The Greens’ Shane Rattenbury is asking some much needed questions about what exactly was spewed into the air on Friday during the Mitchell fire.
“The chemicals involved in this fire were polychlorinated biphenyls, known as PCBs, one of the chemicals banned under the Stockholm Convention on persistent organic pollutants. The burning of such chemicals can result in the release of dioxins and other chemicals which do not break down easily in the environment.
“The community needs clear information about which areas have been tested, what pollutants and by-products are being tested for and clear advice about the results.
“We also need to see a full inventory of all the chemicals that were at the site, and certainty that there weren’t other substances that went up in the fire.
“So many suburbs in the north part of Canberra were told to stay indoors and close their windows, and yet it’s unclear that there is any residue testing going outside of Mitchell itself.
“There also remains the question of particulate matter that may have spread outside the ACT’s borders – has the government taken action to communicate to our Palerang neighbours the possible risks?
“Canberra residents in affected suburbs need clear guidance about what to do in regards to rain water tanks, children’s outdoor play equipment and vegetable gardens in these areas.
I know I can report stinging mucous membranes and low level headaches on Friday, so something was about.