Solar power to decrease the influence of pollution on human health: Scientist - Nisreen Zahreddine Kuwait Times

Solar power to decrease the influence of pollution on human health: Scientist

Jun 18, 2010 - Nisreen Zahreddine Kuwait Times - McClatchy-Tribune

Kuwait's potential to benefit from the use of alternative energy was the subject of a workshop held at the Ministry of Electricity and Water (MEW) on Thursday. The workshop included a presentation by the professor of vital chemistry at Kuwait University, Lamia Jawhar, and a speech by Ahmad Al-Jassar, the Ministry's Undersecretary.

In his address at the event Ahmad Al-Jassar stressed that all of the ministry's projects must first pass environmental approval before being taken into consideration. All projects must first pass several environmental standards, which are followed up by the ministry.

Al-Jassar's comments came in response to Lamia Jawhar's presentation on the use of solar power to decrease the influence of pollution on human health. Al-Jassar said that the special techniques mentioned in the presentation will be the subject of an alternative study if proved to be beneficial. He pointed out that the ministry is interested in alternative energy and that it considers solar energy a promising source of energy in the future.

Dr Lamia Jawhar also discussed the materials that have affected the environment due to the use of oil for generating power. She added that all the food, water and air we consume contains cancer causing materials. She added that its percentage has increased since the Iraqi Invasion of 1990.

She said that moving towards renewable energy instead of depending solely on oil generated energy is an important step because oil resources are destroying Kuwait's only source of food, the ocean. She pointed out that Kuwaiti shores, especially those in the north, are 100 percent more polluted than other Gulf shores.

According to the seminar's participants Kuwait's beaches are 100 percent polluted compared to the beaches in other Gulf states, according to Jawhar who explained that no signs of biological presence can be detected in sea waters near power plants and two kilometers into the sea, due to the high temperature of waters dumped from these plants.

Temperature of waters dumped into the sea from power plants reach 44 degrees, while the maximum limit is 28 degrees", she said. When speaking on the affects of such pollution on people, Jawhar said that it can contribute to a high rate of miscarriages amongst pregnant women, cause sterility, brain cancer and several other diseases. This is caused, she explained, by the presence of uranium and phosphate in ships carrying oil off the coast of Kuwait during the Iraqi Invasion of 1990.

Jawhar said that every power station in Kuwait contributes about 750 to 900 thousand tons of polluted material to the environment. While she did not call for the closing of the current power stations she did point out several cases of how the United Arab Emirates was able to use more environmentally friendly ways to generate electricity.

Furthermore, Jawhar warned from the negative effects that the Subbiya Bridge project has on the environment, stating that contractors ignored environmental studies necessary to be made before going ahead with any similar projects.