Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Who's been pouring mercury down the sink Leader Carter?

Steve Ladyman and Roger Gale tell us that the mercury pollution and aviation fuel pollution are down to the public pouring paint or oil down the sink.

The Environment Agency say so too.

KCC liaise with the Environment Agency to safeguard Kent.

We spoke 4 weeks ago.

I spoke with the EA 4 weeks before that.

It's clear there is significant pollution at Infratil, Sericol and Thor with either slack clean-up procedures or "political nobbling" of the necessary safeguards that endangers the public.

Is it the public pouring aviation fuel down the sink and into the sea? Or is it Infratil?

Is it the public pouring mercury down the sink and into the water table. Or is it Thor mercury?

The United Nations in Bangkok 2 years ago detailed Thor mercury repeatedly polluting the population and the water table in Margate and Africa: see below.

And confirmed it closed in Margate in 1987.

Roger Gale in 2007 confirmed that the fire at Thor's factory was of no concern.

What has been going on in Kent's backyard?

Under the EIR regulations please provide copies to the public via the KCC website of the monthly EA contamination reports and all documentation, emails and notes since 1987.

What has been going on for 20 years?

We know TDC and our MP's are scoundrels and layabouts - but KCC and the EA too?


In the 1970s Thor Chemicals operated a mercury-production facility at Margate, Kent, England. When excessive levels of mercury were found in the air and in workers’ urine in the 1980s, the Health and Safety Executive of Great Britain threatened prosecution. Thor closed the Kent plant in 1987 and relocated to Cato Ridge, South Africa, a small, industrial village in the self-governing province of Kwazulu-Natal. The facility at Cato Ridge was to be a mercury reclamation operation and it began accepting mercury waste from the U.S. and UK, ostensibly for treatment and recovery. The mercury shipped to Thor SA contained 30-45 percent organic content, a level generally not accepted in the U.S. or Europe (Earthlife, 1994). The unskilled Zulu-speaking labor force employed at Cato Ridge was not trained in the dangers of occupational exposure to mercury.

Tests conducted as early as 1988 showed that nearby rivers and streams (drinking water sources)– had mercury levels greater than WHO recommendations (UMich, 2001). The Environment Ministry announced in 1990 that South Africa would no longer import hazardous wastes (Ward, 2002). Nevertheless between 1991 and 1994, three U.S. companies shipped over 2500 drums of mercury waste to South Africa, without notifying the U.S. of these exports, as required under the U.S. Resource Conservation Recovery Act (Greenpeace, 1999). Borden Chemicals eventually recalled 150 drums under intense international scrutiny from environmentalists (UMich, 2001).

In 1990 Earthlife Africa received reports of Thor workers “going mad” (UMich, 2001). A doctor from the Industrial Health Unit (IHU) diagnosed mercury poisoning in four workers and further investigation revealed that 87% of workers had mercury levels that were above the safe limit (Butler, 1997). By 1992 two Thor workers had died of mercury poisoning, and an IHU study revealed that almost 30% were in danger of permanent health damage from it (UMich, 2001). The families of the deceased workers sued Thor in a British court and were awarded almost US$2 million. Compensation for injured workers, however, has been much smaller and barely sufficient to cover their medical expenses (Lipman, 2002).

In fact, Thor had not been processing the mercury waste at all but merely storing it. In 1994 a visit to the site by delegates from the African National Congress uncovered a sludge pond brimming with 2500 tonnes of mercury, and three warehouses overflowing with more than 10,000 rusting and leaking barrels of mercury waste (Earthlife, 1994). While Thor officials contend the process designed to capture mercury turned out to be flawed, environmentalists say the treatment never existed and that Thor never intended to do anything other than store and incinerate the waste-mercury (Greenpeace, 2002).

The discovery of catastrophic contamination levels around the plant convinced the Department of National Health to close Thor’s recovery plant and incinerator in 1994, but thousands of tonnes of stockpiled waste remained on the site in leaking barrels and Thor was allowed to continue producing mercury catalysts until 1999 (Njobeni, 2004).

No comments: