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Dangers of building petrol filling stations in residential areas

by Family Center
Danger of building filling stations among residential buildings

Danger of building filling stations among residential buildings

The rate at which petrol filling stations are now competing with residential buildings in Nigeria need urgent attention by federal government, state government and the local government.
Building petrol stations near residential buildings have health hazards, the air in the immediate vicinity is often polluted with airborne particles from evaporated fuel which is harmful to residents.
Researchers have said that pollution from petrol stations could contaminate buildings as far as 100 meters away. They said a minimum distance of 50 meters should be maintained between petrol stations and residential buildings, and 100m from vulnerable facilities like hospitals, health care centres,  maternity homes, schools and old people’s homes.
Even though petrol stations follow modern health and safety guidelines, it is not a good idea to locate it close to residential buildings for many health reasons including several health concerns that may arise.
In Nigeria, sadly, we don’t take such issues seriously and there are houses constructed right next to petrol pumps, despite the warning that it exposes people  to several diseases like:
Lung, Brain and Kidney damage. 
Gasoline additives such as Methyl Tertiary-Butyl Ether (MTBE), which has been outlawed in some countries make the water undrinkable, and that is only one of 150 chemicals in gasoline.
Repeated high exposure to gasoline, whether in liquid or vapour form, can cause lung, brain and kidney damage, according to the NIH’s National Library of Medicine.
Benzene. 
The Dangerous Hexagon”Some airborne organic compounds – such as benzene, which increases the risk of cancer – have been recorded at petrol stations at levels above the average levels for urban areas where traffic is the primary source of emission,” said Marta Doval of the University of Murcia.
Leukaemia Risk for Kids. 
Research carried out in France found out that children living near petrol stations or automotive garages had a quadrupled risk of leukaemia, and the risk of developing acute non-lymphoblastic leukaemia will be seven times greater compared with children who lived in the same area but not closed to a petrol station.
In Ibadan, the Oyo state capital, the ownership of service stations is now the trend in the largest city in West Africa.
Major streets in the state capital are characterized by the presence of petrol and gas stations, located either between residential areas, office buildings or at junctions not suitable for such.
The desire to make high profits has been the major factor encouraging the location of the filling stations in those areas.

Dailyfamily.ng moved around a few towns in Ibadan like Molete, Idi-Arere, New Garage, Challenge, Beere, Gate, Akobo, Sango/ The Polytechnic Ibadan and New Ife road.

It was discovered that a great number of filling stations are competing with residential buildings

Sadly, those who are saddled with the responsibility of ensuring that structures are erected in line with town planning regulations, are yet to come up with convincing explanations on the increasing number of these stations at inappropriate locations.

Curiously, some of these stations do not have fire fighting equipment, should there be fire out break.

Though we are very well aware of the fact that petrol stations are toxic to residents closed to them, the guidelines are still being ignored every day.

However, no place on earth can be marked as absolutely safe but a certain distance away from filling stations is compulsory.

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