KEJETIA, WEST Africa’s largest open air market right in the heart of Kumasi has become a cancer zone, making its residents vulnerable to the deadly disease, a chemical engineer has warned.
Paul Osei Boateng of Green Board Ghana, an energy and environmental NGO, who sounded the alarm bell, said commercial drivers, shop owners and traders at the lorry terminal faced the major risk of contracting cancer.
According to the scientist, air pollutants produced from car exhaust fumes were highly concentrated at the lorry terminal, which is fast developing into valley as a result of tall buildings being put up there.
In an interview with DAILY GUIDE, Mr. Boateng said people living in and around the terminal had become vulnerable to contracting lung cancer due to the constant inhalation of carbon-monoxide and other dangerous gases.
The chemical engineer also said exhaust fumes was a “major cancer risk” which belonged to the “same deadly category as asbestos, arsenic and mustard gas.”
He said the habitation of the area was significantly more damaging to one’s physical health to an extent equivalent to the deliberate smoking of cigarettes because the area lacked adequate oxygen.
Mr. Boateng also warned of a similar consequence at the Abinkyi market settlement area which has several high tension 33Kv overhead power transmission lines.
He explained that these high tension overhead power transmission lines emitted energy radiations that had the potential to cause cancer over a period of time.
According to him, any settlement around the high tension lines must be situated 50 meters away but the current settlement of the market did not take that into consideration.
He called on the appropriate authorities to take measures to ameliorate the situation, especially at Kejetia where he recommended tree planting around the zoo and Adehyeman garden areas in a bid to check the high concentration of carbon-monoxide and carbon-dioxide gases.
Source: Ernest Kofi Adu, Kumasi
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