Cancer worries turn off faucets

The Municipality of Oinofyta, north of Athens, instructed local residents and industrial plants yesterday to stop using tap water after data published by Kathimerini showed it to contain carcinogenic substances. The latest tests on water from the Asopos River in central Greece, which supplies Oinofyta’s local water network, have shown higher-than-expected levels of depleted chromium, which is carcinogenic. Some residents have stopped drinking the water for a number of years, relying only on bottled water, and now the results of tests by the General Chemical State Laboratory have confirmed their fears. Sources added that the municipality may also cut off the water supply and connect the area instead with the network of EYDAP (the Athens and Piraeus water company). Such a plan, however, could take up to two years. «We need a more immediate solution,» said Xenophon Tsitsonis, adviser to Oinofyta Mayor Giorgos Theodoropoulos. «And if one is not forthcoming, we will press ahead with protest action,» he added. Apart from finding some solution, authorities said they must also determine the extent of the damage. «It is imperative that we ascertain the extent to which the food chain has been affected by products manufactured with the toxic water in Viotia, which have been distributed across the country,» said Christos Panagopoulos, president of the Oropos residents’ association.