Toxic dyes contaminate vegetables

Published: Friday 28 February 2003

Sanganer -- a town 20 kilometres away from Jaipur -- is famous for its textile printing. But the industry's effluents, consisting of toxic chemical dyes, are contaminating the vegetables grown in the area. Farmers facing an acute water shortage use the wastewater for irrigation.

A study conducted by the botany department of the Jaipur-based Rajasthan University has found high levels of metal content in the vegetables. However, over 20 lakh residents of Jaipur have no clue about the contamination.

Levels of chloride and copper in the vegetables range between 7-53 microgrammes per gramme -- much higher than the limits set by the New Delhi-based Bureau of Indian Standards. Water from the drains of the mills is devoid of any organic life. When consumed by rats, it caused kidney failure.

Few textile mills treat their wastewater. Professors from the Rajasthan University have filed a petition regarding the matter with the state's Human Rights Commission.

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