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  • Spanish University Health Study concludes in favour of more research

    ESG Press Release 17th June 2010

    University of Seville – Health Study Results Demands more research needed in the Campo area-

    The ESG was recently made aware of the publication of a study by the University of Sevilla on mortality and environmental pollution. The objective of the study was to:

    “…analyse general mortality and premature mortality by causes of the inhabitants of the Bay, an area that is particularly exposed to atmospheric pollution.” The study was carried out in the locality of the Campo de Gibraltar, which comprises the municipalities of Algeciras, Los Barrios, San Roque and La Linea, which surround the Bay.”

    The methodology applied in the study is meticulously laid out and the document is heavily referenced throughout. It examines the many potential factors which can affect health trends and mortality in populations and concludes that the Bay towns (excluding Gibraltar), portray a higher than national risk of contracting a number of diseases or even, of dying earlier, than other Spanish communities. Sufficiently so, that the author adds:

    “These results point to the importance of continuing research in order to better understand the risk posed in the area studied and its determining factors. We think that it is also necessary to put forward specific action plans to deal with one of the possible sources of the problem, as the people of the area have been claiming for some time, all the more so when current public administrative planning for the area envisages, not the limitation of industrial concentration and communication networks, but rather accelerating and enhancing economic development to increasingly unsustainable levels. “

    The ESG shares this view especially as La Junta recently said in the Spanish media that all industrial activity on the Bay was meeting required norms and that therefore expansion of industry was likely. Until such time as the environmental load in the Bay is controlled and the impact on health of people and the living environment better understood, the ESG strongly believes that no further licenses should be issued to industry.

    The regular calls for an independent epidemiological study by Spanish citizens have been ignored by la Junta for years now, who claim to have already taken care of this issue and that there are no health problems in the area attributable to industrial activity. This latest study will add considerable weight to the need for appropriate and rigorous studies to be done to assess the impacts from heavy industrial pollution on Bay communities as potential causes behind the higher than average national mortality rates.

    The ESG has already sent the Government of Gibraltar, (currently undertaking its own independent epidemiological study), a copy of this latest study which is also posted on our website, and will be sent to all political parties.
    Please see ESG website, under Resources for copies of the Health Study in both English and Spanish – (www.esg-gib.net)