- Simon WestawayGeneral Manager Corporate Communications
- Gavin Jackman,Global Head of Corporate Affairs and Social Responsibility
Orica: Come clean on mercury poisoning.
Mercury from a chemical plant in Sydney – which has been referred to as the most contaminated industrial site in the country - appears to have spread into my community. Despite mounting evidence, growing community concern and a history of chemical spills, Orica has yet to agree to fund independent testing to find out.
The toxic effects of mercury poisoning have been known for millennia. According to experts mercury is particularly toxic to children below the age of 12 and pregnant or breastfeeding women and their babies most commonly causing neurological damage. I have two young boys, and I worry for their safety.
My community has asked for Orica to undertake genuinely independent testing of the area around their plant - but so far they have not agreed. They have said that current testing indicates there is no unacceptable health risk but when I look at their terrible track record of spills, contaminations and court cases, I really worry (media reports below).
Orica has tested conditions inside their plant, but not in the community nearby. I am asking you to help me convince Orica to do the right thing and urgently fund independent community supported testing for mercury contamination in a 1.25km radius from the Orica site.
"Mercury often washed into bay former ICI boss says" 28 January 2013 SMH
"Toxic metals found near homes" 27 January 2013 SMH
“Orica opposed study of mercury near plant.” 21 January 2013 SMH
“Port Botany mercury fears.” 20 January 2013 SMH
“Expert warns of Port Botany mercury danger.” 20 January 2013, ABC
“Orica fined for cyanide pollution.” 1 November 2012 Sky News
“Orica: How not to deal with a toxic leak.” 12 February 2012 ABC Radio National
“Orica releases mercury vapour” September 28, 2011, SMH
“Orica problems widen as mercury clean-up at Botany site fails.” 31 August 2011, SMH
“Orica’s record: 131 pollution licence breaches since 2000.” 21 August, 2011, Newcastle Herald
- General Manager Corporate Communications
- Global Head of Corporate Affairs and Social Responsibility
I request that you urgently commit to fund independent community supported testing for mercury around the Port Botany area.
I am concerned that you may be poisoning local communities, and want you to step up and show you are genuinely 'socially responsible' like you say you are by funding these tests.
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