KARACHI, Aug 29: A dioxin testing laboratory, said to be the first in South Asia, was inaugurated at the Pakistan Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (PCSIR) on Thrusday.

Addressing the ceremony at the PCSIR as a keynote speaker, Federal Science and Technology Minister Zahid Hamid said that he was happy to inaugurate the dioxin laboratory.

“Dioxin is a group of organic chemical compounds that are toxic to both human and environment. Very few facilities currently exist in Asia to test and analyse them,” it was stated.

The minister said he got a briefing from PCSIR officials that in 2007, the European Union (EU) banned the export of fish and fish-related products from Pakistan on the grounds that Pakistani exports were contaminated with dioxin pollutants.

Persistent organic pollutants and trace element testing facilities/capabilities of PCSIR were assessed and recommended by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation experts, he added.

He said some 15 research institutions would be given more facilities to make their performance better.

Earlier in his speech, PCSIR chairman Shaukat Pervez said that in this era of science and technology and industrialisation, he felt great need for transfer of new technologies and inventions of the laboratories to end-users.

“The role of PCSIR in the socio-economic development of Pakistan has been very significant since 1953, as it has been able to establish a network of 16 research institutions/laboratories in eight cities where over 3,000 scientists and technologists and other staff are engaged in undertaking scientific research,” he said.

Bruno Valanzuolo, chief technical adviser to TRTA-II UNIDO, Ricardo Rossi, developmental adviser to EUD, Eng Dr Syed Naimat Ali Rizvi, director general of the PCSIR and others also spoke. —PPI

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