The NEWS (Monrovia)

18 February 2013

Liberia: Contaminated Substance Seized

The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) of Liberia has confiscated another batch of mislabeled contaminated Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) along the Liberia-Sierra Leone border in Grand Cape Mount County.

The latest confiscation of these contaminated R134a comes amidst collaboration between customs officers and inspectors of the EPA.

According to an EPA release, the six cylinders of mislabeled contaminated R134a were confiscated on the Liberian-Sierra Leonean border Town of Bo-waterside in Grand Cape Mount County after a tipped off from a customs officer.

The release said scientific research has shown that these contaminated and mislabeled cylinders contain Ozone Depleting Substances which leads to skin cancer and eye cataract, amongst others.

Section 89 of the Environment Protection and Management Law and the Montreal Protocol to United Nations Framework Conventions on Climate Change (UNFCC) empower the EPA to eliminate substances that deplete the ozone layer and control practices and activities that may lead to the degradation of the ozone layer and risk to human health.

It can be recalled in September last year, the EPA confiscated a large quantity of mislabeled contaminated R134a in Montserrado County.

The release noted that the R134a is one of the ODS banned in Liberia since 2008 because of its impact on the atmosphere and human.

Meanwhile, the Executive Director of the Environment Protection Agency Anyaa Vohiri has commended the Bureau of Customs and the national security apparatus for their vigilance and cooperation with inspectors of the EPA which led to the continued arrest of banned substances smuggled into Liberia.

In the interest of health and safety of the citizenry, Madam Vohiri is quoted as encouraging the national security force to remain on the alert for contaminated mislabeled R134a and other substances detrimental to the environment and health.

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