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Cancer, pregnancy loss on rise near SIPCOT compelx: Study

Chennai, Sep 27 (UNI) Cancer, pregnancy loss and respiratory ailments are on the rise among the people living in and around SIPCOT Industrial Complex Cuddalore, according to an expert pannel which conducted a study and public hearing at Cuddalore.

Briefing the findings of the study at a press conference here today, the pannel comprising Queen Mary's College Department of Sociology Head Prof R Saraswathi (Retd), Madras Institute of Developmental Studies Prof S Janakrajan and Chennai Community Health Cell Public Health Specialist Dr Rakhal Gaithonde said the environment in and around Cuddalore had become highly toxic making the life of the villagers miserable.

Criticising the Tamil Nadu Government and Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) for turning a blind eye to the problem, they said lack of monitoring and laxity from both the Government and TNPCB paved way for the chemical industries in the area, in blatant violation of pollution control norms.

"The companies just for the name sake follow certain pollution control norms, but the air and water samples collected from the area clearly show high toxic levels. The ecology has been completely damaged. Fish with physical deformity were found in the near by river", they added.

Dr Rakhal Gaithonde said the villagers were frequently complaining of skin itching, breathlessness, tightness in chest, headache, stomach ulcers, nausea, burning sensation in eyes, asthma, white discharge and excessive bleeding (for women) and jaundice.

"The air has become so toxic that a new visitor to the place can easily feel suffocation and nausea", he added.

UNI AJ VV 1422

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