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DENVER (CBS4) – After the Gold King Mine spilled 3 million gallons of waste water into the Animas River, experts are concerned about the health of the river as well as the health of residents.
“Remember, this is mine waste, it’s heavy. It’s going to sink to the bottom of these streams, it’s going to get into the layer at the bottom,” said Dr. Dan Teitlebaum.
He is a toxicologist who says the elements in the water can pose the risk of illness. The waters were loaded in lead, copper, cadmium, and arsenic, some of which can cause cancers in prolonged exposures.
“They’re a problem because they’re long term poisons. And low levels consumed over a long period of time create serious problems, particularly arsenic, produce very serious problems,” said Teitlebaum.
Wildlife officials have been quick to show fish that have survived the event, but Teitlebaum says that’s not necessarily an indication that everything is safe.
“If you’re going to eat those brown trout that somebody’s catching in that river, what are the arsenic levels going to be? What are the lead levels going to be? We don’t know!” said Teitlebaum.
He said health concerns in the river are just beginning, even as it appears to look more normal.
Full article: Toxicologist Skeptical Of Early Animas River Reports, Metals Are ‘Long Term Poisons’ (CBS Denver)