Air quality still being monitored near river

  • Nation
  • Monday, 18 Mar 2019

PASIR GUDANG: Authorities have cleaned up a 1.5km stretch of Sungai Kim Kim but they are still monitoring air quality in the affected areas, said Energy, Technology, Science, Climate Change and Environment Minister Yeo Bee Yin.

“We are conducting surveillance, and after this, we will see what other steps can be taken to avoid another wave of toxic gas pollution,” she said.

Yeo said 30 teams consisting of personnel from the Department of Environment and Chemistry Depart­ment would inspect 30 schools located between 3km and 9km from the river.

“These teams are equipped with gas detection devices, so they are able to check the air quality at these schools,” Yeo told reporters at a press conference at Menara Aqabah here yesterday.

She said that the teams had previously recorded good air readings and they are hoping to get more good results following the river clean-up.

Besides air quality, she said, the teams will also be checking if the underground water in the area has been affected by the chemical pollution from Sungai Kim Kim.

Meanwhile, Johor Fire and Rescue Department director Datuk Yahaya Madis said the public should not be overly worried about the a discovery of hydrogen cyanide in previous air sample taken from the area.

Speaking at a separate press conference, he said the current reading for the gas is under 2.0 parts per million (PPM) compared to 4.5 PPM recorded on March 7.

Yahaya pointed out that the traces of cyanide resulted from a reaction from the chemical waste, and only dangerous after a long period of exposure to it.

It was earlier reported that the department had found 15 types of chemicals in air samples taken from areas surrounding Sungai Kim Kim, including hydrogen cyanide.

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