Jeans firms pollute Mexican city with blue dye

Jeans factories have given jobs to thousands in the Mexican city of Tehuacan, reported Reuters on Thursday, but they are pumping blue chemicals into rivers used to irrigate corn fields downstream.

Dozens of industrial laundries, some of which prepare jeans for export, discharge bleach, dye and detergents into Tehuacan’s wide valley with almost no government controls, Reuters reported residents as saying.

Since the denim industry’s peak in the 1990s, many firms have left for China, but hundreds of thousands of Mexicans still work in assembly plants.

Water from the denim laundries runs through Tehuacan, where it mixes with municipal sewage and is discharged untreated in a foaming green torrent to a river that feeds irrigation systems downstream.

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photo by Nchenga