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LETTER OF THE DAY - Emission from Riverton landfill a health risk?

Published:Wednesday | February 17, 2010 | 12:00 AM


THE RECENT fires at the Riverton City landfill that burned for two nights have signalled again the urgent need for an alternative dump site for the city's refuse. Not only is the dump becoming an extreme health hazard to the communities and industrial districts that surround the area, but I fear its location could seriously compromise the Government's developmental plans for the Mandela Highway, as well as the Caymanas business centre development project being pursued by the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce.

The reason for such action to be taken sooner rather than later is due to the fact that when there is a fire at the site, the residue and toxic fumes pollute the air and spread to communities such as Patrick City, Duhaney Park, Portmore and even Greater Portmore. This simply means that all the communities trapped within that radius are constantly exposed to serious health hazards.

The emission of noxious smoke and other pollutants from the landfill will not go down well with any prospective investor who has an interest in the proposed business centre off the Mandela Highway.

Danger inhaling

Furthermore, Riverton has, over the years, been plagued by fires with the authorities only applying band-aid treatment to the problem.

I would like to know if the Ministry of Health has ever done research or study on the pollutants emitted from burning at the dump site? The residents have had to be inhaling these emissions for years.

Furthermore, a study should be carried out to determine what types of illness could occur from the inhalation of the smoke from the dump. And in that case, it might be easier for people who have lived in these conditions over many years to determine if their health woes could possibly be caused by exposure to such substances.

I am, etc.,

K. Joseph