Officials find traces of toxic substances at oil refinery´s blast site

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BANGKOK, 4 July 2012 – The Department of Pollution Control (DPC) revealed that initial tests conducted at the site of this morning’s explosion found traces of toxic substances such as toluene, benzene and xylene.

Following an explosion and subsequent fire at the Bangchak-owned oil refinery in Bangkok’s Sukhumvit Soi 64, the DPC this morning dispatched mobile units to gauge air quality risks and signs of carcinogens in affected areas. The units detected less than 1 part per million (ppm) of toxic chemicals within the premise, which is still considered a long-term safe level.

The DPC’s mobile units are also measuring the levels of carbon monoxide and sulphur monoxide near the plant due to the high combustible nature of the refinery’s chemicals.

Residents in nearby areas are advised to wear masks, keep doors and windows closed and switch off their air-conditioning units until further notice.

Bangkok governor, M.R.Sukhumbhand Paribatra, who visited the site today, has instructed relevant district offices to closely monitor the health impacts from the explosion as well as to oversee necessary evacuations, brought on by the blast.