Following are the details of the news:

Towards tackling the hazards associated with exposure to harmful substances by raw materials producers and processors, including miners in the country and saving lives within the manufacturing sector and others, The Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC) has established a Toxicology Information Centre to track and tackle cases of poisoning as a means of bringing succor to victims of poisoning in the nation.

The TIC is designed to function strategically as a data reservoir for the prevention of all toxic and harmful chemical substances especially in the raw materials sourcing and processing industry.

The Director-General of RMRDC, Professor Hussaini Doko Ibrahim made this known at a one-day sensitization session of stakeholders on the Toxicology Information Centre (TIC) for raw materials sourcing and processing in Abuja.

Addressing participants at the event, the DG who was represented at the event by the Director Industrial Plants Design and Equipment department (Engr Emmanuel Kwaya) said the center is necessary to save lives, as it is going to provide solutions and treatment to millions of Nigerians who are victims of poison and toxic substances, citing the 2010 incident of lead/zinc poisoning in Zamfara State.

“Since 2010, it is estimated that more than 600 children have died from lead poisoning in Zamfara State and hundreds more have been left with brain damage and physical disabilities because of hazardous artisanal gold mining and stated that such deaths could have been avoided if there was an effective and responsive toxicology information centre in place”, He added.

The DG further informed participants that the RMRDC TIC is designed to provide reliable and viable data on toxicity arising from arbitrary exposure to chemical substances in the sourcing and processing of raw materials. He disclosed that the center is ready for use and a few doctors and pharmacists had been trained to man the center 24/7 to save lives.He assured that the center will bridge information gaps for people to process the right information and that the center is open for collaboration with not only Government agencies but also international partners.

In his presentation, the project Lead of the RMRDC TIC and Professor of Pharmacology and Therapeutics of the University of Ilorin, Kwara State, Prof. Anoka Njan, emphasized that the TIC became necessary because many Nigerians had been exposed to toxic and chemical substances leading to many deaths.Anoka said, the TIC is an advisory centre which will provide valuable information and advice on the management of poisons associated with sourcing and processing of raw materials that will help people in need of support.“Nigeria has become exposed to toxicology and poisoning issues.  They are exposed to various chemicals and when they are exposed, they don’t have anywhere to go to. What we have done now is to build up a center where they can call in”, he added.He stated that the TIC will operate on an eight (8) hour basis in the first instance before migrating to a 24-hour daily response centre.

“Interested individuals or persons who suffer any toxic attack and are under emergency are encourage to call the center toll line on 09011851342, 09034331070, 0r 07044132962, for immediate response”. To carry everyone along, he said the Council has translated the message into the three major languages so that people in rural areas will not be left out.The event attracted participants from federal ministries and departments as well as relevant regulatory agencies.Participants were then taken on a guided tour of the RMRDC Toxicology Information Centre at the African University of Science and Technology (AUST), Abuja.