Bhubaneswar: In a shockingly revelation, several street children and school students in the capital have been found to be addicted to inhaling synthetic rubber based adhesives as they contain chemicals which act like intoxicants.
Shopkeepers selling these glues admit that students as well as street children are their regular customers.
“Street children often purchase them. We know they inhale it. Whenever we question them, they say they are buying it for cobblers. Some school children also purchase these glues claiming they need it for project work,” said Devraj Sahu, a shopkeeper at Cuttack road.
Usually, children who purchase these adhesives pour them on clothes or in plastic bags to inhale their toxic odor.
“I usually buy these from hardware shops and shops near the railway station. I inhale it three or four times a day as it kills my hunger,” said Satya (name changed), a street child.
Doctors say most of these adhesives contain chemicals like toluene and other intoxicating hydrocarbons. When inhaled, these chemicals can create neurotoxin effect like drugs.
“Even college students use it and it is a type of substance abuse. These toxins when inhaled will go directly to the blood. Frequent use can result in neurological depression and can even result in permanent damage of nerves,” said Regional Medical Research Centre (Bhubaneswar) director Sanghamitra Pati.
Cheap and easy availability of such glues is the major reason for its use by children. Legal experts say the government cannot ban sale of these products but can consider imposing restrictions on their sale to children.
“There is a need for inspection and monitoring by the authorities to prevent the sale of these products to children. The government can instruct manufactures of these products to carry warning that these products contain harmful chemicals,” said Anuradha Mohanty, a leading child rights activist.
Jose K Joseph
Post News Network