Four years ago, 29-year-old Reynagh Keane was preparing for her final year in College when she was struck down with a mystery virus which attacked her nervous system and left her paralysed .
The then 24-year-old was bed-bound in hospital for months and confined to a wheelchair as she went through an intensive rehabilitation. After learning how to walk again, she suffered a relapse over a year ago which weakened her heart which leaves her health vulnerable to illnesses.
Reynagh’s family home is located extremely close to the proposed Belmullet Sewerage Treatment plant located in Corlough East and she fears it will leave her life in serious risk from airbourne bacteria and viruses transported in the winds.
“I had an unknown mystery virus, and symptoms included total paralysis in legs and arm confining me to a wheelchair and an increased heart rate. A lot of tests were carried out by the doctors at the time but they were unable to find out what it was.
“During the relapse I was diagnosed with a heart condition as a result of the virus and it has left me at risk and I am worried that if the treatment plant is built in this location I would potentially be at risk from airborne viruses transported in the wind. The prevailing wind blows towards all of our homes and I feel I will be potentially at risk to airborne viruses coming from the plant,” she told The Mayo News.
The Environmental Health graduate carried out research on the subject and discovered a study from the Cornell University in the United States on Health Hazards from Wastewater Treatment Plants and the risks of those living close to them. It revealed that bacteria and organisms can become airbourne and if inhaled can pass directly into the bloodstream and result in respiratory problems. A survey revealed that these health symptoms were significantly elevated among residents living near treatment plants
As part of a submission to the EPA Reynagh’s cardiologist has written his concern that having a treatment plant close to her residence could potentially make her condition worse.
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