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CANCER-CAUSING chemicals and other potentially harmful toxins are present close to Grenfell Tower, according to analysis of debris and soil samples.
Samples from six different locations within a mile of the west London tower, where 72 people were killed in the June 2017 fire, were analysed by researchers from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).
The study, which was published in the Chemosphere academic journal yesterday, said that the samples showed signs of “significant environmental contamination.”
Pieces of soil and fallen debris taken within 50 metres of the tower were shown to contain toxic phosphorous flame retardants that are used in insulation foam.
Researchers also concluded that there was an “increased risk” of local residents developing cancer and asthma.
Nabil Choucair, who lost six family members in the disaster, said the lack of government interest was “another disrespect to the people and the community.”
UCLan chemistry and toxicity professor Anna Stec said: “It is now crucial to put in place long-term health screening to assess any long-term adverse health effects of the fire on local residents, emergency responders and clean-up workers.”
Shadow fire minister Karen Lee said: “It is unacceptable that the surrounding community continue to suffer.
“Toxicity tests should have been undertaken immediately after the fire, and appropriate health and safety measures put in place by the government instead of leaving residents at risk.
“This government’s lack of urgency to permanently rehouse survivors and offer appropriate safeguards is typical of its wider inaction. It’s time that the needs of survivors and residents are rightfully made the priority.”
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