By Morten Hansen, Contaminated Future
In Zaragoza, Spain more than 300 international scientist, politicians, NGO’s and other stakeholders are gathered at the 13th HCH & Pesticides Forum.
They are here to create an impact and make a status of the improvements regarding one of the Worlds biggest manmade problems – obsolete pesticides and other hazardous chemical waste.
On a global scale we are talking several million tons dumped, dug down or simply stored in high-risk facilities. The obsolete pesticides alone, represents half a million tons.
In Eastern Europe and the Caucasus alone some 300,000 tons are stored in 10,000 different locations. During the Cold War a major production of pesticides and chemical weapons etc. coursed a gigantic spill of extremely hazardous waste. A waste that today is a major threat to human beings and the environment
Dumpsite in Spain
Zaragoza as the host city for the Forum seems not to be a coincidence. In the opening speech, John Vijgen, organizer of the Forum, said: “There are more obsolete pesticides here than there are spread out over the entire former Soviet Union”.
Vijgen refers to the former HCH production in the area. Between 1974 and 1992 the company, Inquinosa produced 140,000 tons of toxic HCH waste that were buried in several uncontrolled dumps in Sabiñánigo.
An area just south of the Pyrenees and close to the borders of France. The company, Inquinosa produced Lindane, a pesticide banned in the EU since 2000 and worldwide banned by the Conference of the Parties of the Stockholm Convention in 2009. Currently the pollution affects more than 40,000 people in the Gállego River basin.
“We are here to make progress, to bring people together, so we can learn from each other. That’s the purpose of this Forum”, states Vijgen.
Watch this movie about the problems of lindane in northern Spain:
The film is made by Arturo Hortas.