Public Trust forum ‘We The Human’ concerned over increasing kidney, cancer cases in JK; appeals to Guv Malik

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Srinagar: ‘We The Human Forum for Nature and Mankind’, a registered Public Trust has raised a serious concern over increasing number of cases related to serious ailments viz., kidney, throat ailments, cancer, IBS, gastroenteritis, infertility etc, among population of the region, Kashmir News Service (KNS) reported.

S. Prem Singh, Spokesman of the forum in a statement issued to KNS said that “the abrupt rise in such cases, since last few years, is considerably attributed to practice of people consuming hot cooked foods including hot curries, tea, milk, soups etc packed and carried in plastic/polythene bags.”

“In Jammu, most of the sweet vendor shops, famous for hot Purri Channi pour and pack very hot chickpeas in polythene bags for customers who buy and take away hot Purri Channa for consumption at home,” he said.

“This is not a single case; one may witness same practice going on in famous sweets/ Purri Channa shops in other areas like Jain Bazar, Rehari, Janipur, Canal Road, Gandhi Nagar, Nai Basti, Bari Brahmna and all such shops in rural or semi rural areas of Jammu. One may not imagine when very hot food items especially chickpeas react with polythene bags or plastic containers, how much hazardous that food will be for human consumption,” Singh said.

The social activist further said that these vendors might have adopted this health hazardous practice, unknowingly; but where are the enforcement agencies like JKPCB, Local Bodies, Food Safety Department?”

“One may visit areas outside GMC, SMGS, other district hospitals, where we will be shocked to see attendants of patients buying a carrying food items including hot tea, hot milk, juice packed in polythene bags or plastic glasses from small eateries including tea stalls outside these hospitals,” he added.

Though polythene bags are, reportedly, banned in JK, yet field staff of JKPCB, Food Safety, Local Bodies Department have kept their eyes closed for reasons best known to them. Every day, hundreds of patients must be affected by polyvinyl chloride, polyethylene and polystyrene because of eating hot foods carried in polythene and plastic bags,” he said.

“As per a report, certain polythene/ plastic bags may cause chemical filtration into the food. Those chemicals include styrene and bisphenol- A which can cause cancer, heart diseases and reproductive problems. Toxins could migrate from polythene/plastic to the substances they hold. The most common food interactions are the migration of low molecular weight substances such as stabilizers, plasticizers, antioxidants and monomers from plastic packing materials,” he added.

Even, water in polythene bags or plastic containers is also unfit for human consumption. The containers are usually exposed to direct sunlight when they are loaded onto trucks,” he said, appealing Governor of the state and his advisors to take serious note of this health hazardous issue, which otherwise, if ignored, might result in a catastrophic situation.

(with inputs from KNS)

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