Does Iran have a toxic material disposal program?
January 14, 2005
I work at a company
that has to use a certain coating on equipment designed and used
in offshore at a gas refinery in south of Iran for purpose of preventing
corrosion on them. This coating is considered quite toxic due to
its chemical chain which has isocyanate. Once I was assessing the
Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) I came across part 6 of it, which
enumerates about Spill and leak procedure. What is stated on that
MSDS paper is as follows:
Precautions: Avoid contact with skin and eyes. Do not breathe
vapor. Put out fire and remove sources of ignition. No Smoking.
Take precautionary measures against static discharge. Evacuate
and ventilate the spill area. Take care that the area is well ventilated.
Close the leak only when there is no danger to - do so. In a closed
area well a full-face positive pressure breath-mask. Wear protective
clothing. Avoid release to the environment. Spillages should be
contained by, and covered with large quantities of sawdust, sand
or another absorbent. Dike larger spills to prevent contamination
of ground and surface water.
In the company I work there is a health and safety officer. In
her memo to his direct boss and a carbon copy to the owner of the
she explains about the danger of the coating and of disposing
it into the environment. Her direct boss, however, in return gets
angry and summons her to his office. He reprimanded her for writing
a warning letter and tells her to never ever write such a letter(s)
again. He even suggested for its disposal, put up the container
in the middle of the quad and he will shoot it like a soccer
ball (I think he was joking, he never did it)!! However, she
get discouraged. She asked me to write an e-mail to the European
based company which supplied the chemical asking for help and
methods of disposing.
So I wrote to the supplier and asked them to provide me a means
of disposing the leftovers and spillages of stated coating. I received
the following reply. In the end of her fax the following sentences
was shinning: "Containers must be disposed as any paint
according [to] local regulations. In Europe paint must be disposed
to an official chemical waste facility."
the reply she looked into local environmental agencies for
recycling and reusable materials for disposing the chemical containers.
She talked to Associate Research of that agency Mr. M. who provided
her with a phone number of where she could get information from.
The place is called Research Center of Environment; office of Soil
and Water. After many follow-ups via phone calls a high rank employee
was to be found.
Mr. A. from Environment Research Center, office
of Soil and Water, explained that they used to have a program
to dispose toxic materials. However, the entire program stopped
2 years ago and it is no longer in process. The only solution
was provided as follow: returning the toxic containers to the supplied
company with help of Center providing the vendor's company
pays the fee for transportation and insurance!!
What makes me wonder in all along this bureaucracy there was
no single person who would take responsibility for our environment.
On the other hand, no one cared. It is heart aching to see that
in year 2004 there is no real recycling and disposing program in
Iran! I wish to ask if there is any responsible for such important
issues. This week is considered week of preserving environment.
So, how came we do not pay attention to the most basic fact of
our life methods to dispose our waste in a country of 70 millions!
Visit Alireza Abouhossein's weblog, Alireza04.blogspot.com