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Tuesday 5 April 2011

Anger at homes covered by water tower demolition dust

The demolition of the Brightlingsea water tower has angered its neighbours, not because of the loss of what could have been converted into a useful amenity but because the dust created by the demolition contractor - who is apparently not using any dust suppression methods such as water hoses or shielding - is raining down on their homes, cars and gardens.

Concrete dust contains high concentrations of silica which can irritate the lungs and if exposure is great enough it can cause silicosis.

Wikipedia says out that the concrete dust released after earthquakes (and ins other disasters such as in the 9/11 attacks) has shown to have detrimental health effects and should be considered hazardous.

From the Daily Gazette

RESIDENTS say their homes and street are being covered with concrete dust from the demolition of a water tower.

They claim the powder has covered everything from plants to their cars and they have to keep the windows shut because the problem is so bad.

The disused water tower, in Church Road, Brightlingsea, is being pulled down in preparation for a new residential development.

Demolition work has been under way for a couple of weeks and is expected to last another month.

Householders told the Gazette something needed to be done to stop the residue affecting them.

Muriel Jefford, 80, who lives next to the site, said: “I’ve had to park my car in the car port and keep it covered up because there has been so much dust.

“The whole road is covered in concrete and obviously we’re breathing it in whenever we go outside.

“The problem is not the building that will take place there, it’s the way the demolition is being done, with no shielding.”

Neighbour Elizabeth Scott, 79, lives opposite the water tower with her husband Ian, also 79, and said: “The dust is horrendous.

“We have to keep our windows closed, but it’s still getting indoors.

“I’m worried about the health and safety aspect too.

“There are hundreds of children walking past every day on their way to the Colne Community School nearby and there’s no protection for them.”

Elvanite Recycling, based at Hythe, Colchester, is carrying out the demolition.

General manager William Bailey did not want to comment.

Tendring Council said it had received one complaint about dust from the water tower site, on March 21.

Nigel Brown, the council’s communications manager, said: “One of the officers in environmental services went out to speak to the contractor, which had already stopped work as it recognised it did not have the correct dust suppression equipment.”

He said the council was not aware dust was still an issue, but would send an officer back, to speak to the company and try to resolve any problems.

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