ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is now testing all LP Gas shipments before unloading and gas distributors have been asked to increase the amount of an odourising agent which gives off a warning smell amid a spate of fires which are being probed, a minister said.
“We have started taking samples from shipments before unloading,” Consumer Minister Lasantha Alagiywanna told reporters.
“We have asked LP Gas companies to halt distribution and they have to keep the Ethyl Mercaptan content at 14 before releasing.”
He said a shipment tested was found to have an Ethyl Mercaptan content of 5 but Sri Lanka’s standard required 14. Ethyl Mercaptan is harmful in high concentrations affecting the central nervous system producing death by respiratory paralysis.
Responding reporters he said no decision has yet been made to recall cylinders already distributed.
Concerns have been raised that gas leaks in mainly state-run Litro Gas cylinders may be caused by higher than normal pressure from a 50/50 share of propane to butane than the usual 30/70.
Minister Alagiyawanna said reports will be submitted to parliament and decisions taken in consultation with an expert committee appointed by the President.
Television visuals showed dozens of glass topped gas cookers where the glass had exploded or crumbled.
Asked whether there was an additional risk for owners of gas topped cookers and whether there was any safeguards that home owners can take he said there was currently no standard for gas cookers or accessories and it was also being looked into. (Colombo/Dec03/2021)