Phorate poisoning affects people in Jalandhar, Punjab

Published: Friday 15 September 2006

In the last week of July, most of the residents in the village Salkiana in Jalandhar, Punjab, experienced suffocation and breathlessness, following the spray of a deadly pesticide phorate in a nearby sugarcane field. Workers of the sugarcane field had used Sudarshan Chemical's sutox 100 and had sprayed 15 kilos of it in 1.5 hectares. The worst affected ones were the kids in a nearby school, who first started complaining of a strange smell and breathlessness and then fell unconscious one after another. According to the Kheti Virasat Mission, an ngo, some children with severe breathlessness were to be administered oxygen, while all were experiencing loss of appetite even on sixth day after the exposure.

Experts are concerned over the continued use of phorate in India, as who designates it extremely hazardous. The Food and Agriculture Organization also recommends not to use phorate in developing countries. In 2001, 41 people working in a tea estate in Kerala were affected by phorate poisoning.

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