PTI[ WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 16, 20028:52:49 PM ]

KOLKATA: Users of foul-smelling cylinders of Indane marketed by the Indian Oil Corporation run the risk of developing anomalies in the central nervous system resulting in convulsions and respiratory failure, a leading city-based consumer rights NGO alleged here on Wednesday.

The finding comes in the wake of complaints over the last one month by Indane LPG users in some parts of Kolkata that the pungent smell emitting from their gas cylinders was causing breathing trouble while cooking.

IOC corporate communications chief Dipak Bose had earlier admitted that due to a technical fault a sulphur-based chemical additive, Mercaptan, used to detect LPG leakage had been added in excess in its Haldia plant causing the problem.

“Ethyl Mercaptan has been enlisted as a hazardous and toxic chemical under the Chemical Accidents (Emergency Planning Preparedness and Response) Rules of 1996 and according to the International Occupational Safety and Health Information Centre, even short term exposure to it may cause effects on the central nervous system,” Dipankar Dey, director of the Consumer Unity an Trust Society said.

An independent survey had put the number of such cylinders already distributed among consumers at 3.5 lakh, he said adding the LPG emergency cell set up by IOC was receiving complaints of pungent smelling cylinders till date.