Cancer probe gets go-ahead

Following repeated reports of a rise in the number of cancer cases among residents of Oinofyta, north of Athens, where the drinking water has been deemed to be toxic, the Health Ministry said yesterday that it is launching an investigation into the health of the people in the area. The decision for the survey to be carried out was taken during a meeting between Health Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos and Eastern Attica Prefect Leonidas Kouris. The project will be assigned to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (KEELPNO). Over the last two years, media reports have highlighted the concerns of locals, who claim that the number of residents dying from cancer has quadrupled in the last 15 years. A local priest, Yiannis Economidis, first raised the alarm after finding that the rate of people dying from cancer had risen from 6 percent in 1989 to 32 percent now. The tap water in the area has been found to contain high levels of depleted chromium.

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