18 April 2012
Samples taken during the burning of garbage in Chennai Corporation’s dumping yard in Kodungaiyur recently, have revealed that levels of two carcinogens were far above levels considered safe for lifetime exposure by the US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). Addressing a press meet on Tuesday, environmental activist Nityanand Jayaram said that 1-3 Butadiene was 8.5 times above USEPA RfC screening limit and Benzene was 50 times above the limit. RfC Screening limit refers to the concentration to which an individual can be exposed to a substance for a lifetime without suffering adverse effects
The sample, collected from a house 50 metres away from the dump yard, was tested for 68 volatile organic compounds and 20 sulphur compounds. Ramachandra Rao of Ever Vigilant Citizens Welfare Association said that in two years, Kodungaiyur residents had sent 36 complaints to various agencies, including the Chennai Corporation, Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board and the Ministry of Environment and Forests but to no avail. Perambur MLA A. Soundararajan said that over 3,000 tonnes of garbage was being dumped at the yard daily. The only solution was for the Corporation to start segregation at the zonal level.