Raid in Bhiwandi: Agarbattis found to contain harmful insect repellant
In a raid conducted in Bhiwani, Home Insect Control Association found that pesticide-filled incense sticks were being sold at cheaper rates
In a recent raid conducted by the Home Insect Control Association (HICA), a number of units in Bhiwandi were found illegally manufacturing incense sticks that doubled up as mosquito repellents. These were made using harmful chemicals (pesticides). Soon after, the HICA informed the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) and state agriculture department, who collected samples from a couple of units in the area to check for the presence of the hazardous substances.
Speaking to mid-day, a HICA official said, "The incense sticks that are used as mosquito repellents have a high demand in the market. This is why manufacturers make them even without the required permissions for using certain chemicals. Hence, we bought some of the sticks and got their chemical analysis done in the lab. The proportion of hazardous chemicals has been found to be very high in them. We immediately informed the MPCB and state agricultural department about it. A number of units in Bhiwandi are selling the sticks at a very cheap rate."
Requesting anonymity, a state agriculture department official said, "The manufacturers mostly use Transfluthrin and Cyfluthrin. Both these chemicals if used beyond the required limits may cause nervousness, anxiety, convulsion, skin allergies, sneezing, running nose and irritation. Hence, we have collected 15 samples of incense sticks from a manufacturer who doesn't even have the permission to use these chemicals. They are being analysed, and soon a case will be filed." Sanjay Bhuskute, MPCB PRO, said, "Our Kalyan department officials are looking into the details of the permissions available with the units. Action will be taken accordingly."
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