Flanders shaken by an environmental scandal that concerns us all
The inhabitants of the municipality of Zwijndrecht, and all those living within a radius of 15 km – i.e. more than one million people – are invited to no longer eat eggs from their garden. For the daily De Morgen, this could become one of the biggest environmental scandals in recent Belgian history.
Until the early 2000s, the 3M factory in Zwijndrecht polluted the surrounding soil. The American company (known for its sticky notes and post-its) produced PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonate), a man-made chemical that poses health risks.
Researchers from the University of Antwerp have found in eggs from this 15 km perimeter PFOS concentrations higher than European standards. According to Standaard, Thimo Groffen, a biologist at the University of Antwerp, describes these results as “very worrying”.
The University of Antwerp has been publishing studies on the presence of PFOS near 3M since 2004, but this is the first time that it has highlighted such a wide scope, as European standards have recently become stricter .