The large fire at the Greenway Polymers (former Pink Skips) site in Ketley has caused significant issues with smoke and air quality for residents across the parish.
Following concerns raised by local residents, Lawley and Overdale Parish Council asked the following question of Telford & Wrekin Council (TWC):
We have been contacted by a number of angry residents in Overdale regarding no information being made available about the air quality monitoring that has been undertaken by the Environment Agency and questions as to why did it take a week of toxic smoke/smells before they even looked at it?
Yesterday evening we received the following response from TWC:
Air Quality has been a consideration from the beginning of this incident, the initial advice from the Environment Agency’s Air Quality Cell, who are the experts in regards to air quality from incidents such as these, was that there was no requirement for monitoring to support a risk assessment due to the fact that monitoring would not affect the health advice given. The cell did advise that reassurance monitoring could be provided, as a result we have obtained equipment to monitor air quality from the Environment Agency as well as securing the services of a contractor to undertake monitoring across the wider area to provide reassurance monitoring. This information is reviewed by Public Health England on a daily basis and their initial findings are that the risks to health are low. However, because any smoke is an irritant, it is more likely to affect those with existing breathing problems, lung or heart conditions (e.g. asthma, bronchitis, chronic pulmonary disease or heart disease). Together, we will continue to monitor air quality and will publish updates over the coming weeks and months. In the meantime the advice remains to continue to keep doors and windows shut. Any updates with regards to health advice will be published on our newsroom http://newsroom.telford.gov.uk/News/Details/15742
You may have seen this already but for completeness Public Health England’s advice is: “Any smoke can irritate airways, skin and eyes and cause coughing, wheezing breathlessness and chest pain. Chemicals in smoke can also worsen health problems like asthma and heart conditions so people should carry their medication if they are in areas affected by the smoke. Chemicals in the smoke can worsen existing health problems like asthma. People with asthma should carry their inhaler. If symptoms occur, people should seek medical advice or call NHS 111.”
“People in areas affected by smoke should stay indoors and keep doors and windows shut, while motorists travelling through the smoke should keep windows closed, turn off air conditioning and keep air vents closed. If people need to be outdoors, they should limit time spent in areas affected by smoke and ash.” Whilst fire fighting continues and weather conditions vary there may be times of poor air quality – so remember to continue to minimise your exposure to any smoke and keep your medication with you.
If residents have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us.