Listen to RFI News
Expand Player
 
Listen Download Podcast
  • Paris Live PM 1300 - 1400 GMT
    News bulletin 08/21 13h00 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 1300 - 1400 GMT
    News bulletin 08/20 13h00 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 1300 - 1400 GMT
    News bulletin 08/19 13h00 GMT
  • 13h00 - 14h00 GMT
    News bulletin 04/05 13h00 GMT
  • 13h00 - 14h00 GMT
    News bulletin 04/04 13h00 GMT
  • 13h00 - 14h00 GMT
    News bulletin 04/03 13h00 GMT
To take full advantage of multimedia content, you must have the Flash plugin installed in your browser. To connect, you need to enable cookies in your browser settings. For an optimal navigation, the RFI site is compatible with the following browsers: Internet Explorer 8 and above, Firefox 10 and +, Safari 3+, Chrome 17 and + etc.
Environment

French children test positive for arsenic poisoning

media Guy Auge, president of an association defending Salsigne residents, poses by a stream near the defunct Salsigne mine on 4 March, 2019. ERIC CABANIS / AFP

Thirty-eight children in France, including babies, living near what was once Europe’s largest gold mine have tested positive for arsenic poisoning.

Children in the Orbiel Valley, in the southern department of Aude, were examined when families became concerned that flooding in October last year had carried arsenic and heavy metals from the nearby Salsigne mine.

After testing 103 children aged under 11 years, the Occitanie Regional Health Agency confirmed Tuesday that 38 of them had returned positive test results for above-average levels of arsenic.

Salsigne, which was also the world's largest arsenic mine, had been operating for almost a century when it closed in 2004. Millions of tons of toxic waste, which local NGOs say have not been properly sealed, are in storage at five nearby sites.

In October 2018, 14 people were killed when the Aude was hit by violent floods. Media reports say the Orbiel river and its tributaries have spread pollutants from the old mine.

 

Related
 
Sorry but the period of time connection to the operation is exceeded.