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Heavy metals sweep onwards down Hungary's Tisza River

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Budapest (dpa) - Two bursts of water tainted with heavy metals were sweeping Friday down Hungary's Tisza River, the same waterway that was nearly sterilized last month by a spill of gold-mining cyanide.

Both of the current waves of pollution come from a mining operation in Borsa, northwestern Romania.

The first release was expected to reach the town of Csongrad in the course of Friday. On Thursday, when it passed Szolnok, the lead concentration had been diluted to 0.08 milligrams per litre, less than the danger level under Hungarian law, Hungarian radio reported.

The second wave entered the Tisza in northwestern Hungary from a stream with its source in Romania, but had a lesser lead concentration. Water intakes in 30 Hungarian communities were nevertheless closed as a precaution.

Experts said the main danger was that lead would lodge in the mud of the river and move up through the food chain for years to come. dpa gm jbp

AP-NY-03-17-00 0614EST

Copyright (c) 2000 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH
Received by NewsEdge Insight: 03/17/2000 06:14:52

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