How is it that the Anglesea Power Station has been spewing out boron compounds since 1969 and nobody has said a word? With Alcoa’s track record for secrecy this could be expected from them but why haven’t the Environment Protection Authority (EPA), the Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) and the Politicians warned the public? The only answer could be they listen to the Alcoa spokesperson who informs them on Alcoa technical things or they were ignorant to the fact.
The particular Boron compounds which are formed at 1000 degrees in the power station furnace and when discharged are hydrated with environmental moisture are extremely caustic and when breathed results in kidney damage on a cumulative basis. ‘Such kidney damage is observable in a high proportion of Anglesea residents as it produces an appearance of permanent light sunburn on the upper cheeks’. Those more acutely affected can even acquire an almost rhubarb colouration of the face. It is noteworthy the medical profession are unable with their present methodologies to diagnose such chronic cumulative kidney damage.
Boron has a terrible track record for causing kidney damage and is the reason why rubber gloves should be worn when the hands are put into water containing clothes washing detergents containing Borax, a compound of Boron. Another use of Borax that resulted in kidney problems was its use in the textile industry. Two other applications which have resulted in horrendous injury and death are, Borax which was used as a mild disinfectant for baby nappy rash, and honey and Borax coatings on child soothers. This means Boron has a significant history in poisoning children in the past and the Anglesea Primary School attendees are not the only kids to be sacrificed to Boron.
Curiously, just as there are those that believe in daily dosing of silver which is more poisonous than mercury there are those that promote supplements containing Borax. This is likewise a very dangerous practice and is likely to damage the kidneys of consumers.
It is difficult to believe that the EPA wouldn’t know that boron is very poisonous and a hint of this can be found in the small print of Alcoa’s EPA Waste Discharge Licence No EM32162
Table 3: Water Discharge Limits¹
|Rate of Discharge||ML/day||32.9||All
¹: Sampled at SP3
²: ‘TBD” means “to be determined”.
Curiously, the maximum boron discharge limit specified in this licence is “TBD” which is of course, the abbreviation of “to be determined”. What the EPA’s “TBD” is really stating is, the EPA is simply afraid to specify a limit as it might be seen as confirmation that a particular level is safe.
The Victorian Government, the EPA and the DSE can they be relied upon to protect the community health? Its time for the Government to act.