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Authorities warn of chemical cat outbreak in Japanese cities

Officials in a Japanese city are warning residents: “Do not touch cats covered in toxic chemicals.”

The western Japanese city of Fukuyama announced on Monday that an unfortunate cat had gone missing after apparently falling into a tank of liquid containing hexavalent chromium at a metal plating factory.

According to Japanese news outlet Asahi Shimbun, traces of yellow-brown footprints extending from the tank were discovered by an employee at the Nomura Plating Fukuyama factory on Monday morning. Surveillance camera footage later showed the cat leaving the factory the night before.

Hexavalent chromium is a highly acidic, carcinogenic chemical that can cause dermatitis on contact and respiratory illness when inhaled. According to a report by the Asahi, employees at the factory will be handling the products while wearing masks and rubber gloves.

Local environmental authorities urged residents not to approach or touch any cats that appear “unusual” and to contact the city or police if they see one.

According to the company, part of the sheet placed on top of the tank had turned over.

A spokesperson told Agence France-Presse that the company immediately notified police, city authorities and neighbors of the factory.

“This incident made us aware of the need for measures to prevent the entry of small animals such as cats. This was something we had not previously anticipated,” the spokesperson said. .

As of Tuesday, no one had reported seeing the animal, which may have died from chemical exposure.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/chemical-cat-large-japanese-city-officials-warn-rcna143117 Authorities warn of chemical cat outbreak in Japanese cities

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