All 9,750 inhabitants of Grindsted are invited to visit their doctor, as the fear of the effect of long-term local pollution continues to grow, informs DR.
Grindsted, a small town in Region Southern Denmark, has a dirty secret. From 1962 to 1975, Grindstedværket dumped tons of heavy metals, pharmaceuticals and solvents into the ground around the city. These subsequently mixed with the groundwater.
50 years later, the townspeople are still suffering the consequences. At the beginning of this month, an e-mail was sent to all residents of the municipality with an invitation to the hospital. Over 100 people have since come for control.
The email asked anyone who has felt ill in any way to come in for a check-up, as symptoms may be linked to the lingering effects of pollution.
In Grindsted, there have previously been fears of increased incidences of ALS – a type of motor neuron disease that results in wasting of muscle tissue.
These were dampened when a study showed that there were no increased cases of illness in Grindsted compared to the general population.
Two researchers who helped carry out the study campaigned for further specific investigation of cases of ALS in the city.
A renewed investigation was emphatically supported by the municipality. The current controls are part of this study. Doctors at Grindsted Hospital hope to be able to put the question to rest by analyzing the patients’ symptoms.
“We accept the views of those who have symptoms and think they may be due to the pollution in Grindsted,” says chief physician Jesper Bælum to DR. “We will thoroughly review any symptoms and inquire about people’s concerns about the contamination.”
“We owe that to the dead and their relatives,” said Belinda Annline Kjær, who has chosen to participate in the inspection.
“We really owe it to those who have been exposed to these diseases in our city to follow up and see if there is a connection.”
Source: The Nordic Page