Tanalith chemical spill at northern timber facility
4 June, 2018, 2:00 am
THE chemical that spilled at the Malau Port in Labasa last Monday has been identified by the Ministry of Environment as Tanalith.
Considered as a very toxic chemical to aquatic organisms, the United Kingdom’s Safety Data Sheet revealed that Tanalith could have lasting effects on the marine ecosystem; the chemical classified as “able to cause long-term adverse effects in the aquatic environment”.
The chemical product, which according to the datasheet is a mix of chromium, copper, and arsenic, should not be allowed to enter drains, watercourses or the soil.
Fiji’s Ministry of Environment’s permanent secretary Joshua Wycliffe said they had received a report from Fiji Forest Industries (FFI) that one of its Tanalith storage tanks had burst and that this chemical had spilled onto the surrounding environment at the facility.
He said a coordinated approach had been taken by three agencies – Ministry of Environment, National Fire Authority and Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji – to mitigate the spillage.
“The chemical Tanalith is used to treat sawn timber while the facility is located at Malau, Labasa on an elevated lot from the sea,” Mr Wycliffe said.