• Search
    Latest News
  • ESG report on meeting in Spain

    ESG reports on meeting with Junta Health officials

    As reported last week the ESG, on behalf of the BBB, attended a meeting between the Directora General de Salud Publica de La Junta and the Plataforma por el Estudio Epidemiologico. The Plataforma was given a presentation by la Junta officials of the epidemiological study protocols being followed and a summary of the progress achieved so far.

    At the outset the Directora made two important statements, first that that the Plataforma should note that if the causation of sickness or mortality could be pinned to any one industry, it would be shut down. Secondly that a number of studies had been carried out in the area and that we would all leave with copies to peruse. In spite of these positive steps, the general reluctance to address the overall environmental pollution in the Bay as a fundamental factor in their health studies left the Plataforma pondering whether these studies were perhaps nothing more than a PR exercise to quell public disquiet

    The ESG was not satisfied either with the meeting’s outcome because although the information was plentiful it was nebulous and short on specifics. For instance, La Junta claimed to have carried out urine samples as per the CSIC recommendations and that results would be made available within 3 months. However, in spite of a specific request made by the ESG no information was given as to where or when the urine samples were taken.

    Together with these urine samples, CSIC had also recommended for urgent blood samples to be done on residents of Puente Mayorga to assess for the accumulation of the cancer causing chemical benzene. In this instance, La Junta insisted they were following different advice and had elected not to do blood sampling and instead use badge sensors – these still being sourced at present. There was heated discussion on this issue as it was seen by the Plataforma that La Junta was avoiding CSIC advice and avoiding getting to the truth in this matter.

    It is clear that govt officials will only step up their research and regulation of industry when faced with public pressure. The Plataforma meets again this evening to discuss in detail the meeting with La Junta officials and plan the next steps.

    Locally the ESG and BBB are currently seeking meetings with local Government officials to discuss these issues and establish what health studies are being considered for Gibraltar residents.