As many as 11 out of 30 samples of fish species purchased from Chinthadripet and Kasimedu, the two major fish markets in Chennai, on two different days, have tested positive for formalin, a cancer-inducing chemical used illegally to preserve fish.
The fish were tested by scientists of the Tamil Nadu Dr. J. Jayalalithaa Fisheries University exclusively for the Hindu.
Formalin is a toxic, colorless solution that is derived by dissolving formaldehyde gas in water.
It is a cancer-inducing chemical used to preserve fish is used as a disinfectant. It is used in the manufacture of pesticides, fertilizers, glue, paper, and paint, among other products.
Formalin causes irritation in the eyes, throat, skin, and stomach. In the long run, continued exposure causes harm to the kidneys, liver and can even cause cancers.
Formaldehyde is a highly reactive, flammable gas, which means it can become a fire hazard when exposed to flame or heat.
Formaldehyde solutions can be flammable when there are high concentrations of formaldehyde or methanol.