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Japan's 'burning pavement' mystery solved


Posted on Sunday, 23 April, 2017 | Comment icon 11 comments

Too much lime in the pavement can be quite hazardous. Image Credit: US Navy / Edward Miller
Authorities in Japan have determined how a stretch of city pavement has been burning people's feet.
The peculiar problem began back at the beginning of the month when joggers frequenting a stretch of pavement along the Tama River in Kawasaki's Nakahara Ward reported feeling pain and burning in their feet that became enough of a problem that they needed to seek medical attention.

It turned out that their symptoms were the result of chemical burns - something that should have only been possible if they had come in to contact with strong chemicals.

Now according to Takanori Maeda, vice manager of the land ministry's Keihin Kasen Office, the injuries were most likely caused by an overabundance of lime in the pavement.
The workmen responsible for recent repair work seemingly added too much lime to the mixture, meaning that when it rained the alkaline substance seeped out and collected in puddles.

When the joggers ran along the pavement the lime ended up being absorbed by their shoes.

"It's the first time for such a thing to happen," said Maeda. "I've never heard of a similar case."

Source: Japan Times | Comments (11)

Tags: Japan, Pavement

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #2 Posted by freetoroam on 23 April, 2017, 19:08
It turned out that their symptoms were the result of chemical burns - something that should have only been possible if they had come in to contact with strong chemicals. - See more at: http://www.unexplained-mysteries.com/news/306841/japans-burning-pavement-mystery-solved#sthash.dPwjfNtq.dpuf   If this had happened on Eastleigh, they would have brushed it off as JUST chemicals....sorry, Manfred got me on this and I just can not belieeeeeve the brazenness. It was discovered that it was just a couple of chemicals in the drains had mixed, producing a gas.” http://www.dailyecho.co.uk/news/15240028... [More]
Comment icon #3 Posted by Farmer77 on 23 April, 2017, 19:25
The quote said joggers not cyclists !!!! 
Comment icon #4 Posted by Twin on 24 April, 2017, 2:18
So..... they got lime disease?
Comment icon #5 Posted by Eldorado on 24 April, 2017, 11:38
And had to hotfoot-it to the doctors.
Comment icon #6 Posted by paperdyer on 24 April, 2017, 15:31
Good puns.  Lime is pretty insoluble, but highly alkaline.  I don't see  how their shoes absorbed the lime without leaving whitish spots on the soles.  If they were jogging barefoot, I can see the lime causing issues.
Comment icon #7 Posted by oldrover on 24 April, 2017, 21:03
You have them over there too then? 
Comment icon #8 Posted by Farmer77 on 24 April, 2017, 21:06
Maddening jerks in spandex yelling "same road same rules" at motorists while following none of said damn rules themselves? Yeah we got em LOL 
Comment icon #9 Posted by oldrover on 24 April, 2017, 21:09
Oooooh god, I thought it was just here. I lost it completely with a group of them a couple of years ago, as in jumping out of the car and demanding they get off and discuss what they'd just called me. They decided they didn't, I still bask in that moment. 
Comment icon #10 Posted by I hide behind words on 25 April, 2017, 4:19
I would never run or cycle in way of heavy traffic. Cycle downtown where sidewalks are for pedeatrians unless roads are busy busy then safety first. I run on edge of road only on stretches with hard terrain and ditches and dips and poles all in one sections, I would not risk a brokem ankle, even if edge of road is the edge. And cars must push to side a bit. But cars first even in parking lots as i lose not them if we collide. Cannot abide by parking lot walkers who make me wait when backing out or to comtinue anywhere outside of crosswalk or store/business front.  
Comment icon #11 Posted by Codenwarra on 29 April, 2017, 9:28
To me as a chemist, this "explanation" seems to be mistaken.  Lime would extract from the pavement as calcium hydroxide Ca(OH)2 which is alkaline enough.  But on contact with air it absorbs carbon dioxide forming CaCO3 which is chemically the same as ordinary limestone or marble.  I await correction on this. 


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