GUWAHATI CITY

Ban on open sale of calcium carbide sought

Calcium carbide

Guwahati, June 22: The State unit of North Eastern Small Scale Industries Association (NESSIA) welcomed the Public interest litigation (PIL) filed recently at Gauhati High Court by advocate Bhaskar Baruah against the use of calcium carbide ( Ca C2 ) to artificially ripen fruits which could have harmful effects on the human body.

As per a release issued to this effect, NESSIA state president Sailen Baruah and secretary Kumud Ch Medhi have urged the government to impose a ban on the sale of loose calcium carbide in the open market to make its availability difficult for unscrupulous persons who use the same to ripen fruits. Further, calcium carbide is an inflammable substance under the inflammable substance Act, 1982.

The NESSIA state president said that calcium carbide could be dangerous if not kept dry as contact with moisture leads to the release of the inflammable gas acetylene. As of now, calcium carbide is readily available in most of the hardware stores. Hence its easy availability should be curtailed, the release stated.

It has also been pointed out that calcium carbide contains arsenic and phosphorous and can cause cancer and other serious health ailments, the release added.