Persistent Organic Pollutants ABC Landline

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Persistent Organic Pollutants - ABC Landline

This ABC Landline report provides an overview of the chemicals referred to as Persistent Organic Pollutants (aka POPs) such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) that are taken from Pacific Islands.

These pollutants are residuals from the 1960s that are left in decomposing containers where they are releasing extremely harmful contaminants into the environment that are measurably polluting the local ecosystems and every man, woman and child with dire consequences if they accumulate sufficiently in an individuals body tissues.

Once in Australia, the wastes are regulated at 3 levels by Federal, State and local government due to the highly hazardous nature of these substances as they have a very high tendency for bioaccumulation (collect and stay in bodily tissues).

It is these chemicals that are then taken from the Pacific Islands to Narangba Industrial Estate for final treatment to render them less hazardous. This chemical plant where the POPs are treated backs onto the same creek that was contaminated by the Binary Industries and Zelam Australasia fires.

In June 2008, this company was caught dumping wastewater containing carcinogenic (cancer-causing) and mutagenic (causes mutations and birth defects) PCBs into the sewerage system bypassing the officially approved treatment system. This would certainly have been enough cause for any of the regulators to tighten their inspections on this business, but this is not how it transpired.

The company in the Narangba Industrial Estate who treat the PCBs and other POPs was sold to a new owner in 2008.

In June 2009, the new owner of this chemical plant was under official directive and an Environmental Management Plan (EMP) from the Queensland Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to remove 1,400m3 of contaminated soil (our source within the company has stated this amount compared with the EPAs public admission of 400m3) that had been dumped into the creek area by the previous owner. Local children are known to play in this creek some distance downstream and this creek empties into Moreton Bay Marine Park where certain areas are now out-of-bounds for fishing to preserve breeding grounds exactly the spot where this creek enters the Bay.

The waste contractor employed to remove the soil did not even cover the load to prevent dust becoming airborne during transport and they did this without any supervision whatsoever by the EPA. This exposed people to the contaminated dust due to what can only be described as wilful negligence by all parties involved.

The local community is very grateful to the new owner for cleaning up the illegal dumping mess of the previous owner, however, the main question by the community is why was this allowed to occur and why did the regulators not conduct more frequent inspections that they had previously committed to do?.

Same answer as normal for all compliance-dodgers in the Narangba Industrial Estate turn a blind eye because it is obviously too hard and technically far beyond the regulators marginalised skills, ability and knowledge.

{Incidentally, this sewerage water is the same water that Queensland Premier Anna Bligh wants local to drink as recycled sewerage (aka crap-from-the-tap). Despite the proposal to use reverse osmosis water treatment for converting sewerage into drinking water, only small amounts of these POPs such as PCBs have the potential to cause cancer and birth defects in the local population.

The other chemical residues in the sewerage include pesticide residues, among other things, are classified as endocrine disruptors (which means nothing to the average person who has not had pituitary, thyroid, renal, etc problems that are constituent components of the endocrine system).

It would certainly appear that the Labor Party are hell-bent on destroying the health of the local community, if not by denial of the Narangba Industrial Estate air pollution problem then finish the job by making them drink, bathe and cook in this wonderful cocktail.}

Channel: Environment Channel

Related tags: chemical fire , binary industries , North Lakes , narangba , catastrophe, ,

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