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LASEPA advocates effective handling of chemicals by companies

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 LAGOS State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) has called on stakeholders in the production and manufacturing sector of the state to ensure proper handling and management of hazardous chemicals to avoid further degradation of the environment.

  It also recognised some organisations for having in place the best chemical storage facilities and embracing self-regulation and compliance.

General Manager of LASEPA, Dr. Dolapo Fasawe, made the call recently at a stakeholders’ forum organised by the agency, charging them to be professional in the discharge of their duties and also flush out quacks to guide against preventable occupational hazards.

Fasawe noted that the hazardous nature of chemicals makes proper handling of the substances by all stakeholders essential, advocating routine training to empower them with best practices and also keep them abreast of new ideas and methods applicable in chemical management.

In her words: “This engagement was designed to complement the T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda of the state government, especially the health and environment pillar, and identify the relationship between a friendly environment and a healthy society.

 Chemicals are good friends if well managed. They can also be the worst enemies if not. Therefore, we must adhere strictly to rules guiding its proper management”.

She urged all organisations to follow the state government’s guidelines for approved chemical storage, adding that the agency frowns at dangerous and unacceptable chemical disposal storage practices, averring that one of the causes of cancer and some skin-related diseases is improper handling of chemicals.

The general manager also challenged everyone to collectively fight against pollution by serving as watchdogs against unfriendly activities such as indiscriminate disposal of chemicals and hazardous substances in the State.

She said: “Today’s event shows that, beyond the enforcement and compliance responsibilities of the agency, we are mindful of efforts put in place by some of you to ensure compliance at your workplace. To this group, we say thank you, for a job well done”.

“Your special recognition is to encourage others to adopt friendly protocols towards handling and management of chemicals and hazardous materials in their organisations and avoid indiscriminate exposure of workers to chemical substances and accidental explosion”, Fasawe stated

She disclosed that LASEPA has a mini plant for appropriate disposal and management of waste chemicals in such a way that it will not have any effect on the environment, urging concerned organisations to liaise with the agency for assistance in the management and disposal of chemical waste.

Some of the panelists at the forum, including Dr. Ademola Sonibare, Professor of Chemical Engineering, Obafemi Awolowo University; Mr. Abimbolu Babatunde, Chairman, Blendtech Limited; Mr. Leslie Adogame, Executive Director, SPRADEV Nigeria; and Mr. Adebodun-Toplonu Sewanu,  Environmental Resources Manager, advocated adherence to standard operating guidelines in usage and storage of chemicals, use of personal protective equipment by employees of organisations that deal with chemical-related substances.

They also spoke extensively on the risk involved in the release of chemicals into the air and prevention of leakages amongst others.

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