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All-clear for odor emissions

In the neighborhood dialogue of the Grevenbroich-Ost industrial area, a toxicologist made it clear: From a technical point of view, the smell emissions from the plants pose no dangers.

"The concentration of all emitted substances is significantly below the legally defined emission limit values," said Professor Dr. Ulrich Ewers from the Hygiene Institute of the Ruhr Area. Because in addition to the emissions, i.e. the emissions of exhaust air or exhaust gases, the immissions - what affects people and nature - significantly below the legal limit values and assessment values based on environmental medicine and toxicology, toxic effects are not to be expected, Ewers summed up.

Hydro, Aleris and Tokai Erftcarbon had asked the specialist to assess possible health effects from the emissions from the factories from an environmental medical toxicological point of view. Ewers checked, calculated, smelled and gave the all-clear - with one exception, however: psychologically, people react differently to smells, like them or dislike them, and even feel disgusting; and that could even lead to body reactions such as nausea or the like. A health hazard should be ruled out from a toxicological point of view, according to Ewers

Significantly fewer complaints

Since the three companies started the 2010 dialogue at the location, some construction measures, most of which had already been planned, have been carried out to reduce odors and keep the air clean. And during the dialogue in the factory canteen, without being contradicted, a local resident confirmed: "It really got better." This can also be seen in the complaints about unpleasant smells: in 2011 there were 42, this year 7th

Like the experts from the other companies, Dr. Volker Glaubke, environmental officer at the Hydro plant in Grevenbroich, from the current standpoint from Hydro's point of view. The new system for central wastewater treatment means that sulfur odors are much rarer and less. In the conversion of a rolling group, two furnaces were shut down; this reduces the smell of oxidized mineral oils.

“We have identified 21 relevant smell sources and have ranked them according to their immission effect. The first eight on this list are essential - and since then we have been examining what can be reasonably refurbished and which has the greatest effect on reducing odors, ”said Glaubke

It is planned to selectively purify the chamber exhaust air from the finished annealing furnaces of the large-scale series 1 plant with a catalyst. This measure could take place during the Christmas standstill. Another option for reducing odors is to be tested in an operational test in September.

According to an odor report from the Aneco company, permitted annual average values of hours with clearly perceptible odors are exceeded on four assessment areas: three in Barrenstein, one in Allrath. The current improvements reduce this to just one assessment area in Barrenstein. "This is good progress, but we will continue to work on the topic," said Glaubke.

This text is machine translated. To view the original German text, click on DE on the top right of this window

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