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Health News of Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Source: GNA

EPA Director: Inhaling poisonous fumes can be harmful

Mr Asher Nkegbe, Upper East Regional Director of the Environmental Agency(EPA) , has expressed worry about health-related problems associated with the inhaling of fumes from generators, vehicles, and water pumping machines, among others.

The Regional Director who expressed the worry in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Bolgatanga, said the situation was becoming alarming with the continuous reported deaths of illegal small-scale miners, in spite of the collaborative safety awareness programmes by the EPA and other state institutions.

He blamed the problem on the ignorance of many people about the health implication of inhaling fumes and indicated that the situation points to the fact that more awareness creation programmes needed to be carried out.

He explained that fume which was scientifically known as carbon monoxide was potentially a deadly gas which had devastating effects on human lives.

Assigning reason to this, the Regional Director, explained that the reason why carbon monoxide was so harmful was that it displaced the level of oxygen in the blood, which resulted in the death of cells and the damage to the major organs which were subsequently starved of major oxygen, resulting in one's death.

Mr Nkegbe stated that the long-term effects of inhaling carbon monoxide could affect the memory, the brain, the behaviour and the cognition and, admonished the general public to desist from operating generators in enclosed places in their homes.

The Regional Director who indicated that the incidence was very high in small scale mining areas and even in the concessions of some big mining companies, impressed upon people to be mindful of the dangerous health hazards of fumes, by taking precautionary measures to avoid its harmful effects on human health.

Mr Nkegbe said vehicles could also trap carbon monoxide leading its health effects on occupants of such vehicles. He, therefore, admonished vehicle owners to send their vehicles to professional mechanics for periodic maintenance.

“It is very important that everybody take responsibility by ensuring their safety against the exposure to these poisonous fumes in order to avoid the serious health implication and death. The EPA will as part of its mandate’s continuous to collaborate with other state institutions including all stakeholders to embark upon vigorous education on the subject matter in order to help curb the menace,” he stressed.