Minamata is a factory town, which automatically means that various dangerous substances are released into the open. In this particular case, it is related to Mercury and how it is heavily released (27 tons in 1968) into Minamata Bay. This harsh release of mercury caused thousands of local residents to suffer from ruthless mercury poisoning.
The mercury poisoning is an example of both bioaccumulation and biomagnifications. Bioaccumulation is the accumulation of substances or other organic chemicals in an organism. It occurs when an organism absorbs a substance at a greater rate than it is lost. Mercury poison is an example of bioaccumulation because the methylmercury that is absorbed by shrimp, then fish then eventually humans is a substance that is enormous in terms of quantity, and it stays in the organism’s body for a lengthy period of time. On the other hand, biomagnifications are linked to the increase in concentration. In this particular case study, methylmercury enters organisms that are essential to other organisms in the food chain (shrimp-fish fish-humans), which increases methylmercury in the body, which therefore increases risk and severity of poisoning.
This case study is a perfect example of how bacteria can affect the environment. The bacteria that formed mercury into methylmercury, began at the bottom of the food chain, and concluded by affecting the food chain as a whole. The gravity of this kind of poisoning is huge since it can be found in ones main source of energy and nutrition.