MEXICO CITY – The Mexican government said it will examine the findings of a scientific study warning that pharmaceuticals, illegal drugs, pesticides and other contaminants are present in coastal aquifers in the Yucatan peninsula.
Officials “will initiate the appropriate analysis” and alert health agencies and the National Water Commission, Mexico’s environment ministry said in a statement.
Published in the journal Environmental Pollution, the study points to sewage from beachfront hotels in the Yucatan’s Riviera Maya as the likely source of the pollution.
“In many of these areas they have inadequate waste-water collection systems, so there can be leaks from septic tanks,” the study’s lead author, Chris Metcalfe, told Efe.
“The other possibility is that waste water is being used to water the golf courses,” he said.
Pollution, over-fishing and climate change have destroyed up to 50 percent of the coral on Yucatan’s coast since 1990, according to the scientists.
The Yucatan, particularly Cancun and the Riviera Maya, is the crown jewel of Mexico’s vital tourism industry and has been the scene of intensive development. EFE