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Assess hot spots of PCBs --Gallardo

Assess one of the “hot spots” of PCBs in the Philippines. This was the proposal made by Dr. Susan Gallardo, professor of the Chemical Engineering Department, during the first national workshop on management of industrial waste Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCBs) in the Philippines. It was held at the International Conference Center on January 25.

Gallardo, who is also the director of the Asian Regional Research Program on Environmental Technology (ARRPET), offered the suggestion to Clark Development Corporation after identifying Wagner Aviation in Clark, Pampanga, as a contaminated site of PCBs. The site was formerly a part of the US Military Base.

Considered as an industrial and hazardous waste, PCBs is one of the 12 Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) banned worldwide under the Chemical Treaty signed in the Stockholm Convention in May 2001. Exposure to large amount of PCBs can cause carcinogenic effects and other health problems such as skin acne and rashes, liver damage, and gastrointestinal discomfort.

During the workshop, the De La Salle University-Manila National Research Institute on Industrial and Hazardous Wastes of ARRPET disseminated information on the PCBs, its sources and possible health hazards to human upon exposure or accidental intake. It encouraged major PCB generators, registered treaters, accredited testing laboratory personnel, and government representatives to contribute their share in properly managing the toxic waste. DLSU-Manila is recognized by ARRPET as one of the 18 research institutes in Asia. It is tasked to conduct a study on PCBs and to develop an appropriate technology for the Philippines and other developing countries.

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