Crete: beaches filled with thousands of syringes

Pictures with syringes that flooded the beaches of Crete are of great concern to both the public and local authorities.

These are unused syringes that were swept away by the current and carried across the area from Karteros to Pachia Ammos in Lassithi.

Manolis Loubunis, head of the region’s Department of Public Health, saw the photos on the ekriti website and said they were syringes that diabetics commonly use to administer insulin. However, he says they can be used for other medical purposes as well.

“They are not dangerous in the sense that someone can get infected because they are unused,” Mr. Loubunis said. But it would be good, he said, for bathers to be careful not to prick themselves, since many of them were found without a cap.

The official cannot say exactly where so many syringes came from. In his opinion, presumably it could be cargo from a ship that fell into the sea, the boxes opened, and as a result, the syringes were carried away by waves.

Speaking on the radio program, the head of the local community of Pachia Ammos Gergios Rapanis said that there is great concern in the area, as residents constantly find syringes. “Mothers walking with their children call me all the time and say they find syringes buried in the sand and are afraid that someone might get hurt.”

In the last few days alone, more than 2,000 syringes have been found in Pahia Ammos, with many more on the beaches of Karteros, Arina and Gournes. Citizens think they are for drugs and don’t touch them. The syringes were collected by public utilities sent by the municipality, which said it was “cleaning up the area”, but they keep coming.

The port authorities of Heraklion and Agios Nikolaos now seem to have a “new headache”. The authorities intend to conduct an investigation to determine exactly what happened.

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