PUTRAJAYA — June 28, 2019: Three gases have been detected in the air in Pasir Gudang, including methyl mercaptan gas, the presence of which is said to be anomalous. The other two are acrylonitrile and acroleiny.
Due to the saturated atmospheric environment in the district, the anomaly will have an effect on high-risk groups such as children and those suffering from asthma. The gases were however not detected in the blood and urine samples of 10 patients from eight schools.
At a press conference with Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Dzulkefly Ahmad today, Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin said her ministry has taken immediate steps to dispose of the factors contributing to the presence of these gases and is continuing with the enforcement and monitoring of the chemical-based factories. Pasir Gudang has 2,005 licensed factories, of which 250 are chemical-based.
Yeo said the buffer zone factor was not considered when construction was approved, thus resulting in schools located close to the factories, some just 300 metres away.
She pledged that her ministry will take immediate steps, including providing a buffer zone, to reduce the risk of chemical disasters.
Asked if the government will relocate the chemical plants, Yeo said this is under the jurisdiction of the Johor government.
The ministry will also build an automatic gas-detection station that can provide a more efficient and speedy warning of a chemical disaster. Pasir Gudang will be the first heavy industries area to have an automatic environmental quality monitoring system in the country.
The system to determine the air carrying capacity will use the air dispersion modelling method practised by developed countries.
On Monday the ministry will have a town hall session with the chemical industries in Pasir Gudang. — Bernama