Environment agency to probe air pollution claims at Nelson factory

The unit which has been installed at a property on Regent Street in Nelson to measure air pollution from the nearby Integrated Aluminium Components factory. Photo Ben Parsons
The unit which has been installed at a property on Regent Street in Nelson to measure air pollution from the nearby Integrated Aluminium Components factory. Photo Ben Parsons

A WORRIED man living near the former Decorpart site has asked for an investigation into the air quality around the area after two of his children were taken to hospital with breathing difficulties.

David Geddes, of Regent Street, Nelson, contacted the Environment Agency after eight-month-old Lily May and two-year-old Lexi began having coughing attacks and fits.

Integrated Aluminium Components factory. Photo Ben Parsons

Integrated Aluminium Components factory. Photo Ben Parsons

He believes fumes coming from the Integrated Aluminium Components site in nearby Edward Street are affecting residents’ health.

The Environment Agency will spend four months monitoring the air, to see whether emissions from the manufacturer of aluminium components to the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries are poisonous.

Mr Geddes said: “We can taste aluminium in the air. We can’t open our windows and the children can’t play outside. We are like prisoners.

“We have enough with the smell from Woodhead Brothers, but this is 10 times worse. It is killing us.”

The 46-year-old father of eight said that since a third chimney was erected, beige/brown smoke is being released into the air, and he believes it is this that is causing his family to have respiratory problems.

An asthma sufferer, he said that at night the aluminium smell is more prominent, and his breathing tends to get more wheezy. “In the last two years it seems to have got worse, but I have noticed it more in the last 12 months. I have asthma and have had to up my spray from once a day to three times,” he added.

And he says more should have been done to protect residents.

“There are around 1,500 people living on the estate and some of them are very elderly,” said Mr Geddes. “When we took the girls to the GP we went through the normal questions, and when I mentioned the factory he said it could be that. They have been given inhalers and referred to a respiratory paediatrician at Airedale Hospital.”

A white unit, the size of a caravan has now been put in Mr Geddes’ driveway after a visit from an environment officer last week.

Dolores Clegg, Environment Agency officer, said: “We have installed an air monitoring station on Mr Geddes’s driveway after concerns had been raised about emissions from this site.

“We, and the Health Protection Agency will be looking at the data from the monitoring station as it comes through, to assess if the results are within normal limits, or if there is anything that needs further investigation.”

The station is expected to be in place for four months, and will monitor air quality for oxides of nitrogen, oxides of sulphur and particulates in this part of Bradley.

Regular downloads will be analysed by the Environment Agency and the Health Protection Agency.

A spokesman for Integrated Aluminium Components declined to comment on the situation.