“Fix this nasty mess”: Christchurch residents are fed up with stinks

Tired of the rotting stinks from Bromley’s wastewater treatment facilities, people are on the verge of protesting the Christchurch City Council’s response to the crisis as longer-term air quality monitoring begins.

Citizens’ reactions have found that nothing poses a “physical risk” to people’s health, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to reconcile Congressional claims with the unpleasant effects of odors. I planted a sense of distrust.

They believe that the sulfur gas that invades the house (including what is known as wetland gas) is not toxic, despite the results of weekly air quality tests published online from the end of April.

After months of headaches, nausea, and sleep disorders, Vicky Walker, who lives in Bromley, warned that people suffering from stinks could quickly make Congress’s life uncomfortable.

“I don’t think what they’re doing is enough, so we’re starting to feel we have to start protesting, and we’ll really have to start speaking more,” she says. I did.

“They need to pull up their socks.”

After 6 weeks of testing to determine the gases that cause odors, their sources, and their effects at different distances from the burned treatment plant, the council will carry out longer-term air quality monitoring. Introduced.

Since May 30, one hydrogen sulfide meter has been installed at Bromley School. The council installed two more in the area and ordered six more.

Tests near the factory showed that hydrogen sulfide had reached levels that could cause headaches and nausea, and the results announced on June 1 recorded 139 ppb in Bromley butcher Value Plus Meats. ..

Jayne Metcalfe, Emission Impossible Air Quality Specialist, said people’s symptoms should not be minimized.

“The levels of pollutants are below the levels we expect to have toxic effects, so we can give some confidence, but that doesn’t mean there’s no health impact,” she said. rice field.

“The health effects are real and they don’t imagine it. Smell can cause health effects, but it’s reversible.”

Cheryl Brunton, a medical officer at Canterbury, said that exposure to strong odors can affect physical health.

“Exposure to hydrogen sulfide, a component of the odor generated by damaged sprinkler beds and treatment ponds, can cause nausea, tears in the eyes and headaches at relatively low concentrations, and exacerbates people’s symptoms. There is a possibility. I have asthma. “

“Even if a person exposed to odors does not experience any physical health effects, if they continue to be exposed to unpleasant or harmful odors, they have limited or no ability to avoid continuous exposure. If not, it can adversely affect mental health. “

According to Brunton, the district health committee is still considering requesting a health registry, but it was more important for people with health problems to see their GP.

DHB employs its own air quality consultant to independently review monitoring data.

Still, Walker and many others don’t trust the test results.

“Why are our doctors worried if nothing is toxic? Our doctors say it’s not okay. The safety level they set must be too high. No, “she said.

“You feel desperate about all of this, and it’s dragging down a lot of people.”

The council’s new Acrulog H2S monitor is designed for continuous use and can record hydrogen sulfide levels up to three billionths.

They differ from previously taken “grab samples” because they are not only snapshots of time, but a continuous record of pollutants in the air.

Massey University needs to ask Dr. Nick Kim, a senior lecturer in environmental chemistry, to compare the results with the Ministry of the Environment’s ambient air quality guidelines for hydrogen sulfide (mainly based on odors) and the World Health Organization’s health-based guidelines. Said. 14 ppb for long-term exposure.

“The results of individual gases appear to be acceptable for their health effects, but that does not mean that the odor is acceptable,” he said.

“Even though the gas results meet the guidelines, they are still feeling sick or nauseous. This is another matter, and in my view it is not one gas, but It is related to the effects of odors, or another person meets the guidelines. “

The stink made people feel sick, but he said they should at least trust the results of the hydrogen sulfide test.

“I think they should give them some confidence, depending on the specialists and types of air tests they bring in,” he said.

The council has not yet decided where to place other hydrogen sulfide monitors at suggested locations such as schools, the southwestern tip of the oxide pond, the Ruru Rd property near the pond, and South New Brighton.

The ongoing story made Vicky Walker feel ignored and robbed.

She said the stink caused a fight or flight reaction-her tendency was to escape.

“If I have to move from here because they can’t give me fresh air, I want compensation. I want them to buy our house. I want them to me I want you to buy us.

“Why does this happen in 2022? Something dangerous is happening somewhere, someone isn’t doing their job.”

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