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Radioactive water in Mexican state causing deaths, say experts

Bnamericas Published: Monday, April 11, 2016
Radioactive water in Mexican state causing deaths, say experts

Water from a well in central Mexico's Guanajuato state that supplies the La Cantera and La Huerta communities, as well as the La Cantera neighborhood has high levels of alpha radioactivity.

The radioactivity in the water could be related to deaths of children due to leukemia, according to the geoscience center (CGEO) at Mexico's national autonomous university UNAM.

The well is located in the municipality of San José Iturbide.

In May last year, experts from UNAM detected that the well is located to less than 20 meters from a dump that has contained toxic urban and industrial waste since 1980, and which may be the cause of groundwater pollution and diseases, UNAM said in a statement.

In September last year, the university and the authorities of the San José Iturbide municipality carried out studies on the water, showing that the radioactivity in the water is four times higher than the level permitted under the government standard NOM-127SSA1. The studies carried out by the authorities have not yet been disclosed, UNAM said.

The university recommended more extensive analysis of the water and suggested that, in the meantime, residents do not use the well.

The national water authority Conagua has not commented on the issue.

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