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30.05.2006 Health

EPA sensitises ODS dealers on ozone depletion

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Kumasi, May 30, GNA - The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Tuesday organized a seminar for traders, dealers and technicians, who use Ozone Depletion Substances (ODS) in their operations in Kumasi. It aimed at sensitising them on Ghana's obligation under the Montreal Protocol on Ozone Depletion Substances, measures being taking by the government to control ozone depletion and the Legislative Instrument (LI), which regulates ozone depletion substance management in the country.

Speaking at the function, Mr Emmanuel Osae-Quansah of the National Ozone Unit of EPA, said higher levels of depletion of the ozone layer had serious effects on human, plant and animal lives. He mentioned increased incidence of eye cataract, suppression of human ability to resist diseases, skin cancers, reduction in crop yield and quality, as well as damages to aquatic life as some of the effects. Mr Osae-Quansah said the EPA had initiated a number of measures to control ODS importation in order to reduce ozone depletion as obliged under the Montreal Protocol.

These included the allocation of quota system for three companies to import CFCs, monitor and identify the various brands of refrigerants on the market and seizure of unauthorized CFCs imported into the country. He mentioned some of the (ODS) substance as Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), Halons, Carbon Tetrachloride, Methyl Chloroform, Hydrochlorofluocarbons (HCFCs), Hydrobromofluorocarbons (HCBFCs) and Methyl Bromide.

Mr Osae-Quansah stressed the need for concerted efforts to reduce ozone depletion in the country and called on the stakeholders to play their parts effectively to achieve the objectives.

Mrs Afia Serwaah Asare-Botwe, Ashanti Regional Legal Officer of the EPA, said the L.I was promulgated to protect the ozone layer and also encourage Ghana to meet its obligation under the Montreal Protocol. She mentioned illegal importation of substances used in the domestic and commercial fridges, freezers, fire extinguishers, aerosol products, dehumidifiers, insulation boards, panels and pipe covers as offensive to the law.