Thursday, May 26, 2011

11.5 Tonnes of Mangoes Detained

The Health Department of the Chennai Corporation on Wednesday conducted raids in several parts of the city and detained 11.5 tonnes of mangoes matured using calcium carbide. Around 500 kg of papayas is also detained.

According to Corporation officials, the clinically confirmed carcinogenic element is being used crosswise various wholesale and retail outlets to mature mangoes. The Koyambedu Wholesale Fruit Market, which is the spot of arrival of mangoes in the city, has unrestrained procedure of the chemical regardless of caution by the civic authorities next to its use. The officials said they found laborers stuffing carbide into little sachets on Wednesday so that they might be secreted within the mangoes. A whole of 34 of 67 shops screened in the market were establish to be using the chemical. Over 650 kg of calcium carbide was detained. Royapettah Go downs were also raided. Over 600 kg of fruits were detained and these fruits were destroyed.
Make use of carbide to ripen mangoes is an offence under the Prevention of Food Adulteration (PFA) Act, and that those using it must be booked under the act, said a higher official of the Chennai Corporation. The Corporation has well-versed purchasers and commission agents regarding the same. Calcium carbide is a dangerous substance and it contains traces of arsenic and phosphorus hydride. At the same time inhalation of the chemical might cause unconsciousness (coma), use of fruits ripened using the chemical could have serious health implications.

Symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, eye and skin irritation are ordinary among people who consume these kinds of fruits. It could even guide to permanent vision loss, intestinal problem, low blood pressure and memory loss, said a higher official of the Chennai Corporation.

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