The tests conducted by the Kerala state Pollution
Control Board (PCB) on sludge samples from the Coca-Cola
factory at Plachimada in the last 10 months have shown
contradictory results. The latest in the series gives
a clean chit to the soft-drink giant.
while stating that the sludge contains cadmium well below
the permissible limit, the PCB has advised against using
the sludge as manure. According to the board, the solid
waste generated from the factory will not come under the
purview of hazardous waste. But it has cautioned the Coca-Cola
company to handle the solid waste following the procedures
and safeguards prescribed under the Hazardous Waste Amendment
the analysis of the sludge by the board in January 2003
did not show any presence of toxic material, BBC''s Face
the Facts programme reported high levels of cadmium
and lead in the samples of Coke sludge tested at the University
of Exeter. Under pressure from the media and several environmental
groups, the board collected samples from Plachimada. The
tests done at the PCB''s central laboratory in July clearly
showed the presence of cadmium and lead in toxic levels.
the results at a press meet, PCB chairman Paul Thachil
had said that the deviation in the results from tests
done in January needed detailed investigation. He had
also said that more analytical and background data were
required to identify the source of heavy metals.
latest sludge analysis report dated 29 September however
states that all samples showed the presence of cadmium
well below the permissible concentration of 50 mg/kg.
Analysis of the sludge by the students of Alappuzha Medical
College and the NGO, Health Action by People, in the same
period of time showed the presence of not only lead and
cadmium but also arsenic.