Pesticide and Toxins | Centre for Science and Environment

Pesticide and Toxins


Mercury

Mercury is a very toxic and dangerous substance. It is  poisonous in all forms - inorganic, organic or elemental. Mercury is a proven neurotoxin. Inhaling mercury vapours can severely damage the respiratory tract. Sore throat, coughing, pain or tightness in the chest, headache, muscle weakness, anorexia, gastrointestinal disturbance, fever, bronchitis and pneumonitis are symptoms of mercury toxicity. Health concerns should be reason enough for us to properly manage its imports and disposal.

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Special Mention on Cancer Train

By H K Dua in the Rajya Sabha on March 9, 2011
 
Train No 339 leaves Abohar every night to reach Bikaner next morning.  Over a period of time it has come to be known as “Cancer Train”.  This train has acquired the dubious reputation simply because nearly 100 cancer patients travel by it from Punjab to Bikaner for diagnosis and treatment at the Acharya Tulsi Regional Cancer Treatment and Research Institute.

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? If yes, how do scientists — and the industry — compute it?

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Anderson's Extradition & Approval for a Memorial

A Delhi court of the chief metropolitan magistrate gave the green signal to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on March 23 to extradite former Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) chairperson Warren Anderson- an accused in the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy case, now based in US. Anderson, now 90, has never faced trial in the Bhopal gas tragedy case.

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Front Page Teaser: 

A fortnight before the hearing of the Curative Petition in the Bhopal Gas Tragedy case begins on April 13, there have been a flurry of events. From the Central Bureau of Investigation getting a nod to extradite UCC's former chairperson Warren Anderson to in-principle approval for memorial for the Bhopal gas tragedy victims. But activists working with the victims say this is an eyewash. According to them, neither is the CBI fully prepared to extradite Anderson nor is the memorial going to be built soon enough as the site remains to be cleaned.

Anderson's Extradition & Approval for a Memorial

A Delhi court of the chief metropolitan magistrate gave the green signal to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on March 23 to extradite former Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) chairperson Warren Anderson- an accused in the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy case, now based in US. Anderson, now 90, has never faced trial in the Bhopal gas tragedy case.

bhopal.jpg
Front Page Teaser: 

A fortnight before the hearing of the Curative Petition in the Bhopal Gas Tragedy case begins on April 13, there have been a flurry of events. From the Central Bureau of Investigation getting a nod to extradite UCC's former chairperson Warren Anderson to in-principle approval for memorial for the Bhopal gas tragedy victims. But activists working with the victims, this is an eyewash. According to them, neither is the CBI fully prepared to extradite Anderson nor is the memorial going to be built soon enough as the site remains to be cleaned.

Special Mention on Cancer Train

By H K Dua in the Rajya Sabha on March 9, 2011
 
Train No 339 leaves Abohar every night to reach Bikaner next morning.  Over a period of time it has come to be known as “Cancer Train”.  This train has acquired the dubious reputation simply because nearly 100 cancer patients travel by it from Punjab to Bikaner for diagnosis and treatment at the Acharya Tulsi Regional Cancer Treatment and Research Institute.

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.

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.

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