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Noxious chemical in Guys Hill identified, high school remains closed

Published:Tuesday | February 11, 2014 | 5:52 PM

The National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) says it has identified the source of the noxious chemical that affected the Guys Hill Community in St Catherine and resulted in the closure of the high school.

The Agency said the harmful chemical is Malathion, a pesticide, used mainly for agricultural purposes and is in the Ministry of Health’s mosquito control programmes.

NEPA’s Pollution Incident Response Team says the chemical was included in regular household garbage by a householder in the community.

The household waste was subsequently compacted and the chemical leaked onto the roadway for about three kilometres in the vicinity of the Guys Hill Town Square and the Guys Hill High School.

The Agency says it has since advised the Ministry of Health, the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management, and the Jamaica Fire Brigade of the required remediation of the impacted roadway including measures to decontaminate the truck.

The National Solid Waste Management Authority has started clean-up activities in the community.

Householders are also being reminded not to dispose of chemicals through the domestic waste stream.

The Guys Hill High School will remain closed until the Public Health Department gives the go-ahead for it to be re-opened.


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