New findings reaffirm presence of DDT in Periyar.

Greenpeace calls on Indian Authorities to Phase Out and Substitute DDT Immediately

Press release - December 15, 2003
COCHIN, India — Against the backdrop of three large banners that demand "SAVE THE PERIYAR", held aloft on traditional rice boats in the Periyar river, Greenpeace today released new evidence which indicates that the continuing production of DDT at the HIL factory in Eloor is resulting in severe pollution of the already endangered Periyar waterways,due to the unabated release of toxic and persistent organic pollutants from an obsolete facility.

A follow-up study to Greenpeace's 1999 toxic hotspot investigations, the sediment samples tested for "Pollution from Hindustan Insecticides and other Factories in Kerala." by Greenpeace Research Laboratories at University of Exeter show distressing contamination caused by organochlorines, particularly DDT and its components.

Ruth Stringer, a senior Greenpeace scientist, who was co-author of both the reports said, "It is appalling that HIL, which runs the last "official" DDT manufacturing facility in the country, should ignore the scientific evidence of pollution caused by the production of the world's deadliest pesticide. DDT and many of the other organochlorines that we found in our samples are toxic, highly persistent and can build up in the food chain. Additionally,

people could be exposed by working in the factory, handling the pesticides it makes, or by eating contaminated fish, meat, milk or eggs."

For over four years now, Greenpeace India has been campaigning with local groups in Kerala, investigating and exposing instances of toxic pollution caused by industries in Eloor that is responsible for impacts both on the environment and health of the local population. " It is clear that the Indian government should phase out and substitute DDT immediately as required by the POPs convention . And the State government should ensure that Zero Discharge and Clean Production measures are put in place to check the environmental catastrophe unfolding in the region," said Sanjiv Gopal,

Toxics Campaigner, Greenpeace India.

For further information:

Contact Sanjiv Gopal, Toxics Campaigner Greenpeace India,

Email: Phone: +91 80 36788424

Priya Nayar, Media Officer Greenpeace India

Email: Phone: +919845493688.