Chennai, May 10
: The air over a chemical industrial estate in Tamil Nadu's Cuddalore
town is "unfit to breathe" with 12 toxic gases, all of which can affect
the eyes and 10 of which harm the respiratory and nervous systems,
warns a report.
The study by the
SIPCOT Area Community Environmental Monitors (SACEM) said at least
seven of the 12 toxic gases released by factories in this special zone
violated one or more US standards for safe air.
Industries Promotion Corporation of Tamil Nadu) is a government owned
site established in 1972 for the development of small, medium and large
This is the second such study by the NGO, monitoring air quality in the government economic zone, 300 km south of Chennai.
The first report
from the monitoring agency in September 2004 had found 22 toxic
chemicals. The environment agency had then alerted the Tamil Nadu
Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) and directed it to develop standards
for ambient air for the offending chemicals.
It also taken the
government to court over the matter. A Supreme Court Monitoring
Committee of Hazardous Waste set a June 30, 2005, deadline for the
board to screen the air quality.
But, as the second study pointed out, the TNPCB is yet to take action.
SACEM said its
second study found that five of the 12 hazardous chemicals at the
SIPCOT complex could damage kidneys and liver; 10 were dangerous to the
respiratory system and central nervous system; and all 12 could affect
on steps taken by the TNPCB to monitor and reverse air pollution in
Cuddalore, SACEM said action should be taken against the board if air
pollution levels were not under control by June 2005 as per directions
of the court.
SACEM representative S. Pugazhendi said:
are no Indian standards for measuring air quality after chemicals are
released. The TNPCB also does not have the technology to monitor air
The Supreme Court has said Indian industries should follow US standards until India has its own norms.