Potential carcinogens that are banned in most countries are still being used in India.
By Jignasa Sinha
Bangalore, March 20, 2019: In India, chemicals like asbestos and chromate copper arsenic (CCA) are being used in walls, floors and ceiling joints. These chemicals are banned in other countries because they contain hazardous substances that cause cancer and respiratory diseases.
Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous compound. This mineral is used in a variety of materials like paint, roofing materials, water supply lines, etc. It is proven to have carcinogenic (cancer-causing) effects on people.
It supposedly cannot be sold, bought, or use in any material. Asbestos is highly dangerous – not only for the painters but also to the people who will later reside at that site.
Dr Rekha Singh, a general physician says, “Asbestos is extremely dangerous and should be banned in India. It can cause cancer of the lung, larynx, and in some cases of the ovaries. Once inhaled, this mineral reached down to the lungs and causes inflammation.”
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended a ban on the use of asbestos in 2007. A report suggests that 125 million people are exposed to the deadly chemical every year, and more than 200,000 people die each year due to occupational exposure to this chemical. Asbestos, CCA, and formaldehyde also contribute to occupational diseases like cancer.
Dr Meshram Gangadhar, Organic Chemistry Professor at Mumbai University says, “The use of asbestos in India has risen even after its ban in other countries. This is due to the fact that asbestos has a great tensile strength (resistance to breaking under tension), heat resistance and can resist any harsh chemical attack. This is a naturally occurring mineral but can be synthesized in labs as well.”
According to reports, India imports 300,000 tonnes of asbestos every year; this is also used in cement roofing sheets, cement piping, textiles, and insulation. The multi-utilitarian substance is poisonous and no matter how small the exposure, the damage to the human body is irreversible.