The Government of the Basque Country lifts preventive measures

The Basque Health Service-Osakidetza has issued the preventive recommendations in the vicinity of the Zaldibar landfill (Bizkaia) after the extinction last Tuesday of the fire affecting waste and after noting a "downward trend" in the levels of dioxins and furans in the air of the area.

This decision has been taken at the request of the experts after knowing on Thursday the result of the latest analysis of the Higher Center for Scientific Research (CSIC) on pollution levels in the region and, especially, for the extinction of the fire declared in the landfill , which was the source of dioxins.

The Department of Health of the Basque Government recommended on February 14 to the residents of Zaldibar, Ermua and Eibar not to do outdoor sports and not ventilate their homes before the high levels of dioxins and furans detected.

The landfill collapsed on February 6, trapping two workers, who have not yet been found, and caused fires among the waste that was extinguished last Tuesday, day 18.

Those fires caused that, with samples taken on day 9, 700 femtograms (one billionth of a gram) of dioxins and furans per cubic meter were detected in the air, about forty times more than normal values ​​in an urban area.

Subsequently, 9 samples were collected, between 10 and 16 February, "with the fire still active", mainly in the San Lorenzo de Ermua neighborhood, and also in Eibar and in the Eitzaga neighborhood of Zaldibar, which were sent to the CSIC for analysis.

The results received this Thursday, as explained by public health officials of the Basque Government in a press conference, indicate that the levels of dioxins and furans show a "clear downward trend", which, together with the extinction of the fire, has motivated the decision to raise the precautionary and prevention recommendations given last week to the population around the landfill.