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Air Pollution in Tamil Nadu is a Cause of Concern for Environmentalists

Indian sample.

As many as 27 chemicals, including carcinogenic ones, at levels 34,782 and 2,360 times higher than those considered safe for residential air by the US Environmental Protection Agency were found in this sample.

A second sample taken from near the effluent discharge point into the Cauvery river by Chemplast Sanmar's PVC plant near the Mettur dam site, about 600 km southwest of here, also qualified among the three most-polluted samples as it contained six cancer-causing chemicals in the 17 that were detected.

From the 21 samples taken from various locations in India, the study reported the presence of 45 chemicals, including 13 carcinogens. The report is unique for India as the study analysed air samples for 67 toxic VOCs and 20 sulphur compounds in the air.

Activists said none of the chemicals found in ambient air samples in Indis were systematically monitored and no standards exist for them despite evidence that many of the reported chemicals exert severe health effects.

In September 2004, the Supreme Court instructed the Central Pollution Control Board to set standards for toxic gases. In 1999-2000, the ministry of environment and forests set aside $7.5 million for monitoring and setting standards for toxic gases. However, neither task has been done so far.

(Source: IANS News)
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