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24.11.2005 General News

Enforce ban on asbestos roofing sheets -Prof

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Accra, Nov. 24, GNA - Professor Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, Chief Executive of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, on Thursday called for the Enforcement of the law banning the production and use of asbestos roofing sheets, which had been detected to case lung cancers. He said asbestos was very harmful to human health when inhaled over a period of time and should not be encouraged or use as roofing. Prof. Frimpong Boateng said it was pathetic to realise that dangerous materials such as asbestos were still being produced in Ghana, when it had been banned so many years ago in most developed and developing countries.

Prof. Frimpong Boateng, giving a vivid picture of cardiothoracic disorders in the country at the National Health Forum, said acquired heart diseases were on the increase as a result of changes in the socio-cultural lifestyles of most Ghanaians.

He said some of such heart diseases were either be valvular, resulting from rheumatic heart disease or coronary artery diseases, resulting from smoking, blood pressure, lack of exercise, excessive alcohol and poor deity habits.

Prof. Frimpong Boateng stated that most of these heart diseases could be prevented if the necessary precautions were taken and urged the police to also ensure the removal of smoking vehicles from the roads. Inhaling soot from such vehicles poses grave danger to your health, as poisonous substances and lethal particles could gradually block arteries and create heart problems, he said.

Prof. Frimpong Boateng also alerted the Food and Drugs Board on some wrong advertisements regarding the use of mosquito coils and sprays, adding that such repellents contained poisonous chemicals, which cause heart diseases when inhaled over a period of time.

"You are not supposed to burn coils or use sprays when somebody is sleeping in the room, but you must open ventilations to allow the smoke and smell to totally leave the room before sleeping."

He further stated that thoracic disorders, which include chest injuries, cancers of the oesophagus and lungs and tuberculosis were some of the common cases reported in recent times at the hospital due to excessive lethal air pollution, accidents, excessive drinking of alcohol and smoking.

"Chest injuries account directly for 25 per cent of all trauma deaths and contributory in additional 25 per cent of all deaths at the hospital," he said, and advised drivers to be careful when driving to prevent road accidents.

Prof. Frimpong Boateng advised Ghanaians to be cautious of their diet and ensure they exercised to help keep their hearts active and healthy.

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