GUWAHATI: Following the detection of high amounts of formalin in the fish that are bought into Assam from other states, the Fisheries Department has requested four institutions of the state to conduct research into the topic, and the Superintendent of the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital mentions the problems arising from the indiscriminate concentration of this chemical.
The four institutions that have been given the duty of conducting this research are the Zoology Department of Gauhati University, the Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute, ICAR, NER, Guwahati, the College of Fisheries in Raha, and the College of Veterinary Sciences, Assam Agricultural University, Guwahati. The official statement mentioned that the institutions will conduct the necessary tests after collecting various test samples and submitting a report to the department.
Speaking about the development, the Superintendent of GMCH, Dr. Abhijit Sharma, said, "Although formalin is being used as a preserving agent, its quantity must be monitored very strictly. Just 30 ml of the chemical may prove fatal. Strict action must be taken to avoid its usage in high concentration, which might cause both acute and chronic ailments."
Speaking about the possible symptoms and problems caused by formalin, he said, "Formalin by itself has a very peculiar smell, and while frying fish laced with the chemical, one might face problems like irritation of the nose or eyes. Coughing, vomiting, and irritation inside the throat are some other symptoms. Long-term or high-concentration exposure can cause injuries to the gastrointestinal tract and even death."