We’ll know toxin polluting Pasir Gudang in 2 days, says MB

Noel Achariam

Menteri Besar Dr Sahruddin Jamal says authorities are finding out the cause of the pollution in Pasir Gudang. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Nazir Sufari, June 24, 2019.

THE toxin that has made students in Pasir Gudang, Johor, ill will be known in two days, said Menteri Besar Dr Sahruddin Jamal.

He said authorities were finding out the cause of the pollution.

“We are trying to identify the chemical (that caused the pollution) and it will be announced by the Chemistry Department within two days,” he said at Pasir Gudang stadium today.

Scores of students and staff from more than 20 schools in Pasir Gudang have been hospitalised after complaining of breathing difficulties, and at least 16 schools have been shut down.

Sharuddin said today 75 victims were referred to the Sultan Ismail Hospital and only four had received treatment.

“The rest are in stable condition. The department of environment is also conducting checks on the pollution and the readings are normal,” he said.

He said authorities are conducting checks in a 15km radius and are inspecting factories in Pasir Gudang.

“They have identified 30 factories that could be involved in the pollution.

“There are 265 chemical factories here. DOE will investigate and if there is chemical pollution they will take action and shut the factories down,” Sahruddin said.

He also said they had conducted 15 blood tests and the results were negative for pollution induced sickness.

Sharuddin also dismissed claims that the toxic fumes were the same as that found at Sg Kim Kim.

“For now we have been informed that its not the same,” he said.

Health Minister Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said that the toxicity level is unlike what had happened in Sg Kim Kim.

“In Sg Kim Kim those affected were sent to the Intensive Care Unit. The level here (toxicity) is just vomiting and shortness of breath.

“This (symptoms) will not stay in the body for too long, it will be excreted,” he was quoted as saying.

Deputy Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Isnaraissah Munirah similarly said the pollution this time is very different from Sg Kim Kim.

“We have processed all the substances from the river where it was dumped.

“But, this time the cause is still under investigation. It could be airborne because of the heat wave.” – June 24, 2019.

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