Mumbai: Gutka packets on average contain seven per cent magnesium carbonate, which is a chemical used in fire extinguishers, according to The Food And Drug Administration. The news is alarming as 206 million Indians use some form of smokeless tobacco.
The World Health Organisation estimates that 26 per cent of adults in India, use some form of smokeless tobacco and 40 per cent of them die because of this habit.
Dr Prakash Gupta, Director of Healis Institute for Public Health, said, "Magnesium carbonate itself has very specific health effects but when it is added to gutka and gutka is consumed, it has far more serious health effects because then it is a carcinogen. It has lots of toxins and produces many fatal and non-fatal diseases in an individual so taken as a whole when Magnesium Carbonate is added to gutka, it is a very very serious."
10:42 AM, Apr 20, 2012