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Mass media / News

"The monster and the main enemy": will they close the plant "Electrozinc"?

Radio Liberty 23.10.2018 at 14:50

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty is a private, non-profit information service funded by the U.S. Congress, broadcasting to the countries of Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, Central Asia and Middle East and Russia.

Authorities in North Ossetia promised to consider the closure of the plant of non-ferrous metallurgy "Electrozinc" after mass protests in Vladikavkaz. Their participants demanded to close the plant. After the incident on the 21st of October, the fire, the people began to complain of cough and headaches. Authorities refused to enter in Republic state of emergency, assuring the public that there is no danger. Of the residents of Vladikavkaz decided to leave the city, on the road the huge stopper was formed. Then people came to the rally at the government building in North Ossetia. According to the telegram-channel "Ossetia" on the protest action there were 500-700 people. A fire in one of shops of the plant "Electrozinc" took place on 21 October. When fighting died, the emergency situations Ministry, two others injured. After the incident, the operation of the plant was suspended. According to the publication "the Caucasus.Realities", because of a fire in social networks began to spread the message with calls to leave the city. The head of North Ossetia Vyacheslav Bitarov called the reports a "provocation with the aim to excite the people and create a tense situation among the population" and did not rule out that "the shop was set on fire on purpose". The mayor of Vladikavkaz of Maharbek're still demanded to transfer "Electrozinc" in the Urals, as it harms the health of residents. "You can watch the official statistics. Again, North Ossetia is if not the first, one of the leading places in the Russian Federation for cancer. The plant is primarily to blame for this," said the're still. The Correspondent Of "Kavkaz.Realities" Elizabeth Chubarova told what is happening in Vladikavkaz, after mass protests: the head of the Republic Vyacheslav Bitarov promised that will come to the next rally and there will be people Now in Vladikavkaz, relatively quiet, meaning there are no mass actions, people are not leaving town. Everyone is waiting for Thursday, because Thursday is the meeting of Parliament, which will decide the question of holding a referendum on the closure of the plant. The head of the Republic Vyacheslav Bitarov promised that if the question of the referendum will not be supported by the deputies, he will come to the area for the next meeting and be with people. Everyone is waiting for the development of the situation. – As in North Ossetia belong to this enterprise? The company employs 1,800 people, which in the case of closing will remain without work – most of the residents of Vladikavkaz, demanding the closure of the plant in 2009, then was organized the movement "Stop. Electrozinc". However, the factory has a number of defenders. First, the company employs 1,800 people, which in the case of closing will be left without work, without a sufficiently good salary, good social package and guarantees. Of course, these people and their close relatives are unlikely to want the closure of the plant. In addition, there are those who say the benefits of the plant for the economy of the Republic. But people will continue to demand the closure of the enterprise, because for nine years talking about the closure of the plant. Plant long ago became such a "monster", the main enemy against which to unite complete strangers, told Elizabeth Chuhrova. The Deputy of the state Duma from North Ossetia Dzambolat Tedeev has promised "the Caucasus.Realities" to raise the issue of the closure of production at the parliamentary hearings. "I personally paid for the research of the ecological state of Vladikavkaz, – said he. Done a certified lab and now I can say that Vladikavkaz is suffering an environmental catastrophe." The health Minister of North Ossetia Mikhail Alderman believes that the reasons for concern. The opinions of doctors interviewed by the correspondent of "Kavkaz.Realities", was divided. Some advise to drink sorbents and leave to Vladikavkaz for a long time. Others insisted that the drugs can't affect already caught in the blood heavy metals. And all that Vladikavkaz was able to breathe, was already in their bodies at night. About the possible consequences of the accident at the plant "Electrozinc" for the health of the residents of North Ossetia says the Professor of Economics, member of the Interregional public organization "Society of specialists in evidence-based medicine" Vasily Vlasov: Zinc and its compounds can cause very severe departure – Accidents can be harmless to the surrounding population. For example, the explosion at the fireworks factory: if no one is killed inside, it only destroyed the room, and it's not very dangerous to others, – said the expert. – As for industrial production, are possible various effects. This is because in industries there are very large volumes of products and there may be many intermediate products which have very high toxicity. In particular, zinc and its compounds being released into the air, inhalation can cause very serious poisoning. I really hope that the release of combustion products and evaporation of zinc compounds has stopped, – says the doctor. According to Vasily Vlasov, people's desire to leave town immediately after the accident is a normal reaction: to Leave the contaminated zone – absolutely correctly – to Leave the contaminated zone is absolutely correct. How long there will be dangerous – hard to say. There can be a variety of compounds in Russia, as you know, Uralvagonzavod produces not the cars, and any company which is called Rubber can release toxic substances for military use. In this sense, we can say that the air in here is only zinc compounds, there may be different connections. As for the zinc compounds if the burning and release smoke ended, the air is relatively safe, – believes Professor of Economics Vasily Vlasov. About how the plant "Electrozinc" impact on the environment and human health, Radio Liberty said the head of the Russian branch of Greenpeace Ivan Blokov: as the most dangerous element I would have called cadmium, a carcinogen – Accidents at such facilities is dangerous because the environment can get various kinds of metals and acid – like an expert. – As the most dangerous element I would call the cadmium, although this does not mean that acute poisoning with other metals is impossible. But cadmium is nasty in the first place so that it is a carcinogen. The danger in the fact that in many regions of the services of Roshydromet can not produce this kind of measurement, and the emergency service may not always have time to catch the pollution that enters the environment. Usually the result of contamination detected by the contamination of the soil, and that in Vladikavkaz, a very big problem. High concentrations of various heavy metals copper, cadmium, zinc in soil is extremely large. For some indicators it hundreds of times – exceeding the tentative allowable concentrations. This clearly indicates the continuing negative impact of the plant, especially given the data of the first half of 2017, reduce the concentration of contaminants in the soils did not happen, – says Ivan Blokov. According to the environmentalists, not always, the state authorities can freeze the excess concentration of harmful emissions – this may not work due to objective reasons. Therefore, conservationists many years of talking about the transfer of such enterprises to new technologies, but this is not happening. People living around the enterprise, continue to suffer from the effects of air pollution and soil If to speak about cadmium is a cancer of different location – specifically on cadmium is a cancer of different localization. They will not reveal themselves immediately, but over the years, but they will steadily appear. If cadmium were thrown out, I don't know exactly, then by the type of exposure to carcinogenic substances will surely come cancer. Actually, there are two possible effects – either a single peak exposure, when people are choking, can be affected by different organs, very often it can be easy. And can be long-term consequences. In this situation, the most disgusting the most potential long-term impact, – the expert believes. "Electrozinc" suspend work for 2 months. This is the minimum period required for the repair work, officials said. The factory "Electrozinc" is one of the largest enterprises of nonferrous metallurgy of Russia, since 2003 is included in the structure Ural mining and metallurgical company. According to open sources, the plant produces zinc, lead, cadmium, sulfuric acid, zinc-aluminum alloys, polypropylene, India. In 2007, the plant has produced more than 35,6 thousand tons of soft lead, more than 90,4 thousand tons Spelter zinc 258,8 tons of cadmium. For 2000 years the production on "Electrozinc" almost stopped, the plant was on the verge of bankruptcy. However, in 2003, the owner of the company was JSC "Ural mining and metallurgical company", the production of zinc, lead, cadmium, and sulfuric acid began to grow again. As a consequence, increased levels of harmful emissions. In 2009, because of the powerful emission of sulphur oxides over Vladikavkaz hung a thick veil.

Many citizens noted in his headaches and sore throat. Representatives of the "Electrozink" explained the release of the commissioning of the new equipment and not emergency. However, until the end of October occurred at the plant, five more emissions. The head of North Ossetia Vyacheslav Bitarov said that without the court to close the "Electrozinc" and promised to appeal to the President of Russia Vladimir Putin with the request to close the plant. On the website Change.org created addressed to Putin, the petition is "final and irrevocable closure of the plant "Electrozinc", it was signed by 14 thousand people.