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A dad has told how moving away from a petrochemical plant improved his health and boosted his daughter’s attendance at school.
Web designer James Glen spoke out after an expert warned that living near the likes of Ineos’s plant in Grangemouth and ExxonMobil’s plant at Mossmorran in Fife could trigger PTSD.
Last month flaring at Mossmorran led locals to complain to environment watchdog Sepa.
And last week chemical giant Ineos apologised to residents near its Grangemouth plant for “noticeable spells of flaring”.
Flaring happens when a plastics-making plant malfunctions and, for safety reasons, natural gas is burnt off to prevent explosions.
Professor Andrew Watterson, of Stirling University, said environmental pollution, such as light and sound, was affecting the mental health of residents.
Last year a study by Chinese scientists found living near a petrochemical plant caused higher cases of major depressive disorder.
It also linked poor sleep quality and developing PTSD to living near a plant in Taiwan. James, 43, lived two miles from Mossmorran before moving away eight years ago.
The dad, who helps run the Mossmorran Action Group, said: “I would suffer from constant exhaustion during periods of flaring.
“The tiredness would darken my moods and I believe it had an effect on my physical health.
“It wasn’t only me. My daughter AmyRose, who is now 14, was frequently so tired she couldn’t go to school.
“Since we moved, her attendance has gone up from 80 per cent to 99 per cent.”
Watterson added: “Residents around Mossmorran and Grangemouth have certainly reported similar adverse effects to this study.
“Its conclusions about the increased prevalence of PTSD and poor sleep quality in the local population would appear to be replicated for some residents around the Mossmorran site.
“If plants can’t be operated in a way that allow communities to have undisturbed nights and days, then there’s an argument now for planners and central and local government environmental health departments not allowing such plants to be approved in the future or continue normal operations.”
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