Navy: No health risk from lost containers
Published 14/01/2010 | 05:00
THE navy has insisted that a potentially hazardous chemical which escaped from sunken containers in the sea does not pose a health risk.
Seven containers sank after falling from a freight ship off the south-east coast on Tuesday.
One of the containers was carrying sodium bromate, a substance used in dyeing processes which is also a fire hazard and can cause "irritation" to humans if touched.
Following the loss of the containers from a small vessel on Tuesday afternoon, the Irish Naval Service yesterday carried out a widespread search of the area concerned, about 40 square nautical miles, at a location south of Tramore, Co Waterford, but found no trace of the boxes themselves.
"We have been advised by the HSE that there is no long-term health risk from it and it is not a marine pollutant and will fully dissolve in the salt water," a navy spokesman said.
However, the navy advised anyone who comes across a bag of the chemical on the shore, if it gets washed up, to avoid it as it can irritate the skin.