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Niue-Namur is not worried about soil contaminated by the Belgian factory

Resident Eric takes a tour of the village, especially noticing the uncertainty about the Belgian border. “It may be a little scary, but it’s definitely not like that here.” Since he regularly eats vegetables, fruits and eggs from his own region, he keeps a close eye on the news. “You wonder if I can still believe this, but for now it’s on my plate in the evening.”

What’s going on?

PFAS is a toxic and chemical waste that can lead to infertility, immune system damage and cancer. The soil around the 3M plant in Switzerland, Belgium, has higher PFAS concentrations than permitted.

So strict action was taken yesterday in Belgium on the additional ministerial board for residents within one and a half kilometers of the 3M factory. They are advised not to eat their own food and not to use water sources from their own garden. The use of compost from own land is also not recommended. Residents up to ten kilometers around the factory are advised not to eat eggs from their own chickens.

The government is also examining whether the area around New Nammur could be further expanded to seek emergency advice and what steps are being taken.

‘I will still eat my own potatoes’

Peter unloads the potatoes he just bought at Jumbo in Hulst. “So these don’t come from our own region,” he says with a laugh. “It’s all getting closer, but for now I’m not worried.” When the potatoes came from the area, he would definitely eat them.

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Hulst Municipality responds that it is not concerned. Soil research in 2019 shows that increased concentrations of PFAS are not found in rural areas. “We find PFAS in our soil, but only in very small amounts. Our area is cleaner than PFAS.”

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