Minister says yet to ascertain cause of air pollution in Pasir Gudang

Ben Tan
Yeo (seated, second from right) speaks to reporters during a media conference at the Pasir Gudang Municipal Council. — Picture by Ben Tan

PASIR GUDANG, June 26 — The Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change ministry has yet to ascertain the cause for last week’s air pollution here, said its minister Yeo Bee Yin.

She said the chemistry department has been conducting an analysis for chemical components in patients’ urine and blood samples, but with results coming out negative thus far.

“The laboratory test results found that samples from eight patients taken for cyanide and volatile organic compounds (VOC) tests came out negative.

“We could not detect the chemical elements from the respective patient’s urine and blood samples.

“In addition to that, we have also conducted an examination on substances that can be classified as contaminated material, but the results also came out negative,” said Yeo.

Yeo said this during a media conference held at the operations control centre at the Pasir Gudang Municipal Council in Menara Aqaba today.

Also present were Johor Health, Culture and Heritage Committee chairman Mohd Khuzzan Abu Bakar and state Local Government, Urban Wellbeing and Environment Committee chairman Tan Chen Choon.

Yeo said some 30 factories in Pasir Gudang, suspected to be the cause of the air pollution have been ordered by the Department of Environment to dispose of their chemical waste.

“Effective monitoring of the air quality is needed as in cases such as illegal dumping, the authorities can immediately detect and take action,” Yeo said, adding that the ministry will establish a committee to look into the setting up of air quality monitoring stations.

Meanwhile, Khuzzan said the permanent air quality monitoring stations was a suggestion by the technical and scientific committee.

He said another suggestion was to set up a Chemical Dispersion Prediction System to monitor all types of waste in Pasir Gudang.

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