Air results in from #DurbanFire

THE preliminary results of the analysis on the air samples taken during the #DurbanFire last week have been released.

The analysis was done by KZN company, Skyside in conjunction with X-Lab Earth Science to test for heavy metals and volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds.

According to the Skyside director, Quentin Hurt, there were no significant heavy metals and polyaromatic hydrocarbons in the smoke.

“It seems the fire was hot enough to destroy potential pollutants,” he said.

The only concern was the level of benzene, which he confirmed was not above occupational health levels but which did exceed environmental standards.

While levels of benzene were high during the fire, it was a short-lived problem that is unlikely to have long-term effects.

Samples were taken near the fire and further afield where the smoke had spread.

Read: 10 years on, SDCEA makes renewed call for city to provide emergency plan as #Durbanfire rages

The company offered to assist with the testing when it was informed by friends and family members who were in the vicinity of the fire or in the path of the vast plume of smoke, in the hope was that the information gathered could help specialists in the future with planning and assessments.

eThekwini Municipality supported the testing by the company but did not provide a contractual agreement.

“I must acknowledge the work of our team, particularly Justin Roberts, Phillip Jabu Frans of Skyside and Greg Ondrejkovic of X-LAB, who gave up a big chunk of their weekend to make sure we could get this data,” said Hurt.


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Erin Hanekom

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