Water supply contamination warning

By TPN/Lusa, in World · 31-05-2019 01:00:00 · 1 Comments

A spill of 24,000 litres of acetone that took place on the River Zêzere between Sertã and Pedrógão Grande has raised fears that it may contaminate the water supply.

In a statement sent to Lusa, the environmental campaign group Quercus notes that the spill of acetone – a “flammable and irritating liquid” – happened when a heavy goods vehicle came off the road at the Ponte do Cabril bridge at Pedrógão Pequeno, in Sertã municipality.

“If it reaches the River Zêzere, it could contaminate river water supplies,” the group said in a statement. “Quercus fears that the proximity of the site of the accident to where water is drawn for human consumption could make this a very worrying situation, given that it brings the quality of the water for human consumption into question”.

In addition to causing eye irritation and chemical burns, acetone can cause skin irritations and dermatitis or irritation of the mucous membranes, nausea, vertigo, headache and loss of consciousness when inhaled, the group stressed.

It also pointed out that if the acetone spill reaches the ground in what is a forested area, it may cause contamination, and calls for steps to be taken to decontaminate it.

“If the acetone spill reaches the river, given that it happened on a bridge, it will also be harmful to the local flora and fauna, and may even be toxic to some species of fish, leading to death,” it adds.

In a worst-case scenario, it says, the substance can reach the water supply, in the Bouça and Castelo do Bode reservoirs. It therefore expects that the authorities “adopt rapid measures for the containment of the spill by preventing any more serious situations.”


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By voss water from UK on 02-06-2019 01:44
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