Officials step up vigil over formalin-laced fishes in Vellore

‘Sustained ingestion causes cancer’

In tandem with the ongoing drives against formalin-laced fishes in several parts of the State, the Food Safety Department and Fisheries Department officials conducted checks in the Vellore city fish market on Monday.

Although no aberrant stock was found, officials said that traders were warned against selling formalin-laced fishes.

“The Public Health Department is also following up on the drives. The vigil will be intensified further,” a source in the department said.

According to Health Department sources, formalin, derived from formaldehyde, is a carcinogenic. When mixed in the right proportion with water, the chemical is used for embalming and preventing the decay of dead cells. Formalin, which contains 37-40% formaldehyde, is used in mortuaries and labs. Formalin is used to preserve fish, an easily perishable commodity.

The sources said that once ingested, formalin releases toxins into the body and sustained ingestion eventually causes cancer. Inhaling formaldehyde gas can lead to pneumonia and bronchitis. 30 ml solution containing as little as 37% formalin can kill a fully grown adult.

A person ingesting formalin could experience stomach ache and nausea. Even if the fish treated with formalin is cooked, the chemical cannot be stopped from releasing toxins into the body, the Department sources said.

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Printable version | Apr 10, 2020 5:59:01 AM |

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