During the first visit of the PFOS Research Committee of the Flemish Parliament to the Oosterweelwerf and the 3M plant site, committee chair Hannes Anaf spoke with local residents, among others. A series of soil investigations at 23 sites in the province of Antwerp showed excessive concentrations of PFOS in seven places.
The Flemish Parliament Inquiry into PFOS paid a visit to the Oosterweelwerf and the site of the 3M plant on Friday. “At the 3M site, we were shown where the safe berm would be with the most contaminated soil, where PFOS was being produced and the current state of water purification,” says committee chair Hannes Anaf (Vooruit). “At Oosterweelwerf, we saw, among other things, how people deal with the contaminated soil there.”
Committee members also spoke to some local residents about their experience with the PFOS crisis, including members of the Fundamental Rights and Farmers Working Group and Manu Claes of the stRaten General Citizens Movement, who is now also a member of the Oosterweelbouwheer Board of Directors. “People basically ask themselves a lot of questions: how we have known nothing about it for so long, and what with my agricultural products that I can no longer lose because of the paving stones, is my children’s health at risk,..,” Annaf says. “In addition to knowing who knew what happened in the past and what happened to that knowledge, the effect of PFOS contamination on people here is also important to us.”
23 locations checked in Antwerp
On Friday morning, the results of PFAS measurements were presented at 23 sites across the Antwerp region. Measurements were requested by the City of Antwerp and Offam. In 16 of the 23 sites, no excessive concentrations of PFOS, which is part of PFOS, were found. This relates in part to sites on the Left Bank. This is good news for parents, children, and young adults who are active in the Left Bank’s playgrounds and playgrounds. They can continue their activities with peace of mind,” says Alderman of environmentalist Tom Mews (Forwitt).
Concentrations were very high at seven sites. These include a fire station in Halewijnlaan, De Dobbelsteen Primary School in Emiel Verhaerenlaan on the Left Bank, Vlietbos near the 3M site and several allotments and community gardens.
Eat a varied diet
“PFOS extinguishing foam was used once at three sites, and two other measurements were taken in the immediate vicinity of the 3M site,” Meeuws says. “The city will check the vegetables grown in the two lots, but the contamination does not pose any acute health risks.”
The Health and Welfare Agency advises allotment users to eat a varied enough diet and not just vegetables and fruits from their cultivation. The Flemish government is formulating appropriate precautions for the local population within a radius of one hundred meters around the fire brigade training areas
To decide more on the extent of the contamination, further investigations into the soil will be conducted, the city reports. A map of the locations of the sample collections can be found On the website of the city of Antwerp.