Hospitalised Following Incident At Dublin Incinerator

Hospitalised Following Incident At Dublin Incinerator

The Health and Safety Authority told RTE it was notified of what is known as an "uncontrolled release" at around 6am on Thursday. "As a precaution, eleven workers were sent to St Vincent's Hospital nearby for medical evaluation".

Health and safety authority inspectors are on site and it is closed to workers at the moment.

They insist that no lime escaped the facility and the incident was completely contained within its four walls.

"Late on Wednesday night a small amount of lime was inadvertently released inside the flue gas treatment area during the commissioning and testing of the Dublin Waste to Energy plant at Ringsend", a spokesperson said.

Lime is particularly effective at trapping sulphur dioxide, while powdered activated carbon is used to absorb the worst forms of pollutants known as dioxins.

"We're calling for all activities at the site to cease while the investigation is carried out".

Speaking to RTE Radio One's Today with Sean O'Rourke, the Dublin Bay South TD said; "This incident is extremely worrying, given the incinerator only began operations this week".

A number of local politicians have raised concerns after the incident.

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The €600m Poolbeg Incinerator was first proposed more than 20 years ago, and is created to process 600,000 tonnes of waste a year.

Each year the incinerator will burn about 600,000 tonnes of waste that can not be recycled.

The incident has sparked an outcry from opponents in Cork where the country's third incinerator is being planned for the harbour.

He said there were around 30 men in the area taking down scaffolding and 11 were caught in a cloud of lime rising up.

"The EPA is satisfied that there was no danger to the public or local community from this release", it said.

The exhaust gas generated from burning waste at the incinerator plant contains multiple harmful toxins and chemicals which need to be removed before the gas can be emitted.

Lime in itself is toxic to humans, so such an incident would require full decontamination of those affected, including washing down and clothing disposal. "On foot of this report, and the EPA's own investigation, further action may be considered by the EPA".

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