Blanching Condition in White Reach | World Anvil



Various trace minerals and other compounds still exist on White Reach in the soil and water cycle, in spite of the terraforming processes. Occasionally through mistakes, negligence, or simply gaps in the safety procedures, these traces can enter the food chain and may in fact find their way into the human body. This used to be an uncommon condition in the early days of the colony, but it has faded out over time to where it is now rare enough to be almost a sign of carelessness.

Transmission & Vectors

The contaminants are present in the water cycle and were successfully isolated by the terraforming engineers. Once this was understood, filtering the contaminants out became a major step of many of the water processing facilities on the planet early on. Over the course of the terraforming process, large portions of the soil was altered to have that compound removed; this also made Terran flora and fauna viable for introduction, which was done by the engineers and the colonists respectively. However, food which is grown in unprocessed soil and exposed to unfiltered water may become hazardous.


The contaminants are not hazardous with simple topical exposure, however ingestion will cause the symptoms to manifest with a highly variable window. For larger amounts of ingested contaminant, the onset begins within twenty-four hours; lesser amounts may cause onset at any length of time after that, but a small enough amount may not result in the condition beginning.
After noting all this, it should also be known direct injection into the bloodstream will cause a much more serious and swift onset. This will almost certainly become a life-threatening case and require advanced care only available in the capital.


The reaction begins with severe nausea, dehydration, and similar signs. In cases where the amount of contaminant is insufficient to fully trigger the full condition, this will pass within twelve hours and may be misidentified as spoiled food. Most cases proceed in twenty-four hours with body hair turning white and skin losing its tone. Serious cases also include the loss of pigmentation in the irises of the eyes and brittle fingernails, with the inclusion of a high degree of sensitivity to temperature changes. If treated, the change in skin, hair, and/or eyes are the extent of the condition; if not treated, the condition may also include delirium, a mild fever, and trouble sleeping. These symptoms usually work together to hamper normal living arrangements enough to allow other diseases to take hold. It should be noted short of serious amounts of the contaminant or injection, this condition is not fatal.


Within the first decade of the colony's reported cases of this condition, Rysel Pharmaceuticals managed to produce a treatment regimen to flush the contaminant from the system. However, this is incredibly invasive and exhausting - not to mention expensive. After a few centuries of private testing, medicine was developed to alleviate the physical symptoms yet it proved incapable of preventing the change of appearances. This drug, marketed as "Nigredine", sees use only on White Reach currently; there have not been cases of similar contaminants occurring on colonized worlds which are within Rysel's capacity to operate. Baker Pharmaceuticals attempted to make a generic version of the drug, only for several side-effects of the treatment to render it a poor substitute. Combining prompt administration of both the drug and treatment regimens allows for an individual to avoid having more than a minor paling of the skin and hair shades, but the window of opportunity is very narrow and access within this time is remarkably expensive.


Simple precautions are touted as the best prevention of blanching, but it should be noted this is not always enough. Due to the contaminant's presence in the soil and water cycle, many sparsely settled parts of the world are prone to having it break out. It is said the condition manifests in flora as tree leaves or needles becoming pale and almost translucent, but that requires a concentration of contaminant which is almost lethal to the flora in question. Furthermore, native flora and fauna have means of processing this contaminant which does not allow the condition to proceed; as such it is never recommended to eat any native flora or fauna which you may come across.
Chemical Compound
Chronic, Acquired

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