LAGOS – Prof. Oladele Osibanjo, the Regional Executive Director, Basel Convention Coordinating Centre for the African Region in Nigeria (BCCC-Africa), says open burning of refuse can lead to cancer and other health hazards.
Osibanjo told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Monday that open burning of waste often [pro_ad_display_adzone id=”10″]
released carcinogenic substances into the atmosphere which could be hazardous to human health and [pro_ad_display_adzone id=”10″]
“Nigerians need to desist from the habit of openly burning whatever they see as waste materials.[pro_ad_display_adzone id=”10″]
“This is because, in the process, we are releasing dioxins into the atmosphere, and this is not healthy for us at all; one reason – we now see four-year-old children having cancer.
“Nobody is exempted from the negative consequences of open burning of waste in our immediate
environment or landfill sites.
“There is, therefore, the urgent need for Nigerians in villages or cities to stop burning their waste openly because we are endangered by our actions,’’ he said.
The professor of analytical and environmental chemistry said that it was imperative for people to know that some burnt refuse contained persistent organic pollutants harmful to human health.
He said that people living in or around places where open burning of waste was carried out would inhale chemical substances without being aware.
The director also said that pregnant women living or having businesses around burning grounds could be exposed to endocrine disrupting chemicals.
“The occurrence of physiological disorder and mutilation in newly born children is due to the mother’s proximity and inhaling of burnt dangerous chemicals from waste,” he said.
He, therefore, urged Nigerians to stay away from waste burning and imbibe the culture of waste collection, re-use and recycling.
NAN reports that BCCC-Africa is an African regional centre for training and technology transfer in hazardous waste management. (NAN)