Intended for healthcare professionals


Seven days in medicine: 4-10 July 2018

BMJ 2018; 362 doi: (Published 12 July 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;362:k3027

Re: Seven days in medicine: 4-10 July 2018

Health Hazards of Formalin in Fish and other Foods.

This is the first time samples of fish in Tamil Nadu India have tested positive for formalin.

As many as 11 out of 30 samples of fish species purchased by The Hindu English News Daily Newspaper of India, from Chinthadripet and Kasimedu, the two major fish markets in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, on two different days were tested by scientists of Tamil Nadu Dr. J. Jayalalithaa, Fisheries University, on July 4 and July 8, 2018 and found positive for formalin, a carcinogenic chemical used illegally to preserve fish.

However, use of formalin as a preservative for fish and other food products is already banned by the Government of Tamil Nadu.

The widespread unethical use of formalin in the preservation of fish, fruit and other food items is posing a risk to public health.

Formalin in food products is known to be carcinogenic. It can cause cancer in all body organs, and leukemia. It can also cause kidney, liver, and lung diseases.

Competing interests: No competing interests

13 July 2018
M.A. Aleem
Emeritus Professor* Neurologist**The
Tamilnadu Dr.M.G.R.Medical University*. ABC Hospital**.
Chennai*600032. Trichy** 620018 . Tamilnadu India