Health risk warning on towers

2010-07-23 14:18

Cape Town - The demolition of Cape Town's landmark Athlone cooling towers could have possible health risks to those living in the area, City Health said on Friday.

These included noise pollution and large amounts of dust which could pose a danger to those with chronic lung and heart conditions, executive director Dr Ivan Bromfield said.

Following concerns about the presence of asbestos in the towers, the site was inspected and confirmed to be asbestos free.

To minimise the amount of dust generated during the implosion, the towers would be sprayed with water, Bromfield said.

Residents in the surrounding areas of Langa, Athlone and Pinelands should keep their windows closed during the blasting and for at least two hours afterwards, to keep the dust out.

Those living in the areas who suffered from asthma, lung or heart conditions were advised to stay indoors during the implosion and a couple of hours afterwards, he said.

Dates unconfirmed

After the implosion, the site and surrounding roads would be sprayed with water to settle the dust.

Pet owners were advised to keep their animals indoors, due to the noise.

Test explosions had been scheduled prior to the actual demolition, but Bromfield said dates and times would be communicated in due course.

The twin towers, part of a disused power station next to the N2, came under scrutiny earlier this year after concrete strengthening rings on one of them collapsed.

Consultants recommended that both be demolished as soon as possible, saying the ringless tower might even succumb to strong winds.

The destruction of the towers has been set for noon on Sunday, August 22.