An accident has occurred at the Covanta operated Poolbeg incinerator last night (Wed 7 June) which resulted in the hospitalisation of 11 construction workers.
Reports indicate the cause of the incident was an uncontrolled cloud of lime released inside the flue gas treatment area, which breached a door seal and engulfed the workers, resulting in reports of breathing difficulties, feelings of nausea and blurred vision.
Lime, a highly alkaline, caustic and irritating material with potential to cause blindness and serious respiratory issues, is used in incinerators to ‘clean’ harmful compounds such as dioxins and furans from flue gasses.
CHASE spokesperson Mary O’Leary said “Firstly, we are relieved that there were no fatalities in last nights Poolbeg incident. But it is time to put an end to charade of safety touted by incinerator operators. There are hazards involved at every twist and turn in the process as last nights lime cloud incident illustrates.
The Poolbeg incinerator is only just open and to see a serious incident requiring hospitalisation of workers at this early stage rubbishes the safety assurances made by incinerator operators and the incinerator industry in general.
Don’t tell us incinerators are safe. We watched Indavers flagship Belgian plant ablaze in February 2016 while Indaver reassured us that they would run a plant in Ringaskiddy safely. The residents in Poolbeg were given similar assurances, which are already starting to crumble. ”
Chemistry professor, author and global campaigner for safer and sustainable waste management solutions, Dr Paul Connett is currently in Ireland on a 2 week tour. His first public meeting takes place in Limerick tomorrow, Fri 9 June in Strand Hotel at 7.30pm where he will address ‘The dangers of Incineration”.