Keywords: Kuwait, oil well fires, integrated risk assessment, health risks, environmental pollution, developing countries, soil pollution, air pollution
Potential for integrated risk assessment in a rapidly developing country
In Kuwait, risk assessment became an issue during the Iraq/lran war when several industrial and other activities became targets for hostile actions. With the torching of the oil-wells in 1991 and the resulting severe air and soil pollution, assessment of the risk was of prime importance. The health impacts and risk assessment were further addressed when the Environmental Protection Council (EPC) was asked to advise on the development of a residential area to the south of the Shuaiba Area. EPC asked WHO to provide some expertise to help establish a system for risk assessment. A more integrated approach was thought to better serve the interests of the State. Several other major sources of risk were identified and singled out for detailed assessment. The EPC is presently drafting legislation enforcing the risk assessment for new plants and for major expansion of existing industries.