, and hence needs to be stored in water. Since dumping ceased in 2006, a new housing estate has been constructed right up to the edge of the site. The Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA) which is part of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has been carrying out post mortem tests on dead birds found on the lake, and found that in at least one case death was by phosphorus poisening. Photographed in March 2011.
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