Asopos water is deemed ‘deadly’

The latest tests on water from the Asopos River in central Greece have shown higher-than-expected levels of cancer-causing depleted chromium, prompting experts to issue urgent warnings about the danger to some 30,000 people in the area in drinking tap water. Kathimerini has seen the results of the tests carried out by the General Chemical State Laboratory, which were handed to the Municipality of Oinofyta, which is that most affected by the contamination of the river. The samples show that there are 51 milligrams of depleted chromium per liter of the river water. The substance is considered so dangerous to humans that authorities have not set an official safety limit for it. The levels of chromium, lead and nitrate were above safety limits. However, experts are particularly worried about the presence of depleted chromium because it accumulates in the human organism instead of being gradually expelled. «The situation is much worse than I imagined,» Oinofyta Deputy Mayor Michalis Gialouris told Kathimerini. He said the municipality would warn residents to stop drinking tap water. «If all heavy metals are deemed dangerous and should not be found in potable water, then depleted chromium can be considered deadly,» chemical engineer Thanassis Panteloglou told Kathimerini. He added that the presence of the substance in the water is a result of electroplating workshops and metallurgy factories dumping their waste in the river.