skip to content

Antiseptic chocolate

In 1993, the owners of a cocoa and chocolate factory in Hull were concerned that chemicals from a planned hazardous waste site might contaminate their products. A public inquiry ensued. ASK used mathematical modelling to demonstrate that substantial risks were posed by the new site.

The case:
When ASK was brought in, British Cocoa Mills (BCM) was concerned because Envirocor, a waste handling company, was planning to build a transfer station less than 300 metres away from its Hull factory. BCM was worried about its products, but also its reputation. Although the Inspector had refused planning permission for the new site, Envirocor was appealing against the decision.

ASK’s involvement:
ASK identified various chemical waste components which can taint food at low concentrations (down to less than one part in ten billion). We developed mathematical models of potential spills, taking into account evaporation, dispersion of the wind-borne vapour, surface deposition and diffusion into the food product. We concluded that a small spill of waste containing a fraction of strongly tainting chemicals would give rise to a tainting risk under typical weather conditions, provided BCM was downwind of the spill.

Since no well-established criteria existed for assessing the tolerability of the risk to the company, ASK developed an innovative approach based on insurance data.

The result:
Based on the evidence that we provided, the appeal was dismissed; the risks associated with the new site were judged unacceptable. Envirocor appealed and won the right to present its case to a fresh inquiry, but this did not go ahead and the transfer station was never built.

Read other case studies

Coded with valid XHTML, CSS and tested for WCAG Priority 2 Conformance.

Powered by Website Baker, web design and development by Web Growth Consulting ltd