Warning over levels of air pollution following Durban unrest

Warning over levels of air pollution following Durban unrest

An environmental alliance believes the air pollution from the smoke and fumes after buildings, warehouses and factories were torched in KwaZulu-Natal could pose a lifelong threat to communities. 

This aerial view taken on July 15, 2021, shows fire gutted at the Game store in Queen Nandi Drive in Durban. The businesses were hit by looters on July 13, despite the troops President Cyril Ramaphosa deployed to try to quell unrest. As pillaging erupted

Residents, north of Durban, said on Thursday night that smog pervaded the air and they could get a chemical smell that seemed to emanate from a plant burning in Cornubia. 

The building's been on fire for two days and smoke's been blowing into Phoenix and other suburbs, north of Durban. 

South Durban Community Environmental Alliance's Desmond D'Sa has urged people to keep their windows, vents and doors closed. 

READ: Ramaphosa in eThekwini on Friday to assess unrest impact

He says there's evidence linking air pollution to Covid-19 deaths. 

"The impact is severe, a lot of the warehouses have chemicals in them. A lot of the factories that have burnt Cornubia had chemicals, so that will have a huge impact on your chest and your air path wat. 

"This is quite dangerous because if you are breathing in air of those chemicals, it opens up your air pathway and you can have Covid. Many people have died of Covid during the start-up of the chemical industry in level 3." 

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