Gas leak comes days after UN meet on toxic chemicals
The chemical leak from the Tughlaqabad container depot in Delhi on Saturday, that affected over 200 students from Rani Jhansi School for Girls, does not bode well for India’s record in handling hazardous substances.
It should be: The chemical — Chloromethyl Pyridine — is an organic compound used as a raw material to make pesticides and is hazardous and toxic in nature, experts said.
Ironically, the incident comes just days after India participated in a global meet at Geneva, Switzerland, to discuss and amend international treaties on the safe use and disposal of hazardous and toxic substances.
The meet — United Nations Conference of Parties (CoP) to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions — concluded on Friday. India was represented by an inter-ministerial delegation, led by the environment ministry. Of the three conventions, the Rotterdam Convention, an international agreement, prescribes obligations on importers and exporters of hazardous chemicals and promote sound use of chemicals.
While domestically, the Manufacture, Storage and Import of Hazardous Chemical Rules, 2000, regulates safe handling and storage of hazardous chemicals and includes a list of 684 hazardous chemicals, awareness of these substances and enforcement is weak, experts said.
“It is definitely a hazardous substance used as a raw material. Even in …read more