SHAH ALAM, April 22 (Bernama) — The Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) called on the government to educate the public on the health damaging effects from exposure to illegal open burning as it will lead to serious health problems for workers if left unchecked.
MTUC deputy secretary-general, A. Balasubramaniam said the workers union identified open burning at construction sites and industrial areas as posing adverse effects to workers’ health besides contributing to environmental problems like haze.
“Private sector workers are experiencing serious health problems like asthma as a result of inhaling smoke from open burning at construction sites and industrial areas.
“In view of this, MTUC through its environmental committee is preparing facts on the effects of open burning which will be submitted to the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Datuk G. Palanivel soon,” he told Bernama today.
Balasubramaniam said a serious measure to tackle open burning was needed as Malaysia was subjected to international criticism whenever there was a haze caused by forest fires in neighbouring countries.
He said illegal open burning had led to global climate change and that the country was experiencing a rise in temperature which might have an impact on workers’ productivity in the long run.
In the meantime, Balasubramaniam said there was a need for active participation from the private sector to ensure that each level of their commercial activity would be environmental friendly or would achieve the best green standards.