On Safety

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Three of the most prominent human-caused disasters

January 30, 2014

Humanity is capable of doing many great things. Unfortunately, we also are capable of causing many horrifying things.

On a recent episode on SciShow, a series of science videos on YouTube delving into science news and history, co-host Michael Aranda runs down three of the most prominent human-caused disasters in history and details what experts believe caused them.

The list includes a poisonous gas leak at a pesticide plant in India, the Chernobyl nuclear disaster and the Deepwater Horizon explosion. In these three incidents alone, as many as 120,000 people died, including workers and members of the nearby public.

Although different specific causes attributed to the three incidents, the disasters all featured a breakdown of machinery and human error – and could have been prevented.

“Understanding the science behind these kinds of catastrophes – whether they took their toll in human lives, environmental damage or both – may help us make sure they don’t happen again,” Aranda said.

The opinions expressed in "On Safety" do not necessarily reflect those of the National Safety Council or affiliated local Chapters.

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