14 March 2002
Noise Absorptive Material
In an article appearing in today’s Apple Daily, glass wool was alleged to have been extracted from inside one of the many metal panels which make up the noise barrier surrounding West Rail’s Maintenance Centre at Pat Heung. The article alleged that the panel from which this material was extracted was found lying near the tracks in Kam Tin.
A spokesman for the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation (KCRC) had this to say about the article:
"Glass wool is widely used inside buildings and in noise barriers at ground level throughout Hong Kong. It is not a carcinogen, and authoritative statements by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) are available to confirm this.
"KCRC’s specifications for the contract for the Pat Heung Maintenance Centre, which include the noise barrier, permit the contractor to use glass wool, provided that the material is wrapped in sealed polyester membranes and encased in metal panels. These panels therefore prevent the membranes from being damaged and the glass wool from escaping into the air.
"Contrary to what is claimed in the article, trains passing through the Maintenance Centre will not cause vibration to such an extent as to damage the sealed membranes or the metal panels.
"Any person wishing to know more about the latest medical research in respect of man-made vitreous fibres are free to visit the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s internet website at boffetta@iarc.fr."