Soil clean up at chemical plant causes unpleasant smell

Image caption,
The site at Hauxton produced agricultural chemicals

Foul smells from the clean-up of a former agricultural chemical factory in Cambridgeshire has led to protests from residents.

The factory, established in Hauxton in the 1940s, produced pesticides and herbicides.

Chemicals contaminated the ground and South Cambridgeshire District Council must clean it up before houses can be built there.

Disturbing the chemicals has caused the smells, a spokesman said.

"As the contaminated soils are dug they can release odours that had previously been trapped underground," he said.

Local people told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire and local news media saying they were not getting the answers they needed about the cause of the smells.

Work on the contaminated ground will be completed in September 2010.

The Environment Agency and South Cambridgeshire District Council have created dedicated web pages to provide information on the situation.

Residents have been told the odour is unlikely to pose a health risk.

However, a shopkeeper in the village said she was told by doctors to close down and stay away because of the "noxious fumes".

Jackie Garfitt said she was told by doctors her health had been affected.

Dozens of people living in Hauxton have made similar claims.

South Cambridgeshire District Council said the fumes are unlikely to pose a health risk.

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