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Air pollution a threat to SIPCOT residents

Tuesday May 10 2005
NewIndPress

CHENNAI: People living in and around the SIPCOT Industrial Estate in Cuddalore will continue breathing air with high level of toxicity if the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) persisted with its "indifferent attitude" towards the polluting industrial units there, an Air Quality and Assessment of TNPCB"s compliance to the Supreme Court Monitoring Committees" (SCMC) order report here said.

"In September 2004, the Supreme Court Monitoring Committee on hazardous wastes directed the TNPCB to bring Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and other toxic gases in ambient air in SIPCOT, Cuddalore, to levels below those prescribed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) by the end of June. But the TNPCB has done nothing to curb the air pollution," said the representatives from the SIPCOT Area Community Environmental Monitors (SACEM), including M Nizamudheen and S Pukazhenthi, who are also the members of the SCMC, at a Press conference here on Monday.

Between October 2004 and March 2005 the SACEM collected the samples of air from the SIPCOT Industrial Estate area and sent them for tests in the US as there was no facility available in India to check the toxic gases level in air.

"The lab results revealed 12 chemicals, of which at least seven violated US EPA Region 6 Screening Levels or Texas Long Term Screening Levels. There were high levels of Trichloro-ethylene, a highly toxic chemical and a known carcinogen," Nizamudheen said.

In the 12 chemicals found in the air samples collected from SIPCOT, at least five were used as raw materials in the SIPCOT industries.

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