A documentary entitled "Poison in the Tapwater" aired on tv channel 'France 3', on may 17 and stirred up a huge debate in France.
The Seine river, crossing Paris, is among the most polluted in Europe. The government has warned the population not to eat any fish from the river.
There is also concern about the safety of human consumption of the tapwater in the country.
Not only Seine river, but also rivers Rone, Somme, Garonne and Essone are extremely polluted.
Paris citizens are infuriated by the news, which was brought to the attention of all by the state agency ONEMA(Office National de l’Eau et des
Milieux Aquatiques, or The French National Agency for Water and Aquatic Environments).
THE TOXIC SUBSTANCES:
The main toxic substances found on the water are:
a) Pesticides with nitrates; and
b) PCBs(polychlorinated biphenyl), which can be found on lubricants used by industries.
Commonly used in the 70s, the PCBs were banned in 1987 for presenting a high risk to human health, presenting a concrete and grave danger to women in
fertile ages, since PCB prevents the proper developement of the brain in the fetus.
Although banned many years ago, PCB can still be found on french soil and in the water in the form of residue, since there hasn't been invented a way
to elliminate them, yet.
More than 30,000 amateur fishers received the warning about the risks of fishing in the contaminated area.
EVEN APPROVED PESTICIDES ARE DANGEROUS:
Even those pesticides approved by the french government carry contaminating substances. Pesticides are expensive and to remain competitive in the
global market, french agriculturalists need financial help from the french government.
"This is absurd. The tax payer is already paying for the pesticides and then they have to pay again to clean the damage done by those pesticides.",
said Isabelle Autisser, president of WWF (Wild World Foundation) in France, in an article published by Le Monde, on june 16th.
Link to ONEMA website
[edit on 22-6-2010 by henriquefd]