Friday, February 8, 2013
Bukit Koman air full of poison, says green group
PETALING JAYA: An environmental group has claimed that the use of cyanide in gold mining activities is causing excessive air pollution in Bukit Koman, Pahang.
The pollutants include hydrogen cyanide gas, according to Sherly Hue, a leader of the Pahang Ban Cyanide in Gold Mining Action Committee.
She told FMT that on a certain day in early January, the amount of hydrogen cyanide in the air around Bukit Koman was recorded at 1.1 ppm (parts per million), a level that World Health Organisation (WHO) considers hazardous.
The reading was taken some time after Jan 3, the date on which the Pahang Department of Environment (DOE) erected a monitoring station next to SJK (C) Yuh Wah. The station measures the gas level for 15 hours a day.
“According to WHO, the permissible levels for the gas exposure are 0.03 ppm in New York and 0.009 ppm in the Czech Republic,” Hue said.
“The cyanide exposure in Bukit Koman is 30 times above the safety level of New York.”
However, DOE has set the maximum exposure level at 10 ppm, as displayed on a board next to the monitoring station.
Residents in Bukit Koman have been pressing for the authorities to ban the use cyanide in the area by the Raub Australian Gold Mine (RAGM). They went to court over it in 2008.
The residents claim that within a month after RAGM started its operation in 2009, more than 300 people living around the area were afflicted by skin rashes, shortness of breath and other illnesses.
RAGM rejected the allegations and the Federal Cabinet insisted in 2009 that the plant posed no hazard to the environment.
Hue said she was puzzled by DOE’s decision to raise the permissible exposure limit.
The US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has established a recommended exposure limit of 4.7 ppm for eight working hours.
“The safety limit of 10ppm is twice the US standard,” Hue said. “Furthermore, the residents here are exposed to the gas for 24 hours every day.”
She urged the authorities to address the problem quickly. “If the pollution is really caused by gold mining activities, they should close down the plant.”
About Me ｜简介
- Bukit Koman ｜武吉公满
- Kami adalah penduduk yang dilahirkan dan dibesarkan di Bukit Koman, Raub. Sememangnya, kami seharusnya dapat menikmati rahmat yang ditakdirkan, iaitu tinggal dengan aman. Namun, ketenteraman dan kesihatan penduduk tergugat apabila apabila lombong emas yang bersebelahan dengan rumah kediaman kami mengguna Sodium Cyanide dalam perlombongan. Ratusan penduduk mengadu tentang masalah kesihatan dalam tempoh 1 bulan selepas lombong emas mula beroperasi pada Febuari 2009. Kami tidak dapat lagi bertoleransi dengan ancaman ini. Untuk menjamin keselamatan ahli keluarga tersayang dan masa depan generasi kami yang akan datang, kami sanggup melakukan apa sahaja demi mempertahankan keamanan dan keselamatan kampung halaman kami. 我们是在劳勿武吉公满土生土长数十年的普通居民。本已到了知天命之年，奈何眼见挚爱的家园因为山埃的入侵，面临沦为“毒村”的致命威胁，我们决定站出来，抗战到底！为了我们爱惜的家人，为了我们的下一代，背水一战，决不妥协！ Email：bancyanide@Gmail.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BanCyanideInGoldMining