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Toxic Tours - XIX: Toxic Trespass

By Sharyle Patton

The right to bear a family and the right of all women to control all aspects of their health, particularly their own fertility, are being seriously compromised by exposure to toxic chemicals

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Toxic Tours - XVIII: One man's gadget is another man's poison

By Lisa Batiwalla

Even as a consumer in Europe opts for the latest design in mobile phones, somewhere in Asia a migrant worker is dismantling his discarded phone, risking exposure to hazardous chemicals. A report on e-waste

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Toxic Tours - XVII: White asbestos: Silent killer

By Gopal Krishna

Armed with all the facts on the harmful effects of asbestos on human health, and the knowledge that most countries worldwide have imposed a ban on the substance, India continues to import nearly Rs 230 crore worth of asbestos and consume over 125,000 million metric tonnes a year

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Toxic Tours - XVI: The dirty dozen

By Papiya Sarkar

The ABCs of POPs or Persistent Organic Pollutants and the challenges they pose for India

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Toxic Tours - XV: 2003: A defining moment for food safety issues in India

By Laxmi Murthy

India's policies on pollution and pesticide use address impact mitigation and end-of-the-pipe solutions only. No thought is given to the Precautionary Principle, which raises fundamental questions about the process of development itself, says Ravi Agarwal, Director of Toxics Link, which works towards public education and awareness on issues of ecological contamination

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Toxic Tours - XIV: Our Stolen Future: The effects of pesticide contamination on future generations

By Meena Menon

Studies by naturalists and scientists reveal that pesticide contamination has unalterably affected the breeding biology of birds such as raptors and sarus cranes. The contamination, most likely, has been passed on through the birds' prey base

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Toxic Tours - XIII: Hormone havoc: Pesticide contamination and women's health

By Laxmi Murthy

Pesticides contaminate every layer of the ecosystem today, causing untold harm to the health of human beings. Persistent organic pollutants have a tendency to accumulate in fatty tissue, making women most vulnerable to toxic contaminants, since women have a higher percentage of body fat, accompanied by regular hormonal changes through the reproductive cycle

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Toxic Tours - XI: Monsters under my bed

By Shailendra Yashwant

Our houses are home to a whole host of toxic substances ranging from the humble toilet roll to household cleaners and mosquito-repellents. These can cause a number of illnesses especially among children

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Toxic Tours - X: Going bananas in north Kerala

By Shailendra Yashwant

Thanks to the banana chip's growing popularity, the paddy fields of Kerala are being converted into banana plantations that demand the widespread use of harmful chemical fertilisers and pesticides

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Toxic Tours - IX: Doing it without DDT

By Shailendra Yashwant

India is committed to eliminating POPs. The Hindustan Insecticide factory in Cochin is the only facility where the controversial pesticide DDT continues to be manufactured

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Toxic Tours - VIII: Mount Garbage

By Shailendra Yashwant

Every day, over 3,000 tonnes of garbage are added to Smoky Valley, a garbage dump on the outskirts of Quezon city in the Philippines. This huge grey mountain of rubbish forces us to examine how we deal with the growing waste problem resulting from modern-day lifestyles

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Toxic Tours - VII: Why Vaideyee the fisherman will probably end up in a Chennai slum

By Shailendra Yashwant

Over 100 hamlets of estuarine fisherfolk thrived on the banks of the Uppanar in Tamil Nadu. But that was before the Cuddalore SIPCOT industrial estate altered the riverine eco-system, poisoned the river, killed the fish and robbed Vaideyee and his community of fisherfolk of their traditional livelihoods

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Toxic Tours - VI: Tracking the Dirty Dozen across Nepal

By Shailendra Yashwant

The Stockholm treaty on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) calls for an immediate ban, withdrawal, retrieval and containment of a host of man-made poisons. And yet, in a warehouse in Patan, Nepal, many of the deadly date-expired pesticides known as the Dirty Dozen had been lying around for years. Similar stockpiles of over 50 million tonnes of obsolete pesticides are lying around the world in forgotten warehouses and dumps, mostly in third world countries

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Toxic Tours - V: Golden Corridor: The highway to hell

By Shailendra Yashwant

Mountains of toxic sludge, stinking, blood-red rivers, blue dogs, water that turns red on exposure to air and sunlight -- the chemical industrial belt between Vapi and Ahmedabad in Gujarat is a toxic nightmare.

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Toxic Tours - IV: Mercury rising in Kodaikanal

By Shailendra Yashwant

Broken mercury thermometers and other toxic waste from the thermometer-manufacturing plant in Kodaikanal can be found in waste-pits alongside the factory premises and in scrapyards bang in the middle of the town. Even as Greenpeace and other agencies investigate the problem, the placid residents of this picturesque hill station seem unaware of the consequences of mercury contamination.

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Toxic Tours - III: Bhopal's forgotten chemical stockpile

By Shailendra Yashwant

Photo-journalist Shailendra Yashwant revisits the deserted Union Carbide factory where the world's worst industrial disaster occurred on December 2, 1984. And finds on the premises several drums containing deadly chemical ingredients for the pesticide sevin, exposed to all the elements, leaching into the groundwater. Seventeen years, and the place hasn't even been cleaned up.

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Toxic Tours - II: Alang: Death zone

By Shailendra Yashwant

In the first of a new series that takes readers to various toxic hotspots across the subcontinent, photo-journalist Shailendra Yashwant travels to Alang in Gujarat, where 400 ships come every year to die. Here, unshod and completely unprotected workers handle a deadly cocktail of heavy metals and toxic substances released in the course of ship-breaking, in blatant contravention of the Basel Convention, which restricts all signatory nations from trading in hazardous waste.

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Toxic Tours - I: Guntur: The heart of the Bt cotton controversy

By Shailendra Yashwant

Shailendra Yashwant travels to Guntur in Andhra Pradesh, centre of the cotton ginning industry and a town that reeks of pesticides, where the controversial field-trials of genetically-altered Bt Cotton are quietly going ahead

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