KUANTAN: Allegations that the gold mining operation in Raub is the source of health complications among residents of Bukit Koman are unfounded, said state Health, Human Resources and Special Functions committee chairman Norol Azali Sulaiman.
He said irresponsible parties had to stop making such excessive claims as there was no solid proof that the chemicals used by Raub Australian Gold Mining (RAGM) were causing skin diseases among nearby residents.
"Studies by various institutions such as Universiti Sains Malaysia, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and the Institute for Medical Research have shown no significant evidence that hydrogen cyanide is inflicting health problems on Bukit Koman residents.
"I hope claims to the contrary will stop so we can focus on more pressing matters," Norol Azali told reporters after supervising a hydrogen cyanide measuring demonstration during break time at the state assembly sitting here Monday.
He added that the chemical compound was also used by other mines but no report or complaint of health problems had emerged in those areas.
However, Norol Azali said there were no clear standards on permissible exposure to hydrogen cyanide as it was difficult to coordinate internationally.
"As I understand, the chemical is sensitive to temperature, so other countries have different readings. For us, the standard is 4.7 parts per million (ppm) for direct exposure while the maximum permissible level is 10ppm," he said.
Norol Azali stressed that the government would take immediate action if there was evidence to suggest a link between skin diseases and hydrogen cyanide but said that as at this moment, any such claim had no basis.