Silent killer

Silent Killer

A woman from Nanegaon in the Kolwan Valley west of Pune carries water home past the heavily-fertilized sugarcane fields near her community’s open well. Sugarcane requires copious amounts of water and heavy fertilization, most commonly with a nitrate-based urea. Although not fully understood, excess amounts of nitrates have been associated with methaemoglobinaemia, a potentially life-threatening condition of depleted blood-oxygen levels, especially serious in bottle-fed infants.

According to Mr. Shyam Divan, a Senior Advocate for the Supreme Court of India, there are no legal frameworks in India with which to prosecute those releasing industrial contaminants (agro or otherwise) to a public water supply.

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