The Karnataka state Food Commissionerate on Thursday issued an order partially banning the production and sale of nail polish removers and whiteners in bottled form.
Stating that children, especially from from poor backgrounds, were resorting to sniffing ink erasers, nail polish removers and other such products to get a high, the commissionerate has submitted the order to the state government.
Joint Director (food safety) Dr Shivakumar told The News Minute that the ban will be on whiteners and nail polish removers in bottled form only.
“They can be sold in other forms, including in pens or tubes, like the recent ban on the same by the Haryana government,” he said.
There are two reasons for this, he points out. One, that selling these items in pen/tube form will decrease the quantity of the item that comes out of the container. And two, a total ban on these items is not feasible.
"For now, we have issued notice to Kores, a Mumbai-based firm that is the only producer of whiteners, stating that they can no longer sell them in bottled form. We are yet to take a decision on nail polish removers, as there are many producers involved in its sale," Dr Shivakumar added.
Ideally, all manufacturers of nail polish removers must change their containers and not sell them in bottles. However, a decision on this can be arrived at only after detailed meetings with the stakeholders, he said.
The idea of imposing the ban, he maintains, is to send out the message that these items are heavily abused by children. Though the ban shall come into effect immediately, the department has decided to spread awareness in the first phase.
"Only after our enforcement officers reach out to stores to convey the reason for the ban, and after giving them ample time to switch to pens/tubes, the department will start taking action against the defaulters," he said.
But the department appears to be uncertain about how long this will take.