Officials Say More Than 50% of Junin Exposed to Polluted Drinking Water

The health office of the Junin region, located in central Peru, says that more than half of the region’s population is exposed to contaminated drinking water, daily El Comercio reported.

The regional office said that it has taken 30 water samples in six areas showing that 56% of Junin’s 800,000 population drinks water that is not suitable for human consumption. The water is polluted by heavy metals, which come from mining-sector activities in the Andean region, the office said.  

The office did not clarify whether the water had been tainted by formal mining activities or informal and illegal miners.

“By the end of this year we will have taken some 120 samples from approximately 40 populated centers to have more complete results,” said Basilia Beraun, an official from Junin’s government. Beraun added that no sanctions have been issued yet for the pollution.

Water and subsoil pollution have been a concern in Junin for decades, and although the major mining companies have improved practices, little has been done by the state to demand cleaner standards from all actors in the industry.

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