Lafarge Canada has taken responsibility for the mysterious dust plaguing Bath, Ontario, for the past week, reported Global News. After investigating the thick, sticky substance, Lafarge said it believed it was “likely comprised of clinker dust from our Bath cement plant.”
Earlier this week, residents raised concerns about air quality in the area since the substance was airborne for quite some time. However, the company believes those that have inhaled the dust have nothing to be concerned about.
“Lafarge does not believe that there will be any lasting health effects from the cement clinker dust emitted from the facility last week and we are in the process of confirming that to put our neighbor’s minds at ease,” the company stated.
Lafarge also said that it believes it has solved the issue that caused the dust to fall in the first place. “The plant is now operating normally and additional releases are not expected, and actions are being implemented to ensure this,” Lafarge said in an email to the Global News.
After receiving several complaints from residents in Bath, a councilor from Loyalist Township reached out to Lafarge on Oct. 26 to ask them to investigate the issue. The Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks also began an investigation on Oct. 25, after receiving complaints.
“Air specialists attended the area on Oct. 25 and 28 to assess and collect samples to determine the possible cause and source of the substance,” a ministry statement read.
Both the ministry and Loyalist Township say air quality tests have yet to be concluded, and did not identify a source for the dust. Despite not laying the blame on the cement plant, Loyalist Township Mayor Ric Bresee said the township is in talks with Lafarge “to mitigate the risk of this happening again in the future.”
Bresee also noted that the cement company has told the township they planned to clean vehicles affected by the dust.