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SCI/TECH: Bhopal in Slow Motion

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posted on Mar, 18 2005 @ 10:50 PM
Crops no longer grow, animals die, water buffaloes produce toxic milk, babies are born with birth defects and people are constantly sick in the once-beautiful town of Patancheru, India. Local industry produces pesticides, steel, chemicals and drugs. Pharmaceuticals and their byproducts join the salts, acids and heavy metals from other factories to poison Patancheru's streams, groundwater and soil. Area Dr. Allani Kishan Rao says, "We're now into a second generation of toxic exposure. We're seeing another Bhopal - but in slow motion."

In the heavily polluted region of Patancheru, the production of pharmaceuticals to save lives in the West may be cutting lives short in India. ...Dr. Allani Kishan Rao has practiced medicine and fought pollution in Patancheru for 30 years. He says, "Illness rates here are more than 25 percent, compared with 10 percent nationally. I'm sure it is related to the chemical intermediates, organic solvents, and gases that come out of the pharmaceutical plants and the factories that supply them." one knows what the smorgasbord of molecules currently being released from the drug plants is doing to his patients, especially when combined with pesticides and heavy metals from other factories.

In October 2004, Greenpeace India released the results of a study comparing the health of almost 9,000 people in nine Nakkavagu-basin villages with a control group of four villages in a non-industrial part of the same district. Cancer rates in the nine affected villages were 11 times as high as in other villages. Rates were 16 times as high for heart disease; four times as high for birth defects; and two to three times as high for skin problems and disorders of the nervous, endocrine and metabolic systems.

Dr. Rao says the Greenpeace results are consistent with his clinical experience: "I am seeing far more cancers, heart ailments, birth defects, and epilepsy than I did in the '70s and early '80s, especially among children. And I'm seeing a lot of tuberculosis, indicating that immune systems are being compromised as well."

"We're now into a second generation of toxic exposure. We're seeing another Bhopal - but in slow motion."

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Once idyllic, rural Patancheru is now ugly, a picture of ecological destruction. The land won't grow crops anymore and residents are forced to rely on government for food that's gone before the month is over. Just bathing leaves rashes on the skin.

Pharmaceutical companies are off the hook for liability because of a clean up agreement - but many still dump toxic waste illegally, late at night.

India's pharmaceutical exports are worth $2.5 billion a year and are expected to climb to $6 billion by 2010. Most antiobiotics in the United States come from India. Nearly 40 percent of India's drug exports are manufactured around Patancheru.

Like other industries, prescription drugs create hazardous byproducts, poisoning life.

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posted on Mar, 19 2005 @ 01:42 AM

This is a toughy...

I might end up working for pharmaceutical companies. I really don't know what can be done about it...

posted on Mar, 19 2005 @ 09:44 AM

Originally posted by rapier28

I really don't know what can be done about it...

Effective filters and procedures exist - but they're bypassed to increase profits.

Hmmm. Maybe better regulations and enforcement capabilities?



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