Pineapple Pollution Threatens Water Supply

August 10, 2007

Pineapple companies along the Caribbean slope have agreed to collaborate with government officials to eliminate agrochemical pollution that threatens the water supply of more than 6,000 people in the region.

The announcement, according to the daily La Nación, came after the Municipality of Siquirres asked President Oscar Arias to declare a state of emergency in the canton last month, followed by a Public Health Ministry request to stop using such chemicals so close to a public water supply.

“Though the business of growing pineapples is important, nothing is more so than our safety,” said Health Minister María Luisa Avila.

Earlier in the month, the National Water and Sewer Institute (AyA) announced tests show small quantities of chemical substances in an aquifer that provides water to more than 6,000 residents.

Researcher Clemens Ruper, of the National University (UNA), told the daily that pineapple plantations were found within 20 meters of spring sources, well within the 200 meters required by law.

Increasing amounts of chemical pesticides, which can have mid- and long-term health effects, were discovered over three years of study by the university, including more than 100 wells and six area springs, in the towns of Guápiles, Pocora, Guácimo, Batán and Matina.

 

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