Woman claims her pond has been contaminated by 'dust pollution'
MORE residents in Avonmouth have joined calls for action over dust pollution in the area.
On Monday The Post revealed that a new scientific report had criticised regulations which do not monitor dust particles believed to cause cancer.
Now, a grandmother-of-two, whose property on Green Lane has been blanketed by dust falling from mainly wood processing plants, has said she does not think the authorities are taking residents' claims seriously.
Christine Chard, 56, said that despite scientific research highlighting the health risks, the Environment Agency and the city council have failed to find a solution. She said a long-awaited meeting between the authorities, companies on the docks and residents has never materialised.
Ms Chard said: "The EA seems to think that the problems with the wood dust seem to have been largely resolved. Residents of Avonmouth are still waiting for a long-promised meeting with the companies concerned, the EA, the council and the Health Protection Agency to enable us to raise all our concerns.
"I do not feel any confidence now in the people who are supposed to be helping to protect us and our families. Many residents of Avonmouth have been trying to fight this for a long time but we are not being taken seriously."
Ms Chard says she has got so frustrated that she sent samples of dust found in her own pond for testing.
The results showed the presence of lignin – a chemical compound most commonly derived from wood.
Material scientist Graham Cliff said he was "concerned" about the results as wood dust is considered to be a carcinogen.
Poole Street residents Steve and Sandra Ware also said they had sent dust samples collected from their road to be analysed, and traces of toxic formaldehyde and arsenic were found.
Environment Agency spokesman Paul Gainey said the council is "leading" the investigations, adding: "There is no wood processing on the dock. There is some wood chipping but that is a mile away from the docks and it is not outside."
Council spokesman Peter Wood said it was not clear where the dust came from as no wood processing was now believed to be taking place nearby.
He said: "The city council does take its role in protecting the public health very seriously and we will investigate any complaints that are made to us and will continue to liaise with the Environment Agency, the Health and Safety Executive and any other agencies where appropriate.
"This issue was discussed at length at a public meeting of the neighbourhood partnership earlier this month, which was attended by a senior officer from the council."
Since complaints started, wood processing company Boomeco says it had moved off the site to a warehouse in Avonmouth.
Managing director Oliver Latter said the former site was "too exposed" for wood processing.
Spokesperson for Stobart Biomass James Andrew said the company had not processed wood in the area since January of last year.