Montessori nursery owner asks for children to be tested for arsenic

A NURSERY owner in Weston is asking parents to test their children s blood for heightened levels of arsenic.

A NURSERY owner in Weston is asking parents to test their children's blood for heightened levels of arsenic.

Jacqueline Davies, who owns The Stanger Montessori Nursery in Hamilton Road, has written to parents asking them to carry out the test over fears about a nearby piece of toxic land.

In October the Weston & Somerset Mercury reported the fears of residents living near to the site in Atlantic Road South, which has soil containing six times the recommended safety levels of arsenic.

The nursery is directly opposite the site on the other side of the road.

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Mrs Davies said: "My daughter and I have both been tested by our doctor and have found out we both have elevated levels of arsenic in our blood.

"I am extremely worried about the children at my school. If it turns out their health is being affected I will close down."

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Building work at the site has stopped but those living nearby have said they are worried about the ground being dug up again, which could cause toxic dust to enter their homes.

Under safety regulations, the soil on the site is supposed to be dampened down before any work is carried out, to prevent dust being released, and vehicles wheels should be washed before leaving the site.

However, at a meeting to discuss the issue in November residents said the precautions are hardly ever carried out.

Mrs Davies said: "I want to be told before any work takes place across the road so I can decide what to do about the children coming to my school during that time."

After the meeting in November the owner of the building site, the PG Group, refuted claims it poses a health risk to nearby residents.

Also in response to the first resident meeting, district councillor for Weston's west ward, Andrew Horler, said public health was of utmost importance and he believed the correct measures had been put in place.

Since then two more meetings have been held by those living near the site.

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