Kohima, June 29: The Food Safety Department has found chemically contaminated fish in Nagaland. Four samples of five different varieties of fish tested positive for formalin in Dimapur. According to ANI, the fish were detected at six locations at different retailers.
The drivers of the four vehicles along with the seized fish products were handed over to South Police Station in Kohima. The fish products were disposed at the KMC dumping site in the presence of the Food Safety Commissioner-cum-Commissioner and Secretary Himato Zhimomi.
Formalin,a toxic chemical, is commonly used to preserve dead bodies in mortuaries, it increases the shelf life of fish.
In a similar incident, the Food Safety Department foiled an attempt to traffic chemically contaminated fish taken from Andhra Pradesh to Kerala on Sunday at Valayar in Kerala. The officials seized 4000 kilo prawns preserved in formalin, a toxic chemical, while inspecting a vehicle at the check post here.
After detecting formalin content in the fish, the officials sent the complete load to a chemical laboratory in Kakkanad in Ernakulam for further examination.
This is what American Cancer Society has to say about formalin:
What is formalin?
Formaldehyde is a colorless, strong-smelling gas used in making building materials and many household products. It is used in pressed-wood products, such as particleboard, plywood, and fiberboard; glues and adhesives; permanent-press fabrics; paper product coatings; and certain insulation materials. When dissolved in water it is called formalin, which is commonly used as an industrial disinfectant, and as a preservative in funeral homes and medical labs.
Can formaldehyde cause cancer?
Exposure to formaldehyde has been shown to cause cancer in laboratory test animals. Exposure to relatively high amounts of formaldehyde in medical and occupational settings has been linked to some types of cancer in humans, but the effect of exposure to small amounts is less clear.
Studies in the lab
In rats, inhaled formaldehyde was linked to cancers of the nasal cavity and leukemia. In one study of rats given drinking water containing formaldehyde there was an increase in stomach tumors, while another showed no increase in any kind of tumor or cancer. In mice, applying a 10% solution of formaldehyde to the skin was linked to quicker development of cancers caused by another chemical.