Surroundings assessments haven’t been accomplished however fallout from Mack hearth poses ‘no well being threat’


Checks which may uncover whether or not poisonous chemical substances hazardous to well being polluted the speedy space across the web site of final 12 months’s devastating hearth at Glasgow College of Artwork haven’t been carried out.

Glasgow Metropolis Council, which is liable for monitoring the surroundings across the partially-demolished constructing, confirmed that there had been no investigation, claiming that there was no menace to public well being and that any suggestion there was might be “scaremongering”.

This newspaper beforehand revealed that flammable ceiling and insulation supplies of the identical sort which prompted the hearth at Grenfell Tower in London, through which 72 individuals died, had been used within the fateful refurbishment of the Waterproof coat constructing. These additionally give off, when burned, toxic gases, akin to hydrogen cyanide, and probably lethal particulates.

In response to the tutorial who has carried out an unbiased report into poisonous air pollution in soil and buildings round Grenfell, “Hearth releases a wealthy cocktail of pollution, a lot of them acutely or chronically poisonous.”

The ‘Mack’ web site is on Garnethill in Glasgow, shut to a few faculties and close to to Sauchiehall Road, the place the ABC leisure venue additionally burned down within the hearth. A council spokesperson mentioned, “Our public well being professional doesn’t consider that any traces of chemical substances within the surroundings ensuing from the hearth at GSA represents any threat to public well being and any suggestion in any other case may end in scaremongering.”

There has additionally been no well being screenings of residents who had been pressured to go away their properties, or those that had been on the ABC when the hearth broke out final June, in what an skilled firefighter described as an unprecedented “fireball”.

A spokesman for NHS Larger Glasgow and Clyde mentioned, “The board hasn’t carried out analysis into any potential well being subject because of the hearth. Generally, the well being results of short-term emissions like this are small and troublesome to detect.

“As well as, it will even be troublesome to outline the group at potential threat as individuals close to the scene that day wouldn’t essentially be a resident within the space.”

Screens within the centre of Glasgow measure air high quality and log ranges of ozone, nitrogen dioxide and particulates PM10 and PM2.5 (references to the particle measurement in micrometers). Nevertheless they don’t determine the sort of particulates, a spokesperson for the environmental company Sepa confirmed.

Sepa did perform air assessments within the speedy aftermath of the hearth however the accountability for these then handed to the town council.

Evaluation of metropolis screens exhibits spikes in gases and particulates across the time of the hearth, June 16, and after and when demolition of a considerable a part of the unsafe constructing started in July.

The flammable insulation used within the ceilings of the Mack restoration was of the identical sort as that used within the Grenfell Tower cladding, It was 100mm PIR (the acronym for polyisocyanurate) on a breathable polyethylene membrane, which is round 50 per cent cheaper than non-flammable supplies like Rockwool. When burned PIR and the membrane produce vital toxins together with hydrogen cyanide.

Anna Stec, who’s Professor of Hearth Chemistry and Toxicology on the College of Central Lancashire, is recognised as one of many world’s main authorities on hearth hazards and science. In a paper authored along with her colleague T Richard Hull on the hearth toxicity of constructing insulation supplies, like PIR, the pair cautioned: “Trendy, light-weight constructing supplies are cheaper to supply, transport and erect and supply improved thermal insulation, permitting extra environment friendly temperature management….Nevertheless, compared to conventional supplies many insulation supplies current a higher hearth hazard, being much less efficient hearth obstacles, extra flamable and having increased hearth toxicity”.

Stec, who can also be an professional witness on the Grenfell Tower hearth enquiry, carried out an investigation into the speedy surroundings across the Grenfell web site together with a crew from her college. Mud and particles from the hearth, which broke out in June 2017, was discovered to include toxins which may trigger most cancers and bronchial asthma. The encircling space in London’s Notting Hill had been polluted in what an unbiased investigation known as “vital environmental contamination”.

Soil samples taken as much as 1.2km from the tower by her crew discovered that the degrees of poisonous chemical substances discovered had been “many instances increased than regular”, dismissing any suggesting that they might have been current earlier than the hearth. Sampling came about six months after the hearth after which at 17 months.

She mentioned in her unbiased report printed final month, “Hearth releases a wealthy cocktail of pollution, a lot of them acutely or chronically poisonous. There’s an elevated threat of quite a lot of well being issues to these within the native space, from bronchial asthma to most cancers”.

Among the many toxins and dangerous chemical substances found had been:

+ Char samples from balconies as much as a 100 metres from the tower had been contaminated with cancer-causing polycyclic fragrant hydrocarbons (PAHs) which pose an elevated threat of growing continual circumstances from bronchial asthma to most cancers.

+ Soil samples 140 metres away discovered PAH ranges at as much as 160 instances higher than soil from different city areas.

+ Phosphorous flame retardants – of the type utilized in insulation foams and furnishings that are probably poisonous to the nervous system.

+ Concentrations of benzene, one other carcinogen, in portions as much as 40 instances increased than that usually present in city soil.

(Ready on an MSP or councillor quote…)


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