A ‘pollution alert’ was triggered in the Liverpool city region when a man spotted what appeared to be toxic chemicals and sacks of clinical waste floating on the incoming tide. Several containers labelled ‘pure mercury’ and others are marked ‘for incineration only’ were reported in an area off Magazine Promenade, Seacombe.
We hear of many incidents from around the world where clinical wastes are found washed up on the shore – for some reason this is particularly common on the Jersey shores of the US. However, incidents of this kind occurring in the UK are rare, with the obvious exception of finds of discarded drug litter.
Environmental health officers visited the scene and a Wirral Council spokeswoman said: “We are investigating where this waste has come from. The input of the Environment Agency would seem more appropriate.
The sources of such wastes might include deliberate discharge of waste containers from shipping, or illegal dumping from those smaller producers who see legitimate disposal as a unwelcome and ‘avoidable’ expense. If mercury waste accompanies a bag of clinical waste, I would be looking at the local dentists!
More news on this report – yellow and orange clinical waste bags were among the items found. These contained latex gloves, surgical dressings, along with disposable masks and aprons and an empty mercury bottle. It is believed that the bags had been dumped on the beach in New Brighton.