Many silent deaths occur due to toxic chemicals’ use

June 13, 2015 Off By Web Desk

KARACHI:,,, Unintentional poisoning kill an estimated 355 000 people globally each year, especially in developing countries. In Pakistan, a large number of silent deaths occur due to inappropriate use of toxic chemicals in the chemical industries. In developing countries, two thirds of these deaths are associated strongly with excessive exposure to, and inappropriate use of, toxic chemicals.

The Industrial Analytical Centre (IAC) of the H.E.J Research Institute of Chemistry has become the only analytical entity in the country offering a range of analytical and consultancy services to more than 500 industries and other private and public sector organizations.”

Prof. Dr. M. Iqbal Chaudhary, Director International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), University of Karachi (UoK), expressed these views while speaking at the 3rd webinar on International Perspectives on Industrial Chemical Safety & Security” held in the video conferencing room of the L.E.J. National Science Information Centre, UoK.

The ICCBS University of Karachi and CRDF Global, USA has jointly organized the series of webinar (2 hours each) on this issue. Certificates were distributed to the successful participants at the end of 3rd webinar. Senior Principal Consultant AcuTech Consulting Group – USA H. M. Leith, In-charge HEJ Industrial Analytical Centre Dr. Shakil Ahmed and others also spoke on the occasion.

Dr. Iqbal Chaudhary said that in many locations, toxic chemicals may be emitted directly into soil, air, and water from industrial processes, pulp and paper plants, tanning operations, mining, and unsustainable forms of agriculture at levels or rates well in excess of those tolerable to human health.

Industrial hazards consist of four principle hazards. This is because industries employ many different processes involving a wide range of different raw materials, intermediates, waste products and final products. The hazards encountered are fire, explosion, toxic release and environmental damage. Sudden releases of toxic vapours have the potential to cause death and severe injuries several miles from the release point. They are carried by water and air. Their release into public sewage systems, rivers, canals and other water courses, either directly or through contaminated water used in fire fighting can result in serious threat to public he said.

Talking about environmental damage, he said release of other substances, not directly toxic to humans can cause major pollution problems. He said, It is becoming increasingly recognized that damage to natural resources such as plant and animal life can have serious long term consequences. For example destruction of trees is increasing the effect of global warming and extinction of animals are severely disrupting food webs and causing an increase in pests.” The representatives of more than 25 industries and public institutions attended the event.