The Punjab and Haryana high court on Thursday directed the central government, Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh administration to submit reports on carcinogenic substances within two months.
The order from high court bench of justice SK Mittal and justice Rekha Mittal came following it came to light that various parties had been dillydallying over the matter for over a year now.
The special committees were formed last year with regard to evaluating the overall risks, ascertaining the risk assessment and undertaking risk analysis of all agent/ chemicals/substances to ascertain their mutagenic and carcinogenic problems. However, the committees failed to hold deliberations on the issue.
The high court bench asked these committees on Thursday to study the material available in India or worldwide with regard to carcinogenic items and submit a report within two months.
The court was hearing a petition seeking directives for banning known and identified cancer-causing agents and developing a mechanism to prevent carcinogens from being used in commercial products through a public interest litigation by social activist Hemant Goswami. The petitioner had contended that half of all cancers were preventable if exposure to known carcinogens was prevented. However, the states were just focusing on treatment of cancer and no one was looking into the causes and prevention of cancer, he maintained. The petitioner had further stated that the list of many carcinogens and "sure-shot cancer-causing agents" was well known, but still many such agents found their way into commercial products. While the state and public bore the cost of commercial use of such carcinogens, commercial organisations/persons promoting such carcinogens did not bear liabilities and generated profits.