Published: Sunday 31 March 2002

A recent study of foodstuff from an ex-tin mining area in Bidor, Malaysia, has revealed high levels of potentially toxic elements (ptes) that could be carcinogenic. The study was conducted by the University Kebangsaan Malaysia, Forest Research Institute of Malaysia (frim) and the Mineral Research Centre.

It has been discovered that crops grown in Bidor have high levels of arsenic, mercury, cadmium and lead. About 90 per cent of the fruits and vegetables produced in this area are sold nationwide and also exported. The study said that fish bred in ex-mining ponds in Bidor were also found to contain ptes. frim researcher Ang Lai Hoe said there were 1,13,700 hectares of former mining land in Malaysia of which 14.4 per cent was in the form of water. Around four per cent had been turned into food production areas.

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