Greenpeace Erects Warning Signs on Dalian's Oil-Polluted Beaches

Press release - 2010-07-24
July 24th, 2010, Dalian - Greenpeace activists put up warning signs on the beaches of Dalian to warn visitors to stay away from the polluted water out of health concerns. Greenpeace also calls upon the local government to provide proper safety measures and equipment for the workers involved in the clean up.

Greenpeace put up warning on the beaches of Dalian

In an area of the ocean just 37 kilometres from the site of the oil spill, Greenpeace found thin layers of oil. Greenpeace senior action coordinator, Zhong Yu, said, "The PAHs in crude oil do not dissolve easily in water and the harm done by these toxic chemicals, many of which are known to be carcinogenic, is long lasting. The contamination and waste remains and health hazards are frighteningly high here. This place is far from being safe."

After seeing visitors swimming in the sea, Greenpeace erected prominent signs reading "Oil Pollution! Stay Away!" When trying to support the signs with stones, Greenpeace activists found their hands covered in thick black oil, lurking only one centimeter below the surface of beach sand.

Greenpeace contacted the local government to share information on how to protect residents. Zhong Yu warned, "PAHs get into human bodies through direct skin contact and the respiration system. It will cause cancer. Specialised gloves, boots and masks are the most basic protection. They are easily available on the local market."

During the worst oil spill in history, in South Korea in 2007, the South Korean government mobilized citizens to participate in the clean up, providing them with necessary protective gear for free. "We are glad to hear about Liaoning Governor Mr. Chen Zhenggao's call to get citizens and civil society involved. However, this most certainly cannot and should not be allowed to happen without the necessary and proper protection"

Greenpeace strongly warns Dalian citizens to stay away from the polluted area as well as possibly tainted seafood. "One thing local people can do to help is to set up signs on the beaches cautioning others to stay away from the beaches and, therefore, safe from the health hazards caused by this pollution." said Zhong Yu.