Drinking water contaminated by aluminum pollution after clear-cutting on the Millevaches plateau

According to a study by the University of Limoges, intensive logging and logging is the cause of aluminum pollution in several drinking water extraction areas on the Millevaches plateau. Excessive aluminum consumption can lead to neurodegenerative diseases.

Drouillat is a small hamlet located at an altitude of 900 meters in the municipality of Peyrelevade (Corrèze). For the past two years, about fifteen residents have been provided with drinking water by the town hall, but they can no longer drink tap water. Residents store mineral water packets in a nearby shed.

In question, aluminum pollution of the catchment area located several kilometers higher. More than ten springs are said to be located in the same case on the Millevaches plateau. We were unable to obtain an exhaustive list.

Seven years ago, the land, which sits above the Drouillat watershed, was cleared. According to Gilles Guibaut, chemist and director of the E2LIM laboratory at the University of Limoges, “There is of course several percent by mass of aluminum in the soil of the region. It is not very mobile. On the other hand, external conditions can release it and bring it to the water.”

Intensive logging involves a high tree density, which releases a lot of organic material. Decomposition creates an acidity that makes the aluminum mobile.

Through its research, the University of Limoges has shown that clear-cutting is an aggravating factor. In fact, the soil is then literally plowed by the machines, making the aluminum released all the more easily.

We recommend that you no longer cultivate the soil after logging and that you no longer carry out clear felling. Instead, selective mowing is necessary to maintain soil quality that does not release aluminum.

Gilles Guibaut, director of the E2LIM laboratory – University of Limoges

France 3 Limousin

The authority that carried out analyzes and banned the consumption of drinking water from Drouillat is none other than the Regional Health Agency of Nouvelle-Aquitaine.

She advises the mayor of Peyrelevade to connect Drouillat to another source. Unfortunately, the hamlet is three kilometers from the rest of the network. The small town with 830 inhabitants would have to pay 175,000 euros to connect just fifteen residents. Suffice it to say that it is impossible and the situation is blocked.

The mayor secretly hopes that aluminum levels will eventually drop naturally. Seven years after clear-cutting it is still very high.

The Federation of Forest Owners’ Unions (Fransylva), some of whose members exploit the Limousin forest, claims to be unaware of the problem of aluminum pollution.

However, this aluminum hinders the proper development of young replanted trees, according to the same researchers:

Aluminum is toxic to new plants and prevents their growth.

Gilles Guibaut, director of the E2LIM laboratory – University of Limoges

France 3 Limousin

Suffice it to say that forest operators have every interest in taking into account the recommendations of the University of Limoges.

Aluminum, consumed by humans in too high doses, can cause neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.

However, the link between aluminum and Alzheimer’s disease is the subject of scientific controversy.

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