By Greg Hocking
Residents of suburbs in the City of Cockburn are exposed to toxic gases, particulates and heavy metals from 250,000+ tonnes of coal a year being burnt at the lime/cement factory operated by Cockburn Cement Limited at Munster.
Local community group, Cockburn Pollution Stoppers (CPS), was so disgusted with the lack of action by Government that they set up a GoFundMe page to raise funds for local children to have hair tests to find out if they have been exposed to toxic heavy metals.
The tests conducted by Southern Cross University in New South Wales produced shocking results. All the children tested to date have cadmium levels ranging up to 10 times higher than the sample adult population. Most of the children had high levels of chromium, copper and mercury and some had high levels of nickel and lead. According to National Pollution Inventory records CCL’s factory produces over half the cadmium in Cockburn, 98% of the chromium, about 90% of the mercury and 88% of the copper. A few of the children had been exposed to more ‘exotic’ toxic metals found in coal such as bismuth, thorium and uranium.
One 14 month old baby living near the factory had cadmium, chromium, mercury and lead levels which exceeded the levels of the adult sample population.
The community has now launched a Petition to the WA Parliament for an inquiry to stop CCL burning coal in Cockburn.
Signed copies of the Petition should be returned to the address on the form by 10 April 2020.