Did you know that #Lonza works with highly #toxic chemicals? Mercury (Hg) among many others! Lonza Group does not mention this with a single word in their new video for the 120 years anniversary! (Happy Birthday by the way!) In order to avoid the mistakes of the past in the future LONZA should also speak about some issues that they have created! There are still some very high risk transports of all these toxic products into urban areas! Lonza’s poison might be #closerthanyouthink.
Mercury – dangerous materia
Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.
Industrial Heritage at the Swiss Manufacturing Site
In 2016 Lonza’s large site in Visp (CH) made progress as planned to address mercury contamination in an old wastewater discharge canal (“Grossgrundkanal”), on surrounding soil near the canal and in certain other areas where canal sediments were deposited as fill many decades ago. This industrial legacy traces back to when Lonza used large amounts of mercury as a catalyst in chemical processes, and the site discharged industrial wastewater with mercury-containing effluent into the canal between 1930 and the mid-1970s.
Various parties were involved in the maintenance of the publicly owned canal by dredging and excavating sediments from the waterway. At times when neither the awareness nor the environmental legislation was on today’s level, parts of the removed material were used as fill material on various land properties. Only during the 1970s did the communities and the people become aware of the full problem in connection with mercury. In 1976 Lonza commissioned our wastewater treatment plant, where mercury-containing effluent has subsequently been treated.
Since 2013 Lonza has worked closely with the communities in pre-financing all required technical investigations in residential areas and agricultural zones between Visp and Niedergesteln. In 2016 two contaminated areas were selected as a pilot remediation project and successfully demonstrated the effectiveness of the chosen and approved approach.
We are now preparing for the remediation activities in all inhabited areas within the concerned perimeter, which are planned to begin in the summer of 2017. The procedure is challenging as no remediation activity is allowed to start without written consent of the competent cantonal and communal authorities and all concerned land owners.
Neither historically nor in the recent past have adverse health effects to humans or animals been linked to the mercury contamination found in the investigated region. To obtain a scientific evaluation on possible health effects, an epidemiological study by experts of the University of Zurich was conducted through 2015; their study confirmed that no evidence for adverse health effects exists.
Lonza, the Canton of Valais, the municipalities and other parties involved are continuing their efforts to solve the mercury issue. Besides remediation pre-financing, Lonza also continues the voluntary pre-financing of any required additional technical investigation, without prejudice, because we recognize the need for a quick and efficient rehabilitation, in particular in the residential areas.
A more detailed examination of the sediments of Lake Geneva and the Rhone River shows positive evidence for the industrial contamination of the river with consequent elevated mercury concentrations in the sediments of the lake downstream.
High levels of sediment bound mercury give conclusive evidence that three canal systems, designated X, Y and Z, associated with the Rhone River, are the primary sources of industrial mercury contamination. An additional though less significant source of mercury to the river may be related to the La Drance tributary entering the Rhone River at Martigny. Samples taken over a period from 1964 to 1971 suggest that the major input of industrial mercury commenced between 1965 and 1967 and has been increasing annually to 1971.
Source: Vernet, Jean-Pierre / Thomas, Richard L. Eclogae Geologicae Helvetiae Levels of mercury in the sediments of some Swiss lakes including Lake Geneva and the Rhone river
Fast doppelt so viel Quecksilber wie angenommen in Visper Kanal
Das Walliser Chemieunternehmen Lonza hat nach eigenen Angaben 50 Tonnen Quecksilber in den Grossgrundkanal bei Visp geleitet. Bisher ging die Firma von 28 Tonnen aus. (…)
Don’t Mess With Mercury!