The standard for PFOS is also exceeded in the Scheldt. This is apparent from the answer of the Flemish Minister for the Environment Zuhal Demir (N-VA) to a question from Mieke Schauvliege (Groen). “Six times more PFOS is found in fish than the norm allows,” Schauvliege said on Radio 1.
The PFOS pollution is not limited to the 3M factory and the Zwijndrecht area. That reported The time and is confirmed by a written answer from Flemish Minister for the Environment Zuhal Demir (N-VA) to a question from MP Mieke Schauvliege (Green). In total there are 26 companies that discharge water into the Scheldt that contains PFAS, the collective name for the chemicals to which PFOS belongs. And it’s not about small businesses. These include Bayer, BASF, ExxonMobil and Ineos,” Schauvliege said in a response to The morning on Radio 1. The companies have permission to do so, but the standards are consistently exceeded.
‘The main question is whether this has an impact on water quality. And that turns out to be the case. At the discharge sites, we find six times more PFOS in fish than the standard allows’, it sounds. Schauvliege again pleads for a commission of inquiry and for a firm policy with fines. ‘We need to step up checks and, if necessary, review the permits.’
She compares the situation with the asbestos problem. ‘They also knew that it was problematic, but they continued until the impact on health became too great.’
The PFOS pollution has been slumbering for years, but came to the fore as a result of the Oosterweel operation. Over the years, it has become increasingly clear how serious the consequences are for public health. The soil in and around Zwijndrecht is heavily polluted after years of PFOS production in the 3M factory. The file is putting pressure on the Flemish government.