In Hungary, arsenic contamination of tap water is mainly experienced in Kiskun, Jász-Nagykun-Szolnok, and Csongrád counties. Although many settlements invested several million EUR in the improvement of water quality, it still contains carcinogenic materials – reported by G7.
According to the Hungarian news portal, contaminated water in Hungary is not so dominant that its consumption would result in death; however, it can increase the risk of cancer diseases (skin, bladder, lung, and kidney cancer) for the forthcoming decades, as well as it means a significant threat in case of pregnancy.
According to the National Institute of Public Health, tap water’s arsenic concentration in the mentioned counties (data from 2003), is so significant that its mortality risk is similar to traffic accidents and urban air pollution.
According to data of the National Public Health Service in 2013, a bit less than 84% of the water supply in Hungary was considered to be appropriate in terms of arsenic content; this value increased to 95% by 2017, thanks to the investments realised from EU financial supports. According to hvg.hu, during 2007 and 2013, EUR 303 million (HUF 100 billion) was spent for this purpose, within the framework of 192 projects.
Still, the problem has not disappeared completely: the G7 compared those settlements where – according to data of the Central Statistical Office (KSH), an impermissibly high concentration of arsen was measured – with those cities whose investments from EU funds were realised for the improvement of water quality.
Accordingly, there are 70 settlements out of 85 where improvements were completed several years ago; as a result of which, arsenic content should be below the limit.
As the Hungarian news portal 24.hu reports, a total of 33 projects – which concerned 70 municipalities – exceeded EUR 133 million (~HUF 44 billion); however, water quality has been improved in some additional settlements which were not included in the list; as to say, the investment has been successful in this regard.
In case of development above EUR 51.5 million (~HUF 17 billion), it still occurs that tap water reaches or exceeds the limit of arsenic content.
Source: G7.hu; 24.hu