Fluoride Action Network

Gujarat is hazardous waste capital: Study

Source: Times of India | November 10th, 2011
Location: India

AHMEDABAD: The data of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) show that Gujarat, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh contribute to around 80 per cent of hazardous waste including heavy metals in the country.

This was stated by the ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) in an official release. The ministry further stated that due to rapid industrialization and consumerist life style, anthropogenic sources of environmental pollution have also increased. The ministry stated that pollution occurs both at the level of industrial production as well as end use of the products and run-off.

These toxic elements enter the human body mostly through food and water and to a lesser extent through inhalation of polluted air, use of cosmetics, drugs, poor quality herbal formulations.

The MoEF said that Vadodara was found to be highly polluted with chromium (Cr) which is found in mining, industrial coolants, chromium salts manufacturing and leather tanning.

Apart from Vadodara, chromium pollutants were found in Ranipet in Tamil Nadu, Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, and Talcher in Orissa.

Also the MoEF stated that lead(Pb) pollution was also found in Vadodara. Lead is released in industries like lead acid batteries, paints, e-waste, smelting operations, coal-based thermal power plants, ceramics, and bangle industry.

The MoEF note also stated that in India, 19 out of 35 states and Union territories have ground water highly contaminated with fluoride.

Gujarat is also one of these 19 states. MoEF further said that in states like Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Rajasthan, 70 to 100 per cent districts contain high fluoride levels in food and water.

The ministry further said that public awareness is needed on fluoride contamination. Also dental products, anti-depressant and anti-cholesterol drugs used for long term treatment are important sources of fluoride.