Chennai, May 9:
The air over SIPCOT Chemical Industrial Estate at Cuddalore is unfit to
breathe, with seven of the 12 toxic gases released by factories
seriously violating one or more US standards for safe ambient air,
according to a second study released today by the SIPCOT Area Community
Environmental Monitors (SACEM).
The study said
the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) was yet to take action
to reverse this trend, despite the June 30, 2005 deadline set by the
Supreme Court Monitoring Committee of Hazardous Waste order to screen
the air quality at SIPCOT.
The first report,
released in September 2004, had found 22 toxic chemicals, including raw
materials used by industries at SIPCOT. The SCMC had then directed
TNPCB to develop standards for ambient air for these chemicals.
that their second study had found at least five out of 12 chemicals
could be detrimental to the kidneys and liver, 10 could affect the
respiratory system and central nervous system, while all 12 chemicals
could affect the eyes.
that TNPCB submit reports on steps taken to monitor and reverse air
pollution with Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and sulphur compounds.
The Central PCB should submit a progress report on developing ambient
air quality standards for VOCs and sulphur compounds.
Action should be
taken against TNPCB if air pollution levels were not brought under
control by June 2005, as per SCMC's directions.
representatives, including M Nizamuddin and S Pugazhendi, who are SCMC
members, said there are no Indian standards for measuring air quality
after chemicals are released. TNPCB also does not have the technology
to monitor air pollution, they added.
They said that
the Tamil Nadu government had, like SACEM, conducted health studies in
the area. SACEM's own study would be completed within two months, they