03 July 2008

Haulbowline clean-up workers to receive legal advice

Irish Examiner 3/7/08

A number of men who worked on the stalled clean-up of the former Irish Steel site in Cork Harbour have reportedly expressed serious concerns about possible risks to their health.

Reports this morning say the workers have spoken out about the methods used to remove contaminated soil from the Haulbowline site.

The soil was apparently scooped up in a special bucket and shaken vigorously to separate rocks from fine dust, which was then placed in trucks for shipment to Germany.

One worker is quoted this morning as saying the dust was airborne during the entire process.

Earlier this week, it emerged that the carcinogen Chromium 6 was discovered in the dust, along with traces of lead and mercury.

Environment Minister John Gormley has insisted that tests show there is no risk to public health in the area.

However, figures released yesterday showed a significant spike in cancer rates in nearby Cobh, though no link has been shown to the Hawlbowline site.

This morning's reports say the men who worked on the clean-up are set to receive legal advice from solicitor Gerald Kean this evening. His firm has been involved in several high-profile class-action lawsuits involving asbestos poisoning in the past.


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