Quarry dust tests follow health and safety fears
DUST from a quarry in Cheddar will be tested by environment chiefs to see if it's hazardous after fears have been raised for residents' safety. People living near Batts Coombe Quarry say their houses, cars and plants are being covered in a white powder fr
DUST from a quarry in Cheddar will be tested by environment chiefs to see if it's hazardous after fears have been raised for residents' safety.People living near Batts Coombe Quarry say their houses, cars and plants are being covered in a white powder from the site.The parish council has written to the Environment Agency and contacted local health bosses to see if the powder is dangerous to people's health.The site is owned by Hanson Quarries and the firm says it had some technical problems earlier this year but it never posed a threat to villagers' health.The quarry shut down this summer as part of annual maintenance work and had a £300,000 equipment upgrade.The quarry produces quicklime, which is used in steel production, by heating limestone at extremely high temperatures.Parish council chairman Peter Lythgoe said: "People are complaining that their homes are getting covered in this dust."We've contacted the local doctor's surgery to see if this has had any affect on people's health."We want the Environment Agency to survey the levels of dust emitting from the quarry and say whether it is too much."Hanson Quarries has not held a meeting with residents about problems for more than a year.Spokesman David Weeks said: "We're happy to hold a liaison meeting with concerned residents as we admit we haven't held one for a long time."Dust from the site is kept to a minimum and does not affect people's health."A spokesman for the Environment Agency said officers had recently visited the quarry and would be returning to carry out further tests soon.He said: "The dust can come from the site's chimney or from the movement of vehicles on the site."We've inspected the chimney, which has recently had work carried out on its inner lining, and think the problem is caused by the movement of vehicles.