Personnel from three Brussels federal police barracks have been drinking water containing toxic concentrations of substances such as lead and iron, according to media reports on Monday.
An external company in June sampled the tap water in 43 taps in the Geruzet, De Witte De Haelen and Kroon stations. The police said that while the results of the study had been “overall satisfactory,” there were problems with some of the taps, according to Het Laatste Nieuws.
The study showed that two of the taps contained elevated concentrations of lead while a third was found to have too much iron, the outlet reports.
The lead concentration was found to be 13 times higher than the limit set by European health standards.
Marc Duplessis, a spokesperson for the CGSP union of public workers, said the high concentration levels of lead were of particular concern for unions and employees.
“Personnel has been drinking this water for years — they use it to make coffee several times a day,” he told the Dutch-language daily.
“Actually, the federal police has been poisoning their own staff for years,” he added.
The police have said that they are working with the building management company to replace the old pipes, and the outlet reports that in the meantime, signs have been put to keep personnel from drinking tap water.
The Brussels Times
Correction: This story has been updated to clarify the location of the contaminated water