Smelly soap-making op
Published on: Tuesday, February 23, 2021
By: Sidney Skinner
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The soap operator was asked to explain the nature of the substances being used to make the soap which he sells.
A Penampang shop operator has been asked to deal with the smell given off by the substances used in the soap-making business being conducted at the premises.

A District Council spokesman said the proprietor was advised to improve the ventilation inside his shop.

“Our staff noted the presence of stand-fans, in the area where the soap was being made, when they went to the shop,” he said.

“They acknowledged that the shop operator was trying to disperse the smell as best he could.”

Nevertheless, the agency’s personnel felt that more could be done to minimise, if not better manage, the nuisance, according to him.

“They called on the proprietor to consider having extractor fans installed on some of the shop’s walls.

“They hoped that these devices might prove more effective in drawing away the smell from the premises.”

The spokesman was responding to a complaint that the fumes from the shop were a source of discomfort to the other unit owners in the vicinity.

One of the latter wanted to know how soap-making activities could have been permitted in that area.

The individual related his misgivings to the Council in a letter. He provided Hotline with a copy of this correspondence which was forwarded to the agency.

The spokesman acknowledged receipt of this document, saying that the relevant sections were instructed to look into the rate-payer’s concerns.

“A check of our records revealed that there was nothing amiss with the location where the shop was operating as the area has been gazetted as an industrial zone,” he said.

The inspector checking on the ventilation inside the premises.

“An inspection was also made of the premises to verify the nuisance caused by the smell.”

He said the Council’s inspectors found that the unpleasant odour was coming from several drums of chemicals in the work-space towards the back of the shop.

“After speaking to the proprietor about these substances, they determined that these chemicals were not hazardous,” he said.

“Our staff also had a word with the tenants of the adjacent units, including a clinic operator. 

“These individuals admitted that they were not troubled by the smell and did not object to the business being carried out beside them.”

The spokesman said the soap-maker was, nevertheless, reminded to abide by the standard operating procedures – enforced during the Conditional Movement Control Order – when it came to carrying out the activities inside his premises.

“Our staff will monitor the goings-on in the area, from time to time, to determine if the proprietor complies with our advice.”

JONNIE of Penampang bemoaned the stench coming from the shop on the ground floor.

He was under the impression that the proprietor of this unit was a chemical supplier.

“The odour of these substances permeates the stairwell and, on windy days, can even be detected in my shop on the upper-floor of the building,” he said.

“I am concerned about the negative impact these fumes will have on the health of those who have to constantly inhale them.”

Jonnie said there was a clinic, church and a few offices operating in the same building.

“Some of the upper-floor units also have people living in them.

“I hope the Council will check on the goings-on at the shop before those of us who stay and work here become seriously ill.”

He wanted to know how the authority could allow a shop dealing in chemicals to operate in that area.

“Wouldn’t such a premises have been better suited for a zone with factories?”


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