KUALA LUMPUR, June 27 — The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) urged authorities to take preventive action after Pasir Gudang, Johor, was hit with another air pollution case.
NIOSH chairman Lee Lam Thye said NIOSH has offered assistance to help monitor any chemical pollution, after dozens of students suffered breathing difficulties and vomiting, forcing the closure of almost 500 schools and other learning institutions.
“What we need now is proactive and not reactive actions to prevent a recurrence of another incident after the latest incident which many dubbed as the second Sungai Kim Kim pollution,” Lee said in a statement.
“The people want more proactive measures from the Department of Environment (DOE) and other government agencies to take whatever measures needed to ensure the safety of the people.”
Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin reportedly said yesterday that the authorities have yet to identify the cause of the air pollution, unlike the March incident of the toxic waste dump in Sungai Kim Kim, where victims had traces of cyanide in their body.
She was quoted saying that tests have failed to detect any substances that may have caused victims in the current incident to fall sick.
Authorities have reportedly removed 100 tonnes of chemical substances.
Johor Health, Culture and Heritage executive councillor Mohd Khuzzan Abu Bakar reportedly said only six victims remained warded in hospital.
A total of 75 people were hospitalised as of last Monday after students from 15 schools in Pasir Gudang suffered breathing problems and nausea.