HYDERABAD: HCH-hexachlorocyclohexane, an insecticide is present in the milk, revealed by the study conducted in Hyderabad. Raw milk had been taken as samples from different markets to prove the existence of HCH.
World Health Organisation suggests the limit of HCH is 0.001 parts per million (ppm) but the residue is higher than that.
Veterinary Public Health and Epidemiology department conducted the study at PV Narsimha Rao Telangana Veterinary University on Tuesday.
HCH, what it is?
Benzene hexachloride (BHC) contained all kinds of HCH and it’s divided into various alpha, beta, gamma and delta varities. Before it was ban in India it was used upto 40 pc of entire insecticide usage as per the reports.
HCH is also a ‘persistent organic pollutant’, which means it can remain in the environment for years together. However gamma-HCH, Lindane was restricted to use by the government in 1997.
To our surprise, the samples of milk tested contains high amount of all four kinds of HCH, particularly delta-HCH.
“Lindane is not much in use now and other HCHs were banned long back. A main reason behind HCHs being found in milk samples must be the residues which got accumulated in soils over several years. HCHs do not degrade easily. From the soil they spread into vegetation and water bodies. When the cattle consumes this contaminated fodder the HCH gets accumulated in their fat and gets in the milk too,” says Dr Shashi Bhushan Vemuri, former head of All India Network Project on Pesticide Residues.
‘Sterilisation better than boiling or pasteurisation’
The veterinary varsity tested milk samples with three heating techniques like Pasteurization in which milk is boiled for five minutes and sterilization. Among the three methods they found sterilization is the best method.