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Keamari deaths: Sindh Health Department issues advisory on soybean dust allergy

ANI | Updated: Feb 20, 2020 03:00 IST

Karachi [Pakistan], Feb 20 (ANI): The Sindh Health Department on Wednesday issued an advisory on soybean dust allergy based on a report by Karachi-based research institute that had suggested that the overexposure to soybean dust could be the cause of 14 deaths in the Keamari area.
The advisory urged hospitals to take the necessary steps, including training staff and ensuring the availability of medicines, and advised citizens with asthma to wear masks, and maintain cleanliness, Dawn reported.
In a letter sent to Karachi Commissioner Iftikhar Shallwani on Tuesday, International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS) Director Dr Muhammad Iqbal Choudhary had said that the lab has examined blood and urine samples of people "exposed to toxic aerosols" as well as soybean dust samples.

Choudhary said that while the lab is extensively engaged in deciphering the cause of this toxic exposure, it believes that the breathing difficulties being faced by the residents of Keamari area may be due to overexposure to soybean dust.
The lab advised that extreme care be taken in the unloading of soybean containers and that people admitted in the hospital be given bronchodilators and anti-histamines.
14 people have died and scores others have complained of breathing difficulties from what has been dubbed the leakage of toxic gas whose nature and the source remain unclear. Authorities were alerted to the incident when people in the Keamari area began rushing to nearby hospitals with severe breathing problems on Sunday night.
An initial investigation into the incident by Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (Sepa) on Monday showed that toxic gas had leaked from the terminal storing crude oil and petroleum products located within the residential areas. (ANI)