EDITORIAL: Public deserves answers on Louis Lynch
What’s next for the Louis Lynch Secondary School?
After a comprehensive probe by The Nation on the disused school over the last month, we wait to see the next move for this environmentally controversial school.
What will happen to this school building which closed in 2007 and now sits desolate in Whitepark Road in St Michael?
It was a school fraught with health problems over the years, and according to two international experts, chemical emissions from two nearby laundries could have been responsible for serious health challenges experienced by teachers and students.
The laundries fingered by a 68-page report compiled in 2006 for the World Health Organisation, were Pink Pelican Laundry, which closed in 1991 and Tropical Laundries, which opened at the same spot in Country Road, St Michael.
The details of that report which had never been released to the public, have been published by this newspaper. In addition, there were testimonies from relatives of students and teachers of the school who became ill.
For 25 years there were complaints of respiratory problems, itchy skin, headaches and nausea.
Recently there has been a high number of cancer and blood-related deaths and critical illnesses of former students and teachers, which pushed the issue back into the spotlight.
The report highlighted the tetrachloroethylene (perc) gradient found in the soil close to the school, and the orange-brownish staining covering the roof and the window frames positioned near the laundry.
Perc is used for dry-cleaning fabrics and has been suspected of causing some types of cancers.
It was the recent testimony from past student and teacher Nigel Marshall that was especially touching.
Marshall, diagnosed with prostate cancer, died just over a week ago before the latest story was published.
His death and the death of others must not be in vain.
With all this information now unearthed, Barbadians deserve answers, especially the past students, teachers and residents living nearby the school.
Imagine the concern, the curiosity and perhaps the fear that some may have.
Their fears and concerns need to be allayed.
More investigations need to be done and a decision must be made regarding the Louis Lynch school.
It is time that this saga is put to rest, once and for all.