Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha on Monday dismissed claims that the government used poisonous xylene chemical in this year’s Chemistry exam practicals.
But Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) top officials insist that they have evidence that the chemical was used and it made several students and teachers ill.
An expectant teacher based in Trans Nzoia County is among victims Kuppet claims were affected and now the tutors’ union has threatened to sue against the Kenya National Examination Council (Knec).
“The union will be seeking compensation,” Kuppet Secretary-General Akelo Misori told K24 Digital.
A quick search online on the website of Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATDSR), effects of xylene poisoning include, headaches, dizziness, drowsiness, excitement, tremor, nausea among others. vomiting, and reversible hepatic impairment.
But ATDSR says the mechanism by which xylene produces toxicity is not known.
Further, Mr Misori accused the government of single-sourcing the chemical which costs about Sh10,000 per litre.
But earlier on Monday morning, Prof Magoha dismissed Kuppet’s claims, saying the government cannot use hazardous chemicals on teachers and students.
Nonetheless, the CS warned Knec to adopt well-established safety measures and allow ample time to prepare for practicals.