If accounts coming out of Russia are true, stray dogs living in the vicinity of an abandoned chemical plant a couple hundred miles from Moscow, are literally a blue color. Apparently, the chemical plant wastes include cyanide compounds that colored the dogs. (Cyan, a shade of blue, was coined from an ancient Greek term for that hue.) While Russian officials familiar with the chemical plant were not concerned, international animal welfare groups press to have the dogs found and screened for toxic exposure.
However, this past Friday blue-dog stories were re not limited to Russia. On the same day that the Russian blue dogs were making headlines, stray dogs living near a region in India seemed to also be similarly hued. With some much of the world using harmful materials that are improperly stored or casually disposed, stories such as these must motivate changes internationally. If these strangely-colored dogs motivate world sympathy, how are the people living near these toxics managing? How much damage has entered the environment from wastes such as these?
There are reasons for concern closer to home. Industrial pollution has caused millions of dollars to be spent in cleanup efforts in communities where I lived. While most of the polluters were discovered and stopped forty or fifty years ago, the damage is still being felt today. A mile or two from my home, I was driving past a street where I noticed that quite a few homes along one block have been razed recently. With an industrial plant a quarter-mile away from them, families living in the neighborhood for decades have been exposed to waste leached into the ground underneath them. There are reasons still for everyone to have a case of the blues these days.