Tests results received yesterday by the EPA show some residue in the immediate vicinity of the fire site contains sodium hydroxide and sodium carbonate. This poses no risk to human health but may cause pocking of soft metals such as aluminium.
“Where residue is evident on buildings or fascias in Mitchell or surrounding areas, it should be washed off such surfaces. The resultant solution can enter the stormwater system where it will be collected in the temporary ponds and treated by the EPA.
Householders in the Mitchell vicinity have also raised concerns about rainwater tanks. Official advice from Health ACT has confirmed that community should not be concerned. As foreign matter may have entered tanks during the course of the Mitchell fire, residents are advised to flush rainwater tanks simply to remove ash that be present. This would be the usual course of action following any fire.
As a precautionary measure, it is recommended that members of the public wash hands with soap and water after cleaning premises or handling items which have been in the open during the fire, particularly before eating. Wash any food which was in the open (such as fruit or vegetables) during the fire before it is eaten.
“Business owners who have enquiries regarding their premises should contact the Mitchell Fire Call Centre on 6205 9259. A dedicated call centre has been established for queries surrounding the Mitchell Fire.
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