independent

Sunday 22 October 2017

Quad bikers could release toxic gas CAIM MINE CONTAINS HIGHLY POISONOUS LEAD

David MEDCALF

QUAD BIKERS using abandoned nineteenth century mines near Enniscorthy could release poisonous lead from the ground under their wheels into the atmosphere, the Environment Protection Agency has warned.

The waste heap at the long-deserted mines at Ballyhyland, Caim, is so toxic that scarcely anything grows there. In a national study of old earthworks, Caim shows up in the top five among historic mines for lead pollution.

They reckon that five per cent of the muddy heap is made up of the metal. And they have warned that quad bikes are likely to create a toxic dust if they are permitted to continue using the site.

The E.P.A. researchers uncovered traces of copper, zinc, antimony, cadmium, manganese and even silver when they took their samples at Caim. However, it was the lead which set the alarm bells ringing in their report issued last week.

Livestock in Caim which drink from streams flowing past from the mines are not thought to be at any immediate risk, however.

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