8 March 2000
The year 2000 started on
a bad note for the residents of the Bluff when large scale toxic chemical
emissions drifted over residential areas from the Island View Complex.
The first incident occurred
on the 21st January followed by a similar second incident on the 26th
February. These emissions have resulted in significant ill-health
effects on unsuspecting Bluff residents including reports of choking,
streaming eyes, tightness of chest and asthmatic attacks.
The chemicals emitted
have been conclusively identified, as Ethyl Acrylate on the 21/01/2000
and Isoprene on the 26/02/2000, by independent sample tests as well
as admission by the chemical company concerned. Ethyl Acrylate and
Isoprene are considered to be probable carcinogens and are highly
Arising from interaction
with the Authorities, a Complaints Review Committee has been set up.
Furthermore, Portnet has issued instructions to their staff not to
divulge information to the public relating to chemical transfers affecting
To date no prosecutions
or fines have been issued on any of the guilty parties. Obviously,
City Health does not view these incidents in a serious light and seemingly
disregards the suffering and trauma of the affected residents .
The South Durban Community
Environmental Alliance (SDCEA) issues a plea to all affected persons
to attend these Complaint Review Meetings so as to ensure that the
escalation of toxic emissions are curtailed in future.
Contact person: Herbert