Hazardous Substances: Oldbury

Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 15th June 2009.

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Photo of Adrian Bailey Adrian Bailey Labour, West Bromwich West

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when the Rattlechain chemical waste lagoon in Oldbury was last inspected by the Environment Agency; and what percentage of the waste in the lagoon was identified as yellow phosphorus in that inspection. [R]

Photo of Dan Norris Dan Norris Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Environment Agency last inspected the Rattlechain chemical waste lagoon in Oldbury on 7 April 2009.

It is not possible to determine during an inspection the percentage of yellow phosphorus in the deposited waste. Much of the deposits are historic and underwater.

The site closed in March 2006. Analysis indicates a level of phosphorus in deposited calcium phosphate sludge to be in the order of 0.01 per cent.

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brian bates
Posted on 17 Jul 2009 9:02 pm (Report this annotation)

Yellow phosphorus is also known as white phosphorus, was banned as a rat poison in the u.k in 1990 and is highly toxic- LD50 50-100MG IN ADULT. Recently it's misuse and effects have been seen in GAZA. There are several hundred thousand tonnes of sediment in this pool put there by Albright and Wilson and Rhodia. Therefore there are according to this answer tens of tonnes of toxic white phosphorus in this lake.The presentation of this figure as being small in percentage terms is therefore completely misleading.