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  • The environmental issue in Eleusis

    28.04.2022

    Industrial growth has had a catalytic effect on the pollution of the natural environment of Eleusis. From the end of the 19th century, the factories’ chimneys began to multiply, and their smoke polluted the atmosphere. From 1875 to 1925, Eleusis housed at least five large industrial units, the TITAN cement factory being one of them. After the war, when Greece entered the second phase of industrialisation, Eleusis remained one of the most important industrial zones, and new factories were established in the area. The Halyvourgiki Hellenic Steel Industry and Elefsis Shipyards are some.

    The concentration of the factories had devastating effects on the natural environment of the area of ​​Thriasian Plain. Particles that damage human health and vegetation in significant concentrations and cement would pollute the atmosphere. The dumping of toxic waste into the sea caused substantial damage to the aquatic environment. The decommissioned ships in the Gulf of Eleusis aggravated the situation. Until recently, chemical dispersants used to combat oil spills resulted in the seabed being covered with an oil film throughout the Gulf. The largest concentrations occur in front of the two refineries and the shipyards of Eleusis. The oil spills have also led to the damage to the city's antiquities, which has experts and residents worrying as the area's cultural heritage has been endangered.

    The green movements that emerged just a few decades before the 21st century managed to put a brake on the hitherto reckless destruction of the natural environment. In Eleusis, air pollution has been significantly decreased, and the harmful particles in the atmosphere have been reduced. In recent years there has been a noticeable improvement in the city. A station for measuring air pollution (within the National Air Pollution Monitoring Network) monitors the concentration of the particles in the atmosphere daily. It’s the reduction of industrial waste as many industries have ceased or modified their operation at the behest of official directives that have benefited the city. The improvement has resulted in an increase in fishing and the lifting of the swimming ban. The reduced number of decommissioned ships (from 400! now there are about 30) anchored offshore or moored in the "ship graveyard" has also contributed.

    Although Eleusis is not in the dire position it was a few decades ago, the situation remains critical, and the issue of environmental pollution remains a major issue in the community. The constant claim of the coastal front by the residents and the continuous insecurity caused by the oil factories surrounding the city, threatening to approach it more are some of the ways the inhabitants express their feelings.

    Eleusinians demand that industries take measures so that people and factories can coexist harmoniously, providing an upgraded quality of life for future generations. They desire to heal the wounds and make sure that phenomena, such as people dying of diseases caused by cement,  will stay in the past. They want fear and insecurity to cease. They want the city's industrial history to be part of its cultural heritage.