“Do not touch that cat!” A chemical hazard warning in Fukuyama

A cat fell into a chemical tank at a plating factory in Fukuyama and then walked away. Now all residents of Fukuyama have been put on alert

In the quiet city of Fukuyama, located in western Japan, an urgent warning has emerged that reads like a cautionary tale: “Do not touch that cat!” This unusual alert was issued after a cat reportedly fell into a tank filled with hazardous chemicals, raising concerns among local residents and authorities alike.

Don’t touch that cat!

The center of this alarming situation is a stray cat that has become contaminated after a distressing fall into a vat brimming with hexavalent chromium. This chemical is notorious for its severe health risks, including causing skin rashes, eye irritations, and, more gravely, lung cancer if inhaled.

How did we come to this discovery?

The discovery of the contaminated cat was made by an employee at Nomura Plating Fukuyama, a company specializing in metal plating. The employee noticed unusual yellow and brown paw prints on the factory floor and traced them back to a deep tank containing the hazardous chemical.

cat's footprints

©AFP/Getty Images

“We immediately alerted the police, the city of Fukuyama, and the residents living near our factory,” stated a spokesperson from Nomura Plating Fukuyama.

Hexavalent chromium, or chromium VI, is classified as a carcinogen and is recognized as one of the most significant and dangerous environmental pollutants. Despite the peril it poses, many on social media have shown sympathy for the afflicted feline, expressing concern for its well-being.

Covered in a sticky liquid, the cat is likely attempting to clean itself by licking off the toxic substance, which could lead to further illness.

And amidst this concern, one question remains: what was a cat doing there in the first place?

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