Roadblocks set up to prevent toxic waste from being moved out

A student of SK Tanjung Puteri Resort is showered with treated water at the Pasir Gudang Municipal Council indoor stadium to make sure he is not exposed to chemical pollution. (Bernama pic.)

JOHOR BAHRU: The police have mounted roadblocks in Pasir Gudang to prevent parties from taking out toxic waste.

Health, Culture and Heritage Committee chairman Mohd Khuzzan Abu Bakar said 30 police personnel are carrying out the daily operations.

“We are afraid they (chemical factories) might transport the toxic waste out,” he told reporters here today, after the latest incidents of breathing difficulty and vomiting among students in Pasir Gudang.

Khuzzan said the Environment Department would also carry out operations to ensure that the approximately 250 factories identified to be handling hazardous material in Pasir Gudang adhered to the standard operating procedure (SOP).

The operations would be carried out jointly with the cooperation of the Department of Occupational Safety and Health and the Pasir Gudang Municipal Council.

He warned that stern action would be taken against those who disregarded the SOP.

Khuzzan said 30 premises identified by the authorities as posing a high risk in contributing to the incidents had been inspected.

“One of the premises, which is processing toxic waste, has been ordered to dispose of it immediately,” he said.

He said the toxic waste had nothing to do with the recent pollution of Sungai Kim Kim.

Khuzzan said no new cases were reported today but nine victims were still being warded.

The victims are aged between eight and 17 years.