ePetition - Public objection to Bitumen Works Planning Ref DC/2019/01040

ePetition details

Public objection to Bitumen Works Planning Ref DC/2019/01040

We the undersigned petition the council to Refuse planning application for DC/2019/01040. This proposal would represent a serious set back for improving lung health and general health in Sefton. The toxic effects of bitumen are well-established by peer review world health organisation and other recent studies (see more details). Tar Distilling left a considerable toxic scar on Litherland and this would reverse key progress. This damage is notwithstanding other serious environmental toxicants present in South Sefton, whose life expectancy is already lowest across Merseyside. This petition is a chance to give the affected communities a say in refusing this application.

Reasoning for petitioning the council to refuse planning permission of application DC/2019/01040

Ulvestad et al in Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 2017 Jan;90(1):63-71 Lung function in bitumen pavers: a longitudinal study, studied longitudinal changes in lung function in bitumen pavers; asphalt pavers had a significant excess annual decline in lung function compared to the reference. Screed men, the most exposed group of the bitumen pavers, showed a significantly larger decline in lung function. Fine intralobular fibrosis without evident cysts was identified in three subjects (4 %). This study indicates excess annual decline in lung function related to exposure to asphalt fumes.

Nilsson et al In Emissions into the Air from Bitumen and Rubber Bitumen-Implications for Asphalt Workers' Exposure, Ann Work Expo Health. 2018 Aug 13;62(7):828-839 discovered asphalt exposure develops adverse health effects may increase due to their exposure. Several air pollutants such as benzothiazole and PAHs are emitted into the air during asphalt work.

Alsaadi F et al in Bull Environ Contam Toxicol. 2018 Jan;100(1):8-13. An Embryonic Field of Study: The Aquatic Fate and Toxicity of Diluted Bitumen set out evidence for Toxicity of Diluted Bitumen in aquatic environments; un-weathered diluted bitumen causes toxic effects on fish equivalent to those of conventional oils.

In the Concise International Chemical Assessment Document 59 ASPHALT (BITUMEN) an international peer review by scientists known for their particular expertise reviewed toxicity effects. They reported particles created by condensation from the gaseous state after volatilization of asphalt. When asphalts are heated, vapours are released; as these vapours cool, they condense. As such, these vapours are enriched in the more volatile components present in the asphalt and would be expected to be chemically and potentially toxicologically distinct from the parent material.

Acute effects of exposure to asphalt among workers in the various sectors of the asphalt industry (hot-mix plants, terminals, roofing application, paving, roofing manufacturing) include symptoms of irritation of the serous membranes of the conjunctivae (eye irritation) and the mucous membranes of the upper respiratory tract (nasal and throat irritation) and coughing.

While asphalt fume concentrations associated with health effects have not been well characterized, symptoms of eye, nose, or throat irritation are reported by workers. Additional symptoms include skin irritation, pruritus, rashes, nausea, stomach pain, decreased appetite, headaches, and fatigue, as reported by workers involved in bitumen working.

Paving fume condensates generated in the laboratory were mutagenic and did induce DNA adduct formation. Fumes have been tested in genotoxicity studies. These fumes have been shown to be mutagenic, to cause increased micronuclei formation, and to inhibit inter-cellular communication. Asphalt-based paints induced DNA adduct formation in adult and foetal human skin samples.

In vivo and in vitro animal studies have evaluated the genotoxicity, carcinogenicity, and other toxic effects of asphalt-based paints and asphalt fumes. Genotoxicity, mutagenic effects, DNA adduct formation and carcinogenicity in mice following applications of laboratory-generated bitumen condensates.

Acute respiratory effects would exacerbate existing conditions - irritation of the serous membranes of the conjunctivae (eye irritation) and the mucous membranes of the upper respiratory tract (nasal and throat irritation) are reported.

This ePetition ran from 09/06/2019 to 21/07/2019 and has now finished.

212 people signed this ePetition.