The Ministry of Public Health issued a statement on the procedures to be followed inside the port of Beirut after parts of the wheat silos had collapsed in the port.
The statement said that after conducting laboratory tests for the air surrounding the area in cooperation with the Prevention of Mass Destruction Company (CBRN) – Engineering Regiment in the Lebanese Army, a high rate of fungi (type Aspergillus) was found in the samples taken.
In order to preserve public health, the Healthy Ministry of Public Health clarified the following:
These fungi are the result of the fermentation of tons of rotting grains inside the barns. Removing these grains is the first essential step to limiting their effects on public health.
Fungi do not usually pose a direct threat to public health, but inhaling large quantities of them for long periods may expose people who suffer from respiratory or immune diseases to health complications that may be dangerous.
These fungi may remain for long periods in the air and their particles may move to areas far from the main source of their emission.
Accordingly, and based on the opinion of health experts, the Health Ministry stresses the following:
People who suffer from respiratory or immune diseases must avoid working inside the port for a long time.
The number of workers and people present in the port, including the military, must be reduced to the maximum extent possible for the conduct of work, while applying the principle of rotation.
The number of working hours inside the port must be limited to not exceed 6 continuous hours per day / a maximum of 30 hours per week.
In the event that it is necessary to be inside and around the port (for work or for other reasons), the special KN95 mask must be worn throughout the period of presence, as well as for people passing in and around the area.
Air conditioners must be operated on the suction position from inside the car.
Windows and doors must be kept closed inside and around the harbor precinct.
A doctor must be consulted in the event of any acute respiratory symptoms appearing in any of the workers or those present for long periods inside and around the port.
Finally, caution and the adoption of preventive measures remain among the basic steps that must be taken to reduce the health effects resulting from exposure to fungi in the air.