Damned dyes

Published: Sunday 30 April 1995

DYES and dyestuffs used in the printing and dyeing of textiles and leather goods could soon become free from harmful chemicals if a legislation banning their use comes into effect in India.

Moves are afoot to ban AZO and benzidine which are used in the production of textiles and leather goods. Using these chemicals is considered a criminal offence in most European Economic Community (EEC) countries, especially in Germany. It, in fact, has even enforced laws wherein dealing in such goods invites sever punitive legal action. Indian exporters operating in Germany have sought the installation of machines able to detect the presence or absence of these harmful chemicals.

According to German health experts, AZo and benzidine could cause cancer. They had recently passed an ordinance, banning the sale and commercial use of goods containing these chemicals, which would have been effective from January I this year. However, representations from Indian exporters has delayed this ban, and it will now come into effect only from July 1.

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