Pollution in Asopos River up to 100 times above safe level

The levels of a potentially carcinogenic form of chromium in the Asopos River in central Greece are 100 times higher than the maximum safety standard, local officials have revealed.

Asopos has been troubled for many years by the presence of hexavalent chromium in its water as a result of firms dumping or burying toxic waste in the river. Environmental inspector Margarita Karavasili told a parliamentary committee this week that chromium levels are between 2,500 mg/l and 5,000 mg/l when the safety limit is set at 50 mg/l.

She said this is a sign that “tons of dangerous waste” has been been buried somewhere along the river. “It is crucial that we begin removing this because as long as it is under the ground the pollution will continue,” Karavasili told MPs. Local priest Father Yiannis Economidis, who has been leading a campaign to stop firms polluting the river, claimed that 50 percent of the waste comes from a single company.