Guideline breach has put workers’ health in danger

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Published on October 26, 2021 by

Workers in the plastic recycling industry face health issues due to the violation of guidelines

Bengaluru: Each of the 25 plastic recycling industries employs about 10-15 people, out of them, few are falling ill due to gas emissions such as carbon monoxide and Sulphur.

Doctor Arvind, of Maruthi Clinic in Pinto Bore in Kumbalgudo said, “Daily we see around 5 to 10 patients from industry area in Pinto bore. In industrial areas, they release carbon monoxide and Sulphur into the environment. It causes diseases like respiratory disorders.”

Workers have to sort the waste first, then wash it and place it in the shredding machine. They then place the shreds in the recycling machine to be processed and wait for the end product. Workers produce two hundred kg of recycled product per day. The owner of the factories has failed to provide them with proper safety equipment which is the leading cause of respiratory illnesses.

According to plastic recycling guidelines for a healthy environment, indoor air quality, sufficient lighting, and fire safety must be provided to workers.

Abhimanyu Kumar, a worker in the Kumbalgudo industry said, “We have nothing to protect ourselves from fire, and we don’t even have chimneys or anything.”

According to a study conducted by the Berg mill supply company, recyclable materials produce a lot of dust that contains micro-particles of plastics, glass, and other biohazards producing health issues for these workers. With masks and adequate ventilation, the health risks associated with airborne pollutants can be effectively minimized. Despite this, the number of asthma, eczema, and bronchitis patients is on the rise due to a lack of necessary equipment.

“There are gloves, although they are made of fabric, and we do get heated while working, but we manage,” Abhimanyu added.

Furthermore, the guidelines state that the burning of plastic waste or scrap in garbage dumps or otherwise shall not be permitted. The garbage, on the other hand, is stored and burned in direct proximity to the factories.

When the authority was questioned about the misconduct, Vinod Kumar, Bill collector at K. Gollahalli, Gram panchayat said, “We don’t have a garbage dumbing yard right now. So, as soon as we receive the land, we’ll scientifically dispose of the waste. We have also written to the government, expecting the same.”

He further said, “We don’t have any responsibility, only owners are responsible or the Karnataka state pollution control board, it is their responsibility to keep a check on requirements weekly. “Each of the 25 plastic recycling industries employs about 10-15 people, out of them, few are falling ill due to gas emissions such as carbon monoxide and Sulphur

Doctor Arvind, of Maruthi Clinic in Pinto Bore in Kumbalgudo said, “Daily we see around 5 to 10 patients from industry area in Pinto bore. In industrial areas, they release carbon monoxide and Sulphur into the environment. It causes diseases like respiratory disorders.”

According to Chalkoo Yasir, Community Health Doctor at Xorflix Healthcare Solutions, the smoke is extremely harmful to their health, and there should be an alternative to plastic. He further states that “Smoke contains carbon monoxide and carbon monoxide reacts 200 times hostile with hemoglobin as compared to oxygen and it is a very harmful thing, to tackle that problem, the industry should be out from the city and there should be in areas where there are dense forests.”

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