Adelaide residents to be relocated because of carcinogen from car industry

Residents from three houses in the Adelaide suburb of Clovelly Park are to be relocated because of the presence of a carcinogen historically used in the car industry.

AAP reports that potentially dangerous levels of the chemical trichloroethylene (TCE) were found in three occupied properties. The range of TCE found was 20 to 200 micrograms per cubic metre.

Test results released on Wednesday showed that most houses tested in the testing zone were found to be safe. There was no TCE detected in 1352 of the 1400 properties tested in the suburbs of Clovelly Park and Mitchell Park.

Environment Minister Ian Hunter said, "The report indicates that whilst groundwater contamination does exist, soil vapour intrusion above two micrograms per cubic metre of air is limited to nine occupied properties in the relocation area of Clovelly Park."

He added that the residents of the three houses were scheduled to move in the next two weeks. They will have the option to move earlier if they wish. The residents from the remaining six houses will found out their results as soon as possible.

The Australian reports that Opposition environment spokeswoman Michelle Lensink criticised the government’s handling of the problem.

“The Government has known that there has been contamination in that area since 2008. They’ve had to be dragged kicking and screaming to do any further testing,” she said.

“They were mocking people when these suggestions were first brought forward.

“If this is their new engagement paradigm, I think they’ve still got a lot to learn.”

According to the ABC, TCE 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.