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Coke samples: Pollution Control Board gives contradictory results news
James Paul
03 October 2003

Kochi: 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.

Even 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 Rules, 2003.

While 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.

Announcing 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.

The 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.

The members of the PCB team that studied the sludge from the Coca-Cola factory are K V Indulal, A B Pradeep Kumar and C V Jayasree.

 

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Coke samples: Pollution Control Board gives contradictory results