Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - ‘Herbicides and pesticides’ found in canals after 17 dead




‘Herbicides and pesticides’ found in canals after 17 dead

‘Herbicides and pesticides’ found in canals after 17 dead

Water samples from Kratie province’s Kantuot commune, Chet Borei district, tested by the National Health Laboratory and the Institute of Technology laboratory after 17 people died have been found to contain herbicides and pesticides, the Ministry of Health announced.

Hundreds of other people have also suffered serious health effects over the past two weeks from the contaminated water.

The report from the ministry, obtained by The Post on Wednesday, showed samples from Prek Te canals were “toxic due to herbicides and pesticides that flowed into the [area’s] canals”.

The report, however, did not specify the type of chemicals found.

But a Monday statement from the Ministry of Industry and Handicrafts on the results of tests on samples from the affected area showed water in the Prek Te canals contained “chromium and nitric acid, which can cause severe side effects to health”.

The director of the Kantuot Health Care Center, Sar Mala, told The Post that from April 26 until Wednesday, the death toll from the contamination had risen to 17, while 249 patients were sent to hospital in Kratie and to Phnom Penh’s Calmette Hospital.

But over the past few days, 137 of those hospitalised had been sent home, Mala said.

On April 26, Kantuot commune authorities reported people in Sre Norn and Aloch villages suffering from weakness, fatigue, vomiting, dizziness and other disorders, with some complaining of feeling suffocated and others even found unconscious.

The affected were sent to Kantuot Health Care Centre and the Kratie hospital. From May 3-6 the number of villagers with similar symptoms doubled.

Chet Borei district authorities yesterday appealed to villagers to immediately stop using water from the Prek Te canal system so that toxic chemicals could be removed.

Chromium and nitric acid can have serious health effects, such as rashes, itchiness, gastric ulcers and respiratory problems, and can weaken the immune system leading to kidney and liver damage, the Industry Ministry statement said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hungarian exposes 90 to Covid in Siem Reap

    The Ministry of Health has discovered 90 people who have been exposed directly or indirectly to a Hungarian man infected with Covid-19. They all are required to quarantine at home and the hospital. The ministry is searching for other affected people. Among the 90, one is the

  • PM warns of ‘new Cold War’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said the possibility of a so-called new Cold War has become a significant concern and that all countries have to reject outright, any attempt to allow history to tragically repeat itself. He made the remarks in a speech during 75th Session

  • PM: West unfair to Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen released a message celebrating the International Day of Peace on Monday, saying that some major powers and western countries had been systemically cooperating to put political pressure on Cambodia as they did in the 1970s and 1980s. Hun Sen said pressuring

  • ‘Bad news is an investor’s best friend’ – unlocking investment potential in Cambodia

    It is time to shop. Economic woes provide good pickings for investors if they know where to look The poem If, written by English Nobel laureate poet and novelist Rudyard Kipling for his son circa 1895, is widely perceived as fatherly advice for John who would

  • PM requests Russia’s Covid vaccine

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested that Russia provide Cambodia with its Covid-19 vaccine after the former announced it planned on mass vaccinating its population next month. The request came on Thursday through the prime minister’s Facebook page as he met with Anatoly Borovik,

  • First ‘mobile kitchen’ in Cambodia enters service

    A catering company recently rolled out Cambodia’s first “mobile kitchen” – a $50,000 container capable of serving up to 200 people at a time. The kitchen is the brainchild of Seng Hok Heng Catering Services. At 4.4m-high, 6.8m-long and 2.4m-wide (expandable to 6.8m), the kitchen is equipped