Stop the Toxic Fumes from Mare Chicose.
WARNING TO ALL CITIZENS EXPOSED TO MARE CHICOSE FIRE FUMES. Letter to Deva Virahsawmy, Minister of the Environment & Prime Minister's Office, Mauritius. DAY 4 of MARE CHICOSE LANDFILL FIRE. Following my own investigation I would like to inform your Ministry and the government that landfill fires release fine ash and potentially cancer-causing substances and therefore pose both immediate and long-term health risks to those exposed to the smoke, gases and toxic fumes. I wish to remind the government of its duty to safeguard the health and overall well-being of the island’s residents and its visitors. The landfill fire is a serious health concern and therefore deserves government’s undivided attention. Citizens of Mauritius from Curepipe, Floreal, Cluny, Rose-Belle, Tamarin have reported foul chemical smells causing irritation to the nose and throat since last night, but their complaints have only fallen on deaf ears. Your guess is as good as mine as to the exposure level near the affected site for the employees of Sotravic, firefighters of the Mauritius Fire Service and the village which lies a few hundred meters away. Landfill fires generally release high levels of Carbon Monoxide (CO) which is harmful when inhaled as it displaces oxygen in the lungs thereby depriving the brain, heart and other vital organs of oxygen which can cause permanent damage and illness. Another extremely serious concern during landfill fires is the emission of dioxins. Exposure to dioxins is a major concern due to their highly toxic potential and their persistence as organic pollutants. International studies have revealed that dioxins adversely affect a number of vital organs. Even very low levels of dioxin emissions can have negative effects on the environment and on human health, in particular on the most vulnerable groups like infants and young children. Symptoms of short-term exposure of humans to high levels of dioxins include asthma, skin rashes and liver problems. Long-term and or repeated exposure to high levels of dioxins may lead to impairment of the immune system, cause nerve damage (particularly with infants), reproductive and developmental problems and an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease and various cancers. Personally I would advise the general public to safeguard their health by taking precautionary measures to avoid inhalation and exposure to toxic fumes and particles during landfill fires. Yours sincerely, Jameel Peerally, Citizen Activist.