Thailand warns health problem from chemical fumes

By VNA   May 13, 2024 | 04:00 am PT
Thailand warns health problem from chemical fumes
View of Bangkok, Thailand, in polluted air on Feb. 2, 2023. Photo by Reuters
Thailand's health authority is warning members of the public about the dangers of toxic fumes following chemical blazes in Rayong and Ayutthaya in recent weeks.

Dr. Attapon Kaewsamrit, Deputy Director-General of the Public Health Ministry’s Department of Health, advised people to stay upwind from source in a ventilated space at least 300 meters away if a chemical fire breaks out near their community.

He also called on locals to wear masks to protect themselves against toxic fumes.

The advice came after a blaze at a chemical warehouse on May 1 in Ayutthaya’s Phachi District which affected residents of several communities in the district, neighboring districts and patients at a nearby hospital.

The fire may produce irritating toxic gases that can cause dizziness and asphyxiation, Attapon explained, adding inhalation or contact with material may irritate or burn skin and eyes.

Importantly, runoff from fire control can cause environmental pollution, by contaminating the soil, nearby surface waters and groundwater, which can in turn pollute local drinking water sources, he added.

He has also urged local state agencies and relevant units responsible for granting a permit for operations of chemical warehouses to intensify their efforts to ensure that operators and owners of warehouses, buildings and facilities regularly inspect and maintain all of their operations systems, power systems, equipment and gas pipelines to prevent accidents and leaks.

Toxic fumes released from chemical and industrial waste blazes have sparked public health and safety concerns as Thailand has faced a series of hazardous chemical incidents that have exposed people to dangerous toxins through fires, explosions and transportation in April and May.

The most recent incident occurred on May 9 when a massive explosion at the pyrolysis gasoline tank of Map Ta Phut Tank Terminal Co., Ltd (MTT) in Rayong city caused a devastating fire that left one dead and four others injured.

go to top