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Pasir Gudang pollution: Police set up roadblocks to prevent toxic waste dumping

Pasir Gudang pollution: Police set up roadblocks to prevent toxic waste dumping

Johor state government dismisses claims made by certain parties that government agencies were slow to react to the Pasir Gudang pollution incidents. (Photo: Bernama)

JOHOR BAHRU: The Malaysian police have set up roadblocks in Pasir Gudang to prevent toxic waste from being smuggled out of the town.

The operation commenced last Friday, and involves about 30 police officers daily, said State Health, Culture and Heritage Committee chairman Mohd Khuzzan Abu Bakar in a media conference on Tuesday (Jun 25).

“We are afraid they (chemical factories) might transport the toxic waste out,” he said.

Mohd Khuzzan said that authorities have shortlisted 30 factories in the area that may have contributed to the latest pollution incident in Pasir Gudang.

One factory has been ordered to dispose of its toxic waste immediately, he added.

Mohd Khuzzan said he will disclose the amount of toxic waste being disposed off, but added that it had nothing to do with the pollution in Sungai Kim Kim.

The latest pollution incident in Pasir Gudang surfaced last Thursday after 15 students from one school suffered breathing difficulties and vomiting.

The population of Pasir Gudang is roughly about 300,000. 

The cases have led the Johor state government to close all schools in Pasir Gudang for three days from Tuesday as it takes measures to identify and fix the source of the contamination. 

READ: Pasir Gudang residents call for better air quality monitoring, alert system

READ: All Pasir Gudang schools ordered to close for three days

A press conference on the Pasir Gudang pollution incidents. (Photo: Bernama)

Mohd Khuzzan said the Environment Department will also carry out integrated operations with the Department of Occupational Safety and Health and Pasir Gudang Municipal Council to ensure factories that handle hazardous material adhere to standard operating procedures.

He warned that stern action would be taken against those that disregard standard operating procedures.

READ: Latest Pasir Gudang pollution caused by Sungai Kim Kim toxic waste, says minister

Mohd Khuzzan also provided an update on the number of patients in hospital; as of 12pm on Tuesday, nine were still warded, with no new cases reported.

The patients are aged between eight and 17.


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