Government studying ‘highly toxic’ red earth

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 29 May 2004

IPOH: The authorities are studying the red earth allegedly containing highly toxic materials stored at the Kampung Aceh Industrial Park near Lumut, said deputy Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Kong Cho Ha.  

He said a team of officials from the Department of Environment, Chemistry Department and Atomic Energy Licensing Board had been at the site since Thursday. 

Preliminary findings, he said, showed the soil contained radiation level which was within the permissible level and that there was no cause for alarm. 

He said the officials were there to oversee the handling of the red earth which was brought from Ipoh to Lumut, to be exported to China. 

“It is only that the way it is being handled is not proper and now the officials are at the site to see that all precautionary measures are taken.  

“They are also taking measures to ensure that the red earth is not washed into the sea,” he said in an interview here yesterday. 

Kong added: “The results would be made known once the tests are completed.” 

On Thursday, the managing director of Aceh Jaya Engineering Sdn Bhd, located in the Park claimed that a company handling toxic materials started storing the red earth in the vacant lot last December. 

He claimed a test on the red earth showed it had high concentrations of hazardous material including lead, mercury, antimony and cadmium.  

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