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Air pollution: Six victims warded

Last Update: 21/06/2019

JOHOR BAHRU, June 20 (Bernama) - Six of the 15 victims who were treated at the Sultan Ismail Hospital here after experiencing symptoms of vomiting and shortness of breath believed to be caused by air pollution yesterday, have now been warded.

State Health, Culture and Heritage Committee chairman Mohd Khuzzan Abu Bakar said the six, aged between nine and 10 years , were pupils  of Sekolah Agama Taman Mawar Pasir Gudang.

They were reported to be in stable condition.

“The rest were allowed to return home,” he told a press conference at the operations room to handle the crisis, at the Pasir Gudang Indoor Stadium here today.

Also present were state Housing, Communications and Multimedia Committee chairman Dzulkefly Ahmad and state Education, Human Resources, Science and Technology Committee chairman, Aminolhuda Hassan.

Mohd Khuzzan said the operations room was set up to monitor the air quality in Pasir Gudang, and the operations were being managed by the state Fire and Rescue Department and the  Johor Department of Environment (DOE).

He said based on the initial air quality monitoring to date, air readings were good with the parameters for Carbon Monoxide (CO), Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOS) at zero level.             The oxygen level reading was at 21.2 percent (normal).

"Air quality monitoring will continue to be made periodically (every 4 hours) and should there be changes in the air quality, it will be noted immediately for further action," said Mohd Kuzzan.

He added that DOE’s initial investigation found that there was no specific cause to the pupils’ health problems (symptoms of vomiting and shortness of breath) and it had not detected any disposal or illegal discharge of scheduled wastes.

However, the DOE will continue to investigate the cause of the incident and would provide regular updates.

Mohd Khuzzan said for now, all sports activities could still continue and there was no need to wear face masks as the air quality reading in the area was normal.

In the incident yesterday evening, 13 students and two staff members from Sekolah Agama Taman Mawar and  Sekolah Kebangsaan Pasir Gudang 4  were sent to Sultan Ismail Hospital for treatment after they experienced vomitting  and shortness of breath, believed to be caused by pollution.

This is the second such incident in the area and comes after the toxic pollution of Sungai Kim Kim in March that affected nearly 6,000 people. 

It also led to the temporary closure of 111 schools in the Pasir Gudang district. 



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