Some residents from the Adelaide suburb of Clovelly Park are to be relocated because of the presence of a carcinogen historically used in the car industry.
The Australian reports that the South Australian Environment Protection Authority began telling residents of 25 homes that they have to move because the industrial chemical Trichloroethylene is present in the neighbourhood.
Environment Minister Ian Hunter said, “There are no immediate public health risks, but there is a need to undertake some action in the short term. It is the long-term exposure … that is our concern.”
He added that the decision to evacuate the residents had been made with an “abundance of caution”.
According to the ABC, Trichloroethylene is a degreaser that has historically been used in the automotive sector. In this case, the danger is from a solvent which was used by Monroe Australia.
According to the Australian, in parliament yesterday, the state opposition questioned the speed of the government’s response to the situation after it was revealed that the risks had been known for six weeks before action was taken.
Premier Jay Weatherill responded that the government had been preparing an “extensive communications strategy” and that the residents were in no immediate danger.