The most recent groundwater analysis shows that in little over a year, the chemicals detected in the aquifer under the mountain of coal ash at AES plant in Guayama — such as selenium, lithium and molybdenum — exceeded the maximum allowed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency by four to 14 times. The consumption of these three elements has been associated with skin inflammation, acute pain, vomiting, weakness, liver dysfunction and death from poisoning, according to the U.S. Department of Health’s Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. During the same period the concentration of heavy metals such as arsenic, multiplied by five almost reaching the level of toxicity established by the EPA, while others, such as lead and cadmium, also showed significant increases. Considered by the World Health Organization (WHO) as one of the 10 most alarming chemical threats to public health, arsenic in water has carcinogenic effects, according to the WHO International Center for Cancer Research. Even in low doses, it can cause irritation to the stomach, lungs and intestines, and in the long term, growth problems, neurotoxicity, diabetes and pulmonary and cardiovascular diseases.