Four major pollution diseases

Pollution includes various problems such as air pollution and noise. Four major pollution diseases such as "Minamata disease" also became a big problem.

What are the Four major pollution diseases?

The four major pollution diseases refer to "Minamata disease", "Second (Niigata) Minamata disease", "Yokkaichi asthma" and "Itai-itai disease" that occurred during the period of high economic growth.

  •   Age Cause substance Number of people to be qualified
    Minamata disease About 1953-60 Methyl mercury About 2,000 people(-2016.3)
    Second Minamata disease About 1964- Methyl mercury 705 people(-2016.3)
    Yokkaichi asthma About 1960 Sulfur dioxide gas Total including victims caused by air pollution other than Yokkaichi Asthma
    35,294 people(-2015.12)
    Itai-itai disease About 1955- Cadmium 200 people(-2016.3)
    Requiring observer:3 people(2016.3)
    Minamata disease

    Minamata disease occurred in Minamata Bay in Kumamoto Prefecture between 1953 and 1960. The fishery products of Minamata Bay accumulated "Methyl mercury" which was contained in industrial wastewater, and those who ate that fish and shellfish appealed numbness such as limbs, mouths, and others who died. The number of qualified persons by the end of March, 2008 exceeds 2000 people.

  • Second (Niigata) Minamata diseas

    The second (Niigata) Minamata disease occurred in the Agano River Basin in Niigata Prefecture since about 1964. Like Minamata disease, mercury is the cause. The number of people to be certified by the end of March, 2008 is 705 people.

  • Yokkaichi asthma

    It occurred around Yokkaichi city, Mie Prefecture, around 1960. Air pollution caused by "sulfurous acid gas" discharged from petrochemical plants is caused. Damage due to air pollution occurred in Kanagawa, Tokyo, Chiba prefecture, etc. even outside Yokkaichi. Together with the number of victims caused by air pollution other than Yokkaichi Asthma, as of December 2015, it is 35,294 people.

  • Itai-itai disease

    Itai-itai disease was reported to the academy as a strange disease in 1955. It occurred in the Jinzu River basin of Toyama Prefecture, the cause is cadmiumcontained in mine drainage. As of March, 2008, the number of subjects to be certified is 200, and there are three "requiring observers" who may develop into Itai-Itai disease.

Establishment of Basic Law for Environmental Pollution Control

In response to the four major pollution diseases, the "Basic Law for Environmental Pollution Control" was promulgated and enforced on August 3, 1967 (now integrated into the "Basic Environment Law" and abolished). In this law, environmental pollution, water pollution, soil pollution, noise, noise, vibration, ground subsidence, and offensive odors are considered pollution, and environmental standards and emission control to be protected have also been decided.


The example of the written is here.(PDF)



  • Name of the four major pollution diseases · place of occurrence · cause substance is important.
  • Seven pollution of the Basic Law for Environmental Pollution Control are fundamental in thinking about pollution problems.


If I noticed the fact that pollution diseases occurred due to factory wastewater etc. more quickly, I thought whether the damage did not spread so far if I was establishing the law sooner. To put it another way, if the legal development and cognition were delayed further, the damage would have expanded further and may have become "five major pollution diseases".
In Japan where development continues, pollution diseases may also spread. I thought that it is necessary to think about how to move at such time.

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