A fire broke out on March 2, Thursday in Kochi’s Brahmapuram dump yard. The heat produced by the chemical decomposition of the trash led the waste to smolder, which increased the fire’s momentum.
The fire in the 110-acre area was controlled by Sunday but the toxic fumes still persist. The foul smell of burning plastics in the heap has left the locals at bay from going out. It has been an every-year scenario for the locals but the intensity has doubled up this time.
Windows remain shut throughout the day and the vulnerable sections are advised to stay indoors.
Even though the state government asked people to use N95 masks while stepping out of their homes, the Kochi chapter of IMA said while N95 masks can stop people from inhaling particulate matter, they cannot help in the case of fumes.
The Kochi chapter of IMA stated that while N95 masks can prevent people from breathing particulate matter, they cannot help in the case of fumes, despite the state government’s request for residents to use them when leaving their houses.
“When plastic is burned it releases toxic gases like dioxins, furans, and polychlorinated biphenyls in the atmosphere. Many people are flooding hospitals with respiratory issues. Long term effect of this is really alarming,” Hindustan Times quoted Dr. Kamath as saying.
The Kerala High Court constituted a committee to monitor the situation on Friday after seriously noting the administration’s failure to control the fire.