Officials assess impact of mud waste pile pesticide contamination

Officials from authorized organizations on Thursday took samples of the pesticide contaminated mud waste pile in Thu Duc District of Ho Chi Minh City, to estimate the impact to the environment and human health. 

The officials were from the Department of Natural Resources and Environment, the Environment Protection Department under the Ministry of Public Security, the Institute of Natural Resources and Environment under the HCMC National University and the People’s Committee of Hiep Binh Chanh Ward in Thu Duc District.

According to Dr. Mai Tuan Anh from the Institute of Natural Resources and Environment, they collected seven samples from the mud waste piles from the underground basement at the construction site of the Tan Son Nhat-Binh Loi belt road project.

The samples will be analyzed by Dr. Anh's institute, the Institute of Tropical Technology and Environment Protection and the Center for Analytical Services and Experimentation in HCMC under the Department of Science and Technology.

They will estimate pollution levels and the impact of pesticide contamination to areas in the vicinity of the basement.

According to Dr. Anh, these mud piles are located far from residential areas where people don’t use wells as a source for water, thus there may not be serious impact to residents living in surrounding areas.

Dr. Doan Chan Vinh, chairman cum general director of Vietnam Pesticide Joint Stock Company and owners of the Binh Trieu antiseptic plant said that the company had been completely unaware of the existence of the basement.

After the company took over the area in 1977, it handed it over to the management board of Tan Son Nhat-Binh Loi outer belt road project, and the area has since been used as an end-products warehouse.

The basement might have been built before 1975 by the Mytox Company to store expired pesticide stocks as at that time as they had no technology to recycle waste.

According in the analysis results from the Institute of Natural Resources and Environment, the mud waste pile contains DDT, a banned pesticide, which the Vietnam Pesticide Joint Stock Company doesn’t manufacture.

Colonel Pham Huu Vinh, deputy head of the Environment Protection Department has proposed to authorized organizations to launch a thorough inspection of expired pesticides made by the Vietnam Pesticide Company to know how they stored and handled their products.

Related article:
Tests show high contamination of pesticides in landfill dump in HCMC

By Hoai Nam – Translated by Hai Mien

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