Grenfell Tower survivors and community ‘at risk’

Grenfell Tower survivors and community ‘at risk’

Grenfell Tower survivors and community ‘at risk’ after scientists find cancer-causing chemicals and other dangerous toxins in fire debris and soil samples from the site

  • Soil tests around Grenfell Tower have uncovered evidence of dangerous toxins 
  • Huge concentrations of carcinogens in soil and dust around London tower block 
  • Chemicals could have health implications for residents and survivors of the fire 
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Tests conducted around Grenfell Tower have uncovered evidence of toxins that could pose serious health risks for residents and survivors of the inferno, it has been revealed.

‘Huge concentrations’ of carcinogens in the soil and dust around the west London tower block which experts warn could put the community at risk of long-term health problems including asthma, cancer and other respiratory problems.

Oily deposits have been collected nearly 18 months after the blaze from a flat 160 metres from the site.   


Some 72 people perished in the inferno which ripped through Grenfell Tower in June, 2017

Professor Anna Stec, who conducted the study, has now warned senior health officials, the police and Kensington and Chelsea Council (RBKC) of the need for further tests.

Researchers said the substances, ‘were discovered in quantities that could indicate that they resulted from the burning of specific materials which were used in the 2016 refurbishment of Grenfell Tower.’

Prof Stec, who is professor in fire chemistry and toxicity at the University of Central Lancashire said she also found high levels of hydrogen cyanide in the soil she analysed.

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She said: ‘There is undoubtedly evidence of contamination in the area surrounding the tower, which highlights the need for further in-depth, independent analysis to quantify any risks to residents.

‘It is now crucial to put in place long-term health screening to assess any long-term adverse health effects of the fire on local residents, emergency responders and clean-up workers.

‘This will also provide a future readiness for dealing with any further such disasters.’


Oily deposits have been collected nearly 18 months after the blaze from a flat 160 metres from the site

Seventy one people died in the blaze on June 14 last year, with a 72nd victim dying months later in hospital.

Last month, Professor Stec was instructed by the public inquiry into the tragedy to act as an expert witness. 

It was recently announced that Grenfell survivors and surrounding residents are to be given special screening to examine the effects of smoke inhalation and possible asbestos exposure, health chiefs have announced.

NHS England said it would provide up to £50 million to fund long-term screening and treatment for those affected by the Grenfell Tower fire.

It follows calls from the Grenfell coroner, Dr Fiona Wilcox, for the NHS to set up a screening programme for those who were exposed to smoke and dust in the fire 

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