In the Oinofyta town, the Asopos river turned purple and the river water is to be blamed for local cancer deaths.
Within 60 kilometers north of Athens lies an industrial area. The factories around here keep dumping their industrial waste into the Asopos river polluting the river water. As of now there are no warning signs anywhere. It took several years to figure out that the drinking water of the area had dangerous levels of carcinogen chromium 6.
This particular metal is an anti-corrosive and it is listed under the European Union’s (EU) list of dangerous substances. Consequences can be bad if it comes in contact with the skin or if it’s inhaled or even ingested. The people who died in the region probably died off the river water. An interesting fact is that despite of the potential risks, the govt. officials never bothered to warn people of this chemical since the factories were set up.
A biochemical engineer joined the long battle against the authorities. Initially authorities refused to listen to the allegations related to the water. But, they later changed their mind. Thanasis Panteloglou along with Father Yannis pursued their crusade against the factories. Finally authorities managed to imposed restrictions on these factories.
However, many of them still run illegal underground pipelines to the river in order to dump the industrial waste. I think this is almost as good as mass murder. Environmentalists and authorities need to work together with the factories to stop this kind of river pollution.