Overview | Centre for Science and Environment

Overview


Toxic toys

We generally take toys for granted but this may no longer be the case atleast not if we are concerned about the health of our young children.
A recent laboratory study by the Centre for Science and Environment shows the presence of phthalates, a highly toxic chemical, in toys sold in the Indian market.

Bhopal: toxic legacy

For over 25 years the impoverished residents of Bhopal have been silently suffering the consequences of contamination caused by a ruthless, money making multi national pesticide company. But not anymore, their tireless struggle led the Centre for Science and Environment to investigate what they have been alleging all along that the water and soil around the factory had been heavily contaminated. CSE's investigation revealed the extent of contamination in the vicinity of location of the world's largest industrial disaster site was unparalleled.

Pesticides in soft drinks

Adopting dual standards is a practice large multi national corporations follow especially when it comes to developing countries. Soft drinks industry is a classic case of this as the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) discovered way back in 2003.  A laboratory report prepared by CSE detailed some astonishing facts about the extent of pesticide contamination in soft drinks sold in India.

Pesticides in bottled water

One often finds unsuspecting people buying bottled water or packaged drinking water thinking its safe. Well think again. As the Centre for Science and Environment laboratory report found after analysing bottled water samples from Mumbai and Delhi these products can be far more lethal than one can imagine. The samples contained a deadly cocktail of pesticide residues. What is worse most of the samples contained as many as five different pesticide residues, in levels far exceeding the standards specified as safe for drinking water.

Endosulfan poisoning in Padre village: Industry's dirty tactics

Ordinary people of the remote Padre village of Kasaragod district in Kerala along with NGOs have been at the forefront of a battle to ban the use of endosulfan, a toxic pesticide that has been used for decades in India. While the struggle to have this toxic substance banned continues nearly ten years after evidence first emerged from Kerala about its health impact, the government and the powerful pesticide lobby continue to be in denial about it.

Lead in paints

Modern houses are full of harmful chemicals. One of them is lead, present in paints. Though several countries have banned the use of this substance India is yet to do so, which is why paint makers use them. Inhaling lead dust while performing mundane chores like opening or closing windows is the most common source of lead poisoning. The human body is not designed to process lead. Young children are particularly vulnerable to lead as it can damage the central nervous system and the brain.

Pesticide residues in blood of Punjab farmers

Pesticides are commonly used in India but this comes at great cost to human health. The Centre for Science and Environment decided to investigate the matter and looked at the agricultural heartland of Punjab. It found that  15 different pesticides in the 20 blood samples tested from four villages in Punjab. But what is more important to find out is how much of pesticide in blood is ‘safe’. Does a safety threshold level exist?

Pesticide regulations

Pesticides are widely used in agriculture without paying much heed to the consequences of its unregulated and indiscriminate use . This fact has been known to our policy makers for nearly five decades. The government is atleast under law supposed to regulate its use. The Insecticides Act of 1971 is a key piece of legislation that is supposed to govern the use, manufacture, distribution, sale and transport of insecticides with a view to lowering risks to human and animal health. In practice this is rarely the case as the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) discovered nearly a decade ago.

Trans fat in oils

Oil is essential for our body to function. But that does not mean that we should take for granted the cooking mediums we use in our food. As the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) laboratory report recently discovered our branded edible oils are full of unhealthy trans fats. The results showed trans fats in seven leading vanaspati brands were five to 12 times the 2 per cent standard set by Denmark. Trans fats are formed during the process of addition of hydrogen atoms to oils, a process industry prefers as it keeps the oil from turning rancid and ensures a longer shelf life.

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