21 Dec, 2023 @ 13:32
2 mins read

‘Radioactive water’ scandal: Up to 70% of water consumed in this area of Spain’s Andalucia has been contaminated with cancer-causing chemicals, warns expert – but what is the cause?

Do you live in the affected areas? Contact [email protected]

UP to 70% of water consumed in this area of Andalucia is contaminated with potentially cancerous chemicals as the region’s radioactive water scandal continues to unfold. 

According to Jose María Calaforra, professor of Geodynamics at the University of Almeria, ‘70% of the water that has been consumed in Almeria is radioactive’. 

Dangerously high levels of radiation have been found in local water. Photo: jos-speetjens/Unsplash

The news is alarming for residents of affected areas such as La Joya, Castell del Rey, Aguadulce, La Chanca and Pescaderia.

The expert gave the news during an interview with Nuevo Diario, saying the water comes from the Pozos de Bernal (wells of Bernal) in Campo de Dalias. 

It came after the health department confirmed ‘unsafe’ levels of radioactivity in the area’s water. 

Calaforra, who was previously the president of the Social Water Association, said: “Radioactivity is not something that happens overnight like contamination as a result of nitrates or pesticides.” 

He further suggested that the problem could have been hidden for a long time, with officials reporting false test results. 

The area has recently seen lots of development and new building works, which Calaforra hinted could be the motivation for hiding the radioactivity. 

The expert further warned that radioactivity cannot be ‘simply removed’. 

Resin filters which can be used to mitigate radioactivity cause a build up of radioactive products, which are difficult to dispose of. 

He also warned against the public health issues associated with consuming radioactive water, including cancer. 

It comes just days after the Junta delegate for Food and Health, Juan de la Cruz Belmonte, announced that water restrictions will be in place ‘indefinitely’ in affected towns. 

However, he also assured residents he is working ‘intensely’ with local authorities to resolve the issue. 

The Junta delegate also highlighted that although the water cannot be drunk or used in cooking, it can be used for cleaning and personal hygiene. 

Drinking water is currently being supplied to residents by local authorities. 

Water is being distributed to Maro residents Photo: Proteccion Civil Nerja/ Facebook

But, Almeria is not alone.

The water in Maro, a small hamlet near Malaga, also has no drinking water after their supplies were found to have dangerous levels of radioactivity, last Friday December 15. 

Public water fountains have been shut off in Maro due to the radioactivity Photo: Proteccion Civil Nerja/Facebook

In both Malaga and Almeria, the radioactivity has natural causes. 

It is thought low levels of permeable rocks known as ‘aquifers’ in underground streams have affected the filtration of radioactive chemicals.

If it is not filtered properly, high levels of ‘alpha radioactivity’ are naturally left in the water. 

In Maro, authorities are currently building a new water supply system to bring drinkable water to the area. 

Photo: La Junta de Andalucia

Meanwhile, residents of Almeria have no end date for their water struggles. 

Do you live in the affected areas? Contact [email protected]

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