|After the environment ministry announced that the central sea is now safe for swimming, the public are waiting for official announcement by health agencies on whether seafood there is safe for consumption. — VNA/VNS Photo|
HÀ NỘI — Heavy metals have been detected in six out of nine seafood samples taken on August 5 off Hà Tĩnh Province, local media said today quoting the National Institute for Food Control’s latest report.
According to the institute, they tested nine samples taken from Kỳ Anh and Cẩm Xuyên districts in Hà Tĩnh, one of the four central provinces that saw mass fish deaths caused by the discharge of pollutants by Taiwanese firm Hưng Nghiệp Formosa Hà Tĩnh Steel Co. Ltd earlier this year.
Of the nine tested samples, one had excessive cadmium content, amounting to 0.079mg per kilogram.
Cyanide was found in five samples, with concentration levels ranging between 0.5mg and 3.9mg per kilogram.
Phenol was found in three samples, with concentration levels of 8.3mg, 10mg and 14mg per kilogram.
Phenol and cyanide, which, in combination with iron hydroxide, create a compound that has a density heavier than seawater, were blamed for the mass fish deaths.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment on Monday said the seawater off the four central provinces, which was earlier polluted by toxic waters released by the Taiwanese steel company, was now safe for swimming, water sports and aquaculture.
Mass fish deaths were reported off the central provinces of Hà Tĩnh, Quảng Bình, Quảng Trị and Thừa Thiên-Huế in April.
In late June, Formosa Hà Tĩnh accepted responsibility for the incident. The pollution damaged about 400ha of coral and affected more than 260,000 people who earned their living with sea-related activities.
The company pledged to give compensation of more than VNĐ11.5 trillion (US$500 million) to support local fishermen and restore the marine environment. It also vowed to deal with shortcomings in waste and wastewater treatment. —VNS