Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Polluted Blood

Where poison flows in the veins…

A Centre for Science and Environment Study finds residues of 6-13 pesticides in blood samples of villagers in Punjab.
There are no standards for ‘safe levels’ of pesticides in our blood. But the level of pesticide found in Punjab samples has no comparison. The pesticide cocktail includes old and persistent pesticides like DDT and lindane. But it also includes residues of highly toxic (considered not persistent by industry) pesticides like monocrotophos and chloropyrifos.
But nobody can tell you what these toxic substances will do to the human body. Are they responsible for increased cancer or other diseases? Nobody can say because nobody knows.
But we know enough to say that this cannot be ‘safe’. This cannot be ‘acceptable’. The study calls for urgent action to regulate use. It calls for action to monitor human bodies – a biomonitoring programme – to ensure that this chemical invasion is stopped.

Read further here.

Hmmm... Seems a bit alarmist to me. I'm not denying that any caution can ever be too much ; there can be no doubt we need to cut down on pesticides. However, a series of phrases like 'nobody can say' and 'nobody knows' takes away from the perceived credibility of the study. Don't you think so?
CSE, for those unfamiliar, is the organisation that took up the issue of pesticides in softdrinks, among other things.



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