Tannery waste contains a huge amount of chromium, which, if used in poultry or fish feed, enters the food chain
A mobile court of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) has sentenced 10 persons to two years’ imprisonment for producing poultry and fish feed with toxic tannery waste at Hazaribagh in Dhaka.
Executive Magistrate Sarwar Alam, who led the drive, also fined them Tk24 lakh on Tuesday night.
“We found they were using toxic ternary waste to produce poultry and fish feed which is harmful for health and against the law,” Sarwar Alam told The Business Standard.
Some 2,800 tonnes of toxic poultry and fish feed were seized from the spot. The mobile court sealed off six feed factories, he added.
On July 26, 2010, Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh filed a writ petition with the High Court, saying that tannery waste – containing around 30 types of chemicals like acid, chromium salt and sodium chloride – was being illegally used in producing fish and poultry feed.
On April 2, 2019, the High Court ordered the authorities concerned to immediately shut all the factories that are using tannery waste for producing poultry and fish feed.
What's the effect of such poultry feed?
Human tolerance of chromium is only 0.5-2mg, but chickens that consume toxic feed lay eggs containing 100 to 1,000 times more chromium. People who consume such chickens or eggs may develop cancer or other diseases related to liver and kidney, the petition said.
A study conducted by Professor Dr Abul Hossain of the chemistry department of Dhaka University revealed that tannery waste contains a huge amount of chromium, which, if used in poultry or fish feed, enters the food chain.
People eating such fish, chicken or eggs may be subjected to cancer or liver and kidney-related diseases.
Such heavy chromium is very much likely to be present in poultry and fish feed manufactured by the Hazaribagh-based factories.