SA: Toxic Chemical in Five Adelaide Homes

Monday, July 4th, 2016
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A toxic contamination in Adelaide’s northwestern suburbs is worst in five homes, latest tests show.

The solvent Trichloroethene, or TCE, was first found in groundwater and soil samples in the Beverley area last year.

Ongoing tests by the Environment Protection Authority have now zeroed in on one street as the potential source of the contamination and five homes have been identified as having the highest levels of the chemical.

The authority says residents in only one of those properties have asked to be temporarily relocated.

But it says all the owners have accepted an offer of indoor air sampling and in the worst two properties special ventilation systems will be installed.

When TCE was first detected the EPA determined that 181 properties fell within an assessment zone and 48 of those were offered site-specific testing.

Of the 20 property owners who accepted the offer, only two were considered safe from TCE vapour intrusion.

A further 13 were found to have concentrations that required some further investigation while the worst five were listed in the higher “intervention” category.

The EPA said of the remaining homes in the assessment zone it was expected that only another three would fall into that higher category.

TCE is a solvent that can cause nausea, headaches and dizziness with high exposure affecting the respiratory and central nervous systems.

It’s thought to have been widely used in the Beverley area by numerous factories, service stations and workshops, many of which have since closed down.

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