Grenfel environmental results delayed due to volume

Grenfel environmental results delayed due to volume

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Full results of tests to find out if soil around Grenfell Tower are contaminated will be shared with the community next month (October).

Initially the results of tests carried out by environmental scientists working for AECOM were due to be shared with residents living around the Tower this month (September).

However the Ministry of Community Housing and Local Government (MHCLG) has told residents that it is taking “slightly longer than expected to sign off” an independent 1,450 page report covering 20,000 results.

The tests were commissioned following initial research by fire toxicology expert, Professor Anna Stec, who said further tests were needed after she found potentially cancer-causing chemicals and other toxins in soil and fire debris close to the fire.

They held drop-in sessions for residents to suggest places they thought they thought should be tested.

Scientists picked 20 areas to do tests, including Waynefleet Square, Henry Dickens estate and did two random samples at each test site. They also took extra samples to be preserved for the future. Overall they took 92 samples from 22 places around North Kensington and analysed 20,000 results.

These included four samples taken in April from the area cordoned off around Grenfell Tower.

In July scientists testing soil for contaminants from the Grenfell Tower fire  said early results from their tests suggest there is no need for “immediate action” after they said levels of chemicals were typical of those “generally found” in urban areas.

At a series of briefings for the community they revealed they discovered asbestos, lead, dioxins and potentially cancer-causing polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons  (PAH) in the early stages of their analysis.

And they told residents they had not discovered any flame retardant materials in their analysis

They had planned to publish the full findings of their research this month. (Sept).

Last week (Fri Sept 20) residents were told publication of  the full results would be delayed until next month when the report will be uploaded online.

They were also told: “The Stage 1 initial results identified that the levels of substances found in samples are typical of those generally found in London and other urban areas across England.

“There was also nothing to suggest that anyone needed to take any immediate action or that we needed to change the investigation strategy or update the existing health advice from Public Health England.”

There will also be  a drop-in sessions for the community to quiz the scientists.

Last month the Local Democracy Reporters Service revealed that fire toxicology expert Professor Anna Stec from the University of Central Lancashire resigned from the Scientific Advisory Group overseeing the work.

The fire toxicology expert outlined her concerns that “there is still nothing in place to properly evaluate all the adverse health effects of the fire”.

She has been replaced by Professor Jose Torero,  head of University College London’s Department of Civil, Environmental, Geomatic & Environmental Engineering.

Procurement will be getting underway in December  for the company doing the next stage of tests.

The deadline for residents to say they want to get involved is Friday, October 4.

By LDRS Reporter Julia Gregory

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