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  • Official spanish scientific study confirms high benzene levels

    Scientific study reveals high levels of toxic substances
    CEPSA refinery under scrutiny • Regional government to carry out epidemiological study

    Junta de Andalucia has announced that it will shortly be conducting an epidemiological study in the Campo to determine the possible impact on the population of what it refers to as “environmental effects in the area.”

    The announcement by the regional government’s public health department comes in the wake of publication of a study by a team of Spanish scientific experts into pollution levels in Puente Mayorga, showing abnormally high readings of benzene and nickel in the atmosphere.

    The report by the CSIC (Consejos Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas) commissioned by the Andalusian regional government in conjunction with the University of Cadiz, states that these emissions breach current EU environmental laws.

    CSIC spokesman Juan Luis Ramos also declared that these substances are both carcinogenic and capable of harming the health of the population.

    The scientists have been measuring air samples in Puente Mayorga – home to the CEPSA oil refinery in the bay – over the past year.

    According to the study during westerly winds and in eight hour periods, benzene was detected in the air in quantities “five or six times over” the EU legal limit for this substance which is set at five micrograms per cubic metre.

    CSIC recommend an inspection of the refinery installations to reduce emissions responsible for the high levels of benzene in the area. Additionally they call for an epidemiological study for the Campo and a specific one for Puente Mayorga.
    The report also shows high levels of nickel above the EU permitted level in the small town which has been dubbed “barriada CEPSA.”

    CSIC calls on the authorities to take the necessary measures for the companies involved to take “corrective action.” Acerinox is also urged to install filters and increase the height of its chimneys.