The Dangers Obsolete Chemicals Pose to Us

by Prof. James Hawkins Ephraim, FGA

The vice chancellor of the Catholic university college of Ghana, Prof. James Hawkins Ephraim, who is the immediate past president of the Conference of Heads of Private Universities (CHUP), delivered his inaugural address as a member of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Science on the 6th June, 2013.

His lecture focused on the ‘‘Dangers Obsolete Chemicals Pose To Us’’. He spoke about the use, storage and disposal of chemicals in Ghana. He said that Ghana produces about 3% and imports about 97% of the chemicals use in this country but the difficulty is its disposal after they have been marked obsolete.

Chemicals used in the various institutions for research purposes need to be disposed off after these have been used or marked obsolete. As a country, we do not have a clear guideline for the disposal of such chemicals. Auditing the obsolete chemicals is also a difficult task since we do not keep proper records of these chemicals – thus posing an enormous risk on our environment and the people of the country.

He proposed that ‘‘a unifying law be promulgated to address the importation (and future exportation), monitoring and ultimate disposal of all chemicals by considering the whole life cycle of the substances.

The vice chancellor suggested incineration as an efficient option for disposing of hazardous chemicals/substances (including obsolete chemicals). It is further proposed that three high-capacity and efficient incinerators be installed - one in the south, Accra; the second in mid-Ghana, Kumasi; and the third in Tamale, where institutions, companies, hospitals, agricultural stations/institutions etc., could employ to dispose of chemicals and substances that are hazardous.’’

The lecture was attended by the members of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences; the Catholic University Community, Past Students of St. John’s School, Sekondi (Old Saints) and a host of other dignitaries.

Below is the transcript of the to view details

Published on: 13th June., 2013.

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