STA, 22 October 2019 - Representatives of several Celje civil initiatives warned on Tuesday about excessive levels of heavy metals found in the soil in the Celje area, describing the city as "Slovenian Chernobyl" due to its various environmental issues.
The initiatives' representative Boris Šuštar said at today's press conference that results of analyses showed that, compared to the Slovenian average, attic dust in Celje contained 100 times more cadmium and 50 times more of other pollutants, including carcinogenic ones.
Heavy cadmium pollution in the area is part of the infamous legacy of chemical company Cinkarna Celje's predecessor, the old zinc factory.
Šuštar pointed out that the area of the former factory, covering 17 hectares and going nine metres deep in the ground, is polluted by a staggering amount of 1.5 million m3 of mostly toxic waste.
He believes that no other urban area in Europe is as polluted as the one in Celje, so he called for a comprehensive approach to the issue.
The initiatives also draw attention to noise pollution and dying trees in the city and its surrounding areas.
Cleaning of degraded areas in and around the city of Celje has been under way for a while, with one of the most burning issues being the polluted soil of school and kindergarten playgrounds.
The plan for this year was to clean five kindergarten playgrounds in the city, a project valued at around a million euro, with another five to be cleaned in 2020.