Scots residents fuming over glowing luminous yellow burn filled with toxic chemicals


SCOTTISH residents have been left fuming after one of their local burns turned bright luminous yellow from chemical waste associated with cancer.

Shocking images show Polmadie Burn in Glasgow filled with yellow waste which has made its way into the water from the nearby former Shawfield Chemical Works.

The images that were taken last week show bright yellow stagnant water can be seen filling the entire width of the burn as nature continues to grow around it.

Some areas surrounding the yellow water have turned green while foam builds up on top.

Clyde Gateway detected dangerous levels of toxic chemical, chromium VI, which is linked to cancer in the Glasgow waterway.

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Polmadie Burn in Glasgow

Repeated exposure to the chemical can cause inflammation of the lungs, allergic reactions in the skin and throat, kidney damage and lung cancer. 

Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) today said they were aware of the situation and were sending one of their officers to the site.

However, the environmental regulator stated that rectifying the issue may not be complete until 2027.

Colin Harkins shared the horrifying images onto Facebook on Friday prompted hundreds of comments from shocked locals.

Tamara McDaniel said: “That is really disgusting. They need to clean it up.”

Kirsty Lyall said: “That’s really not good. The council needs to pull their finger out and get it dealt with immediately.

“As usual though it’s been happening for years and it will take someone to die from it before the panic button is hit and they do something about it quickly.”

Eric Brown added: “That stuff is really bad. Very harmful.”

The post has been liked over 850 times and over 100 shares. 

Speaking today Colin said: “I stay in Dalmarnock and enjoy a walk in the park nearby. 

“I recently saw a post regarding the burn a few weeks ago and went to see it for myself.

“It appears that some works have taken place in the location however I am surprised that no warning signs are in place.

“The burn is very close to a public park, the Jenny Burn restaurant is just feet away and there are many new build homes nearby.” 

Decontamination has been ongoing in the area for years in order to get rid of potentially hazardous industrial chromium.

The toxic waste was left behind in the ground by the former J&J White’s Chemical Works which closed in 1967.

As part of the long-term redevelopment of the Shawfield area, Clyde Gateway is undertaking remedial works to address the pollution.

They are working with Glasgow City Council, South Lanarkshire Council and SEPA to identify how to fix the issue.

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Polmadie Burn in Glasgow

The plan is spread over a 15-20 year period and addressing this issue in full is not expected to be complete until 2027.

Some works were carried out in 2019 and 2020. 

SEPA claims that Clyde Gateway stated that concentrations of chromium in the burn recorded in late 2020 are no higher than previously recorded.

A spokesman for the (SEPA) said: “SEPA is aware of discolouration in the Polmadie Burn and has deployed an officer to the site. 

“We are confident that this is a result of the legacy of chromium contamination in the burn, an issue which is the subject of significant work and investment to address. 

“Anyone concerned about potential pollution incidents should contact us via our 24-hour online form at”


A spokesman for the council today said: “We have been working with a range of partners, including Clyde Gateway, to address the historic ground pollution connected to the former chemical works at Shawfield.

“Work to divert an underground culvert away from the area of pollution has been undertaken and ground remediation led by Clyde Gateway is currently underway.

“However, recent surveys have identified ongoing flow of chromium-affected water into the culverts upstream of the Polmadie Burn. Clyde Gateway is currently looking at measures to address this issue with advice from the working group partners.

“We fully understand the concern caused by the presence of Chromium VI in the burn. The area around the burn is currently fenced off for safety reasons and we urge the public to remain outside the fenced off area at this time.”

A spokesperson for Clyde Gateway today said: “Clyde Gateway continues to work in partnership with key stakeholders to address the contamination issues at the Polmadie Burn. The remediation strategy for the wider area is also continuing.”