Fire chief says smoke from Kidderminster blaze is 'not hazardous'

CONCERNS have been raised over air pollution with black smoke billowing out of the Lawrence Recycling fire site since Sunday.

Residents have complained about the smell of smoke throughout Wyre Forest and are worried about any risk it might pose to their heath.

Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service area commander Jon Pryce said: “We’ve managed to bring the smoke down an enormous amount. It has been significantly reduced.

“Yes there is smoke but no, it is not hazardous. We do have to carry out firefighting operations on site but we will not start pulling out the rubbish as this will cause more smoke.

“It’s a balancing game. We’re trying to make sure our firefighting operations are sympathetic. We may do more work in the evenings.”

He said he believed residents would see the smoke plume until the weekend at least and possibly into next week.

Public Health England said health risks were “low” but smoke could be an irritant to eyes and throats.

Dr David Kirrage, a consultant with the Public Health England’s West Midlands health protection team, said: "The general advice remains that people should do all they can to stay out of the smoke.

"If concerned, staying indoors with the doors and windows closed should provide some additional protection.”

Comments (4)

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6:25pm Wed 19 Jun 13

Stephen Brown says...

Sorry but I don't believe a word of it.

The EA have tested for particulates and irritants so far as I know but not PCB's or Dioxins - so how would anyone know know what the hell has been released or if it's harmful? I'd like to see some evidence to back up the claim it is not harmful, otherwise the noises from the authorities sound like a cover-up or complacency.

Do they really expect us to literally swallow the line that the kind of black smoke thrown out does not come about by burning stuff that is not harmful?

I think we deserve better than platitudes, we also deserve answers; and assurances this WON'T happen again too - so just what is happening to ensure that eh? Over to you EA, WCC HSE etc.
Sorry but I don't believe a word of it. The EA have tested for particulates and irritants so far as I know but not PCB's or Dioxins - so how would anyone know know what the hell has been released or if it's harmful? I'd like to see some evidence to back up the claim it is not harmful, otherwise the noises from the authorities sound like a cover-up or complacency. Do they really expect us to literally swallow the line that the kind of black smoke thrown out does not come about by burning stuff that is not harmful? I think we deserve better than platitudes, we also deserve answers; and assurances this WON'T happen again too - so just what is happening to ensure that eh? Over to you EA, WCC HSE etc. Stephen Brown
  • Score: 0

1:34pm Thu 20 Jun 13

cleanair01 says...

I can't believe a fire commander could be so far off the mark when he says this smoke is not harmful.
ALL smoke is harmful.

I agree with Stephen Brown on this one.

Public Health England are not being truthful either.
If smoke can be an irritant to eyes and throats, it can get into the lungs and stay there. It can cause death in susceptible groups.
Either these people are ill informed or they are handling the truth carelessly!
I can't believe a fire commander could be so far off the mark when he says this smoke is not harmful. ALL smoke is harmful. I agree with Stephen Brown on this one. Public Health England are not being truthful either. If smoke can be an irritant to eyes and throats, it can get into the lungs and stay there. It can cause death in susceptible groups. Either these people are ill informed or they are handling the truth carelessly! cleanair01
  • Score: 0

11:23am Sat 22 Jun 13

ex-Stourportman says...

Well done Fire Commander for putting me at ease. I expect all your fellows have ben wearing the right equipment so as to ward off the effects of the smoke. Then of course you are right it is not harmful.
Along with members of my family arrived in Kidder on Thurs afternoon to stay at the Travelodge. I enquired what the acrid smell was and was told it was from the fire.
I could not believe that people were sat outside smoking and inhaling this pollutant at the same time.
On Friday evening even at 10.30pm in the Watermill when the doors were opened in wafted the obnoxious smell. I fear there are going to be some people taken very ill soon with lung trouble.
Well done Fire Commander for putting me at ease. I expect all your fellows have ben wearing the right equipment so as to ward off the effects of the smoke. Then of course you are right it is not harmful. Along with members of my family arrived in Kidder on Thurs afternoon to stay at the Travelodge. I enquired what the acrid smell was and was told it was from the fire. I could not believe that people were sat outside smoking and inhaling this pollutant at the same time. On Friday evening even at 10.30pm in the Watermill when the doors were opened in wafted the obnoxious smell. I fear there are going to be some people taken very ill soon with lung trouble. ex-Stourportman
  • Score: 0

8:23pm Sat 22 Jun 13

Stephen Brown says...

There is an online petition asking that testing for polluntants such as dioxins and PCBs gets done by the authorites following the Lawrence fire. They have only so far tested for particulates and irritants which does not give the full story. The burning of plastic can release such dioxins and PCBs which can be very harmful to health - humans and animals. http://www.ipetition
s.com/petition/lawre
nce-fire-dioxin-dang
er/
There is an online petition asking that testing for polluntants such as dioxins and PCBs gets done by the authorites following the Lawrence fire. They have only so far tested for particulates and irritants which does not give the full story. The burning of plastic can release such dioxins and PCBs which can be very harmful to health - humans and animals. http://www.ipetition s.com/petition/lawre nce-fire-dioxin-dang er/ Stephen Brown
  • Score: 0

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