Indian scientific experts call for better safeguards on hazardous materials

Scientific experts in India have asked industries to better safeguard hazardous chemicals and materials to keep them from falling into the wrong hands.

"It is a matter of time when incidents like the release of sarin toxic gas by terrorists in the Tokyo subway in 1995 killing 12 people may be duplicated here or tankers carrying hazardous material used like chemical bombs," Dr. Rakesh Kumar Sharma, coordinator of the National Disaster Management Authority's National Core Group, said while speaking at the Conference on Chemical (Industrial) Disaster Management 2010.

Sharma noted that providing safer storage, details of consignments, methods of payment and regulator inspections would aid in keeping a check on hazardous materials being procured by terrorists.

The management of a chemical attack, Sharma said, would call for the provision of special facilities, including mobile hospitals located at strategic locations as well as trauma and burn centers and blood banks.

The two day conference was called to encourage the chemical industry to improve its performance while striving to create an accident-free environment.

Nearly 500 delegates and 65 faculties took part in the conference, held in Mumbia, which also called for a strengthening of national safety against potential terrorist activities that involve biological, chemical and dirty bombs.