More claims of solvent finds in housing estate

A LEGAL firm claim further testing in North Motherwell proves the existence of airborne contaminants in a North Motherwell housing estate.

Collins Solicitors, who represent a number of residents at the site, say indoor testing of 25 houses in Forum Place and Tiber Avenue found high levels of solvents on the site of the former Metropolitan Vickers factory.

In four homes trichloroethylene (TCE) varied between 3.52 and 26.87 times higher than World Health Organisation (WHO) indoor air quality standards, while traces of tetrachloroethylene (PCE) were found in one of these houses.

Other solvents, some in excess of WHO standards, were found in 14 of the remaining properties.

Collins say they have been told by their contractors Monridge Environmental LLC that these pollutants cannot be attributed to the use of any household products and clearly indicates the presence of contaminated soil and groundwater which has affected the air.

Des Collins, senior partner at Collins Solicitors, said: “The latest evidence of solvents being detected, very often at dangerous levels, give real cause for concern.

“We have written to North Lanarkshire Council asking for an urgent meeting in order that immediate steps might be taken to resolve these issues and will make our full findings available to the council, Health Protection Scotland and Lanarkshire Housing Association.

“By taking these steps we hope that the necessity for court proceedings might be avoided.”

Last autumn the council found a small amount of TCE under open ground off Forum Place, but subsequent testing has failed to identify any other contaminants on the site.

A spokesman said: “Once again we are disappointed that Collins Solicitors have chosen to cause distress to residents by making broad claims through the media.

“North Lanarkshire Council has consistently sought to publish and share all of its results throughout what has been an exhaustive testing regime.

“We are currently awaiting a finalised report on phase three testing, but there’s no evidence to date that suggests a significant risk to health from contamination in the soil.

“We once again urge Collins Solicitors to share their full report, including methodology, with us as soon as possible in order that we can continue to act in the best interests of all the residents at the site.”