EnviroApps Blogspot

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Cancer Capital & Cancer Village - Kolkata and Periyavelai - Nagerkoil

Cancer Capital - Air Pollution:
Kolkata, not Delhi is the pollution capital of India: Study

Kolkata, May 28: Kolkata has upstaged Delhi as the air pollution capital of India, accounting for more deaths due to lung cancer and heart attack than the capital city.

More than 18 persons per one lakh people in Kolkata fall victim to lung cancer every year compared to the next highest 13 per one lakh in Delhi, according to environmental scientist and advisor of Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute (CNCI), Twisha Lahiri.

Not only lung cancer, cases of heart attack were also rising fast in the eastern metropolis, Lahiri said quoting a six-year survey conducted by the cancer institute.

She said incidents of heart attack were occurring more frequently in the city.

CNCI scientists maintain that more than seven in 10 people here suffer from various kinds of respiratory disorder, including children as well as elderly people.

Lahiri said roadside hawkers, shop owners, traffic policemen, auto-rickshaw drivers, rickshaw-pullers and others who spend long hours on the road were the most vulnerable.

Children mainly suffer from breathing difficulties like asthma while elderly people are victims of lung cancer, the scientists said.

Cancer Village - Mining Problems:

Radiation from sand mining causes this unthinkable effect on a village on the Southern India.
Reproductive failure, Brain Diseases, Cancer in various organs are the major effects of the sand mining.

Cancer Village
Tamil: Kungumam -
English: Hindu -
Radiation affecting health of villagers

Nagercoil: Conservation of Nature Trust here has urged the Government to extend annual medical check-up for cancer, insurance cover and provision of radiation dosimeters for the benefit of fishermen in Kanyakumari district living in the localities of ‘high-radiation’ area.
Its chairman R.S. Lal Mohan said that a recent study revealed that radiation in the coastal sand was as high as 65,000 becquerel per kg in places such as Chinnavilai and Periavilai, where sand mining was rampant. In these villages, there were 17 cancer patients and 31 mentally ill people.
Radiation in Kooduthalai, another sand mining village, was as high as 95,000 becquerel per kg.
Here beta radiation was very high; it was more powerful than alpha radiation as it could travel more distance and penetrate the skin. “It is strange that sand extraction firms that remove the radioactive sand claim that they were removing the radiation even while bringing the underground radioactive sand to the surface.”
Radioactive sand — geological sediments accumulated over thousands of years — could be found at a depth of some feet.
“Minerals are needed for the industries. But it must be ensured that affected people get proper medical treatment. The problem with cancer is it is hereditary. Once chromosomal changes are caused by radiation, the effects are irreversible.”
An independent study by Dr. Lucy Forster and her team from Cambridge University found background radiation along the Kanyakumari coast to be high. Poor fisherfolk take part in the hazardous job of carrying radioactive sand because of their poverty. All along coast
The coastal belt of south Kerala from Chavara to Kanyakumari has a radiation level of up to 325 ream owing to presence of monazite. This and other rare metals have accumulated after getting swept by wind.
These rare metals originate from the Western Ghats and drained by rivers such as the Kodayar, the Kuzhithurai and the Valliyar.
The radiation was first noted by a German industrialist, Schomberg, in coir exported from Colachel. In those days, the coir industry was vibrant along Kanyakumari coast.
Mr. Lal Mohan has urged the Government to either ban sand mining in the coastal areas of the district or to provide security to the livelihood of fishermen.

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