March 22, 2019
Latest News

California fire survivors now facing water contamination

Los Angeles, Jan 9 (efe-epa).- Having just lived through the devastation caused by the California wildfires late last year, the residents of the affected areas are now facing the dangers of contaminated water.

Specifically, more than 60 percent of the public aquifers in western California are fed from areas affected by the fires, thus creating a serious risk of contamination of those waters, Clint Snyder, the assistant executive officer for the California Central Valley Water Board, told EFE.

According to Snyder, the fires that burned many homes consumed piping, roofs and windows made using PVC (polyvinyl chloride) which, when it burns, releases toxins and presents the risk of contaminating local aquifers.

Andres Lozada, a chemical quality control specialist, told EFE that PVC is a "great resource" for construction due to its "resistance, malleability and chemical stability," but when it burns it generates not only carbon monoxide but hydrogen chloride and dioxins, all of which are "toxins and pollutants."

In contrast to what happens in the industrial burning of PVC waste, where the emissions are controlled and processed to reduce their negative impact, the wildfires created "enormous quantities of toxic material that went into the air and possibly into the water."

Fires such as the Camp Fire - which last November became California's most destructive blaze ever, ultimately consuming more than 153,000 acres (62,000 hectares), 18,804 structures and taking the lives of at least 86 people - represent at least a double contamination source.

"The forest fire itself generated large quantities of dioxins by burning trees and undergrowth, and in addition it added more pollutants by burning the polymers used in construction," Lozada said.

Moreover, other substances resulting from the fire, including benzene, increase environmental pollution and put the health of local residents at risk, not only in the devastated areas but also in neighboring zones.

The US Department of Health and Human Services has catalogued benzene as a carcinogen and says that long-term exposure to it can produce leukemia and colon cancer.

Another contamination risk for the aquifers are the waste materials and sediments caused by the flames, California water and aquifer authorities told EFE.

Authorities have issued an alert in Paradise, one of the towns most affected by the Camp Fire, for residents to boil their water before use, adding that although 22 of the 24 pipeline systems are free of contamination the alert will remain in effect until the two remaining systems can be declared free of pollutants.

In the city of Santa Rosa, more than $8 million has been spent on replacing hydrants, valves and other components of the pipeline system at more than 350 homes and buildings, including about 1,300 feet (396 meters) of water piping, according to a local report.

News history
LatAm needs more creators of "serious video games"

Guadalajara, Mexico, Mar 21 (efe-epa).- The use of "serious video games" for health and sports preparation is increasing in Latin America, but the region...

Rio de Janeiro shantytown is oasis in sea of violence

Rio de Janeiro, Mar 21 (efe-epa).- A far cry from the image of violence and lack of security in Rio de Janeiro's poor neighborhoods, the "favela" or...

Mexican president seeks to reassure teachers on education bill

Mexico City, Mar 21 (epa-efe).- Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Thursday that his administration is committed to abolishing the...

Ulta-Orthodox Israeli city told it has to allow election posters of women

Jerusalem, Mar 21 (efe-epa).- Israel's election watchdog told an ultra-Orthodox city on Wednesday that it has to allow campaign posters of women politicians.

Boom and gloom in China as rapid development brings surge in depression

By Javier Castro Bugarín

Boom and gloom in China as rapid development brings surge in depression

By Javier Castro Bugarín

Boom and gloom in China as rapid development brings surge in depression

By Javier Castro Bugarín

India battles it out with color to mark the annual Holi festival

Vrindavan, India, Mar 20 (efe-epa).- Men, women and children battled it out on the streets of India on Thursday to mark Holi, the annual festival of color.

Two sentenced to life in prison over lynching of Pakistani student

Islamabad, Mar 21 (efe-epa).- A Pakistani anti-terrorism court on Thursday sentenced two more people to life imprisonment over the 2017 lynching of a...

After mass detentions, China razes Muslim communities to build a loyal city

Urumqi, China, Mar 20 (efe-epa).- In this old Silk Road city in western China, a state security campaign involving the detention of vast numbers of people...

Protesting teachers besiege Mexican Congress

Mexico City, Mar 20 (epa-efe).- The lower house of Mexico's Congress suspended a session scheduled for Wednesday after members of the militant CNTE teachers...

Cardiovascular events cause 58 pct. of deaths among diabetics

Mexico City, Mar 20 (epa-efe).- Fifty-eight percent of deaths of people with type 2 diabetes are due to cardiovascular events, a leader Mexican expert said...

Hundreds of Salvadorans march against water privatization

San Salvador, Mar 20 (efe-epa).- Some 500 people marched Wednesday in the Salvadoran capital to demand that lawmakers move immediately to approve a...

UAE hosts 8th edition of international government communication forum

Sharjah (United Arab Emirates) Mar 20 (efe-epa).- The eighth edition of the international government communication forum kicked off Wednesday in the United...

Parents of missing Mexican film students break silence, seek president's help

Guadalajara, Mexico, Mar 20 (efe-epa).- The family members of three Mexican film students who are believed to have been kidnapped, killed and dissolved in...

Long, costly recovery lies ahead after catastrophic US flooding

Denver, Mar 19 (efe-epa).- Floodwaters began to slowly recede on Tuesday in inundated areas of six states of the Midwestern United States, including...

Pope rejects resignation of French cardinal convicted of child abuse cover up

Paris, Mar 19 (efe-epa).- A top French cardinal convicted of covering up allegations of child sex abuse by a priest said Tuesday that the Pope has rejected...

Ardern calls for messages of hate to be silenced after Christchurch massacre

Rocio Otoya

Chinese men opt for penis enlargement to boost self-esteem

Beijing, Mar 19 (efe-epa).- Of the hundreds of penis surgeries that Dr. Tian Long performed last year at the Chaoyang hospital in the Chinese capital a...

Holding back the past, Brexit threatens to open old wounds along Irish border

Derry/Londonderry (Northern Ireland), Mar 19 (efe-epa).- On maps of Ireland, a line cuts across the north of the island like a scar, dividing Northern...

Priest accused of rape says that sin exists within Chilean Church

Santiago de Chile, Mar 18 (efe-epa).- Chilean priest Tito Rivera, who stands accused of raping a man in the Santiago Cathedral, on Monday said that the...

Venezuelan capital struck by power cuts amid protests

Caracas, Mar 18 (efe-epa).- Parts of the Venezuelan capital experienced power cuts Monday amid protests by residents of some neighborhoods who say they are...

Faced with Christchurch terror, New Zealand draws on Maori strength

Rocio Otoya

Predicting the arrival of cherry blossoms challenges Japanese meteorologists

Nora Olive

I agree Welcome to news4europe.eu. We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.