Toxic taint

  • 30/08/2003

the state pollution control boards of Kerala, West Bengal and Himachal Pradesh (hp) have detected the presence of cadmium in sludge supplied as fertiliser to farmers by soft-drinks makers.

Cadmium levels in excess of those allowed by the Bureau of Indian Standards were found in the sludge of Hindustan Coca-Cola Company's plants in Kerala, West Bengal and hp. In Bengal, Pepsi units too were found to have high cadmium content in their sludge. The matter came to light when the British Broadcasting Corporation aired a report on the quality of sludge distributed by Coke's plant in Kerala's Palakkad district. Cadmium is a naturally occurring heavy metal which, at elevated levels, can be toxic to humans.

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