Unsafe plant protection chemical storehouses threaten people’s health
  • | Vietnamnet | November 12, 2012 01:05 PM

1153 places nationwide have been found as getting polluted due to the plant protection chemical residues. The chemical storehouses scattered in different provinces have seriously degraded because of no treatment.


The plant protection chemical storehouse in Lao Cai Province 

To date, plant protection chemicals have been gathered and put into the same storehouses with other kinds of goods discovered and seized in criminal cases, while there has been no specific base for toxic chemicals.

In general, the storehouses were built a long time ago, which have become downgraded and damaged with the concrete floors getting cracked, leading to the leaking of chemicals to the environment, thus polluting the land and water resources.

Especially, according to the Environment General Directorate, many of the storehouses were originally designed as automobile garages or houses; therefore, they cannot meet the requirements to be used as storehouses.

Most of the plant protection chemicals kept at the storehouses are from China with no detailed information about the manufacturers. The chemicals were brought to Vietnam not through the official channels, but illegally imported across the border, or carried by the people entering Vietnam.

The chemicals, which have been seized by competent agencies, have been brought to the storehouses, where they have been piled up with no classification and no labeling.

The volume of plant protection chemicals has become so big and made the storehouses in the northern border areas overloaded.

A report made within the frame of the project on assessing the situation of the chemical storehouses in the border areas--showed that about 37,000 tonnes of chemical substances are being kept at the storehouses in 39 provinces and cities nationwide, mostly in the northern border areas and Mekong Delta.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment (MONRE) is considering building new or upgrading the existing storehouses to prevent the environment pollution from getting worse.

An official of the ministry said new storehouses would be built in the localities where there are still no specific storehouses for plant protection chemicals. Meanwhile, the existing storehouses would be upgraded to be able to meet the safety standards.

In the immediate time, the strength would be focused on upgrading the storehouse in Lao Cai province and building a new storehouse in Lang Son province.

The storehouses need to meet the basic requirements in design and material facilities to ensure the natural ventilation, reasonable distance from residential quarters, the perfect working of firefighting equipments and water supply systems of emergency use.

Especially, the official said the chemicals would be classified, labeled and put into reasonable places in order to avoid the leakage which may cause bad consequences.

Lang Son province is considered the locality which gathers most toxic chemicals in the country, including plant protection chemicals. However, the storehouses here are all in bad conditions, thus causing serious pollution. Especially, they are near residential quarters, just 20 cm far away and near the water drainage system which is now under the construction, just 0.5 m.

According to the Lang Son Plant Protection Sub-department, some 30 kinds of prohibited plant protection chemicals have still been available on the market. These include the chemicals banned since 1980 such as 666 pesticide and herbicides 2.4.5 T (Brochtox, Decamine, Veon...).

Also according to the sub-department, since 1996, competent agencies have seized 12 tons of chemicals smuggled from China which do not have any labels and it’s still unclear about their origins.

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