The Paraopeba River, affected by the mining waste dam the collapse in the city of Brumadinho, Brazil.
The toxic mud from Vale’s collapsed dam is working its way down the river and killing it. According to an analysis by NGO SOS Mata Atlântica, 40 km of the Paraopeba River can already be considered dead. The ore tailings increased the water’s turbidity by more than 100 times and wiped out its oxygen. No animal can survive under these conditions.
The mud is not the only issue, as heavy metals – toxic mining waste that was once stored in the dam, are now in the river, contaminating its waters. Analyses conducted after the environmental crime have found high concentrations of nickel, mercury, lead, zinc, and cadmium.