Bengaluru: The private aircraft that the government intends to use for cloud seeding in the state from Friday, has arrived from the USA fully equipped for the job at Jakkur Airport. Cloud seeding will be done at a cost of Rs 35 crore to help farmers owing to the failure of the monsoon.
The radars are expected to be installed over the next two to three days. Although around 45 countries have been using the technology for the last 40 years, Karnataka tried cloud seeding for the first time in 2003 during the S M Krishna government when Mr Patil was Water Resources Minister. The then government spent Rs 9 crore over 83 days on the exercise.
Sliver Toxicity: https://www.nature.nps.gov/hazardssafety/toxic/silver.pdf
“Hazards to fish, wildlife, and other non-human biota:
In fish and amphibian toxicity tests with 22 metals and metalloids, silver was the most toxic tested element as judged by acute LC50 values. In solution, ionic silver is extremely toxic to aquatic plants and animals. Among all tested species, the most sensitive individuals to silver were the poorly nourished and young and those exposed to low water hardness or salinity.”
Is Cloud seeding Harmful?
The Office of Environment, Health and Safety, UC Berkeley, rates silver iodide as a Class C, non-soluble, inorganic, hazardous chemical that pollutes water and soil.(8) It has been found to be highly toxic to fish, livestock and humans.(6,7,8,9) Numerous medical articles demonstrate that humans absorb silver iodide through the lungs, nose, skin, and GI tract.(7,8,9) Mild toxicity can cause GI irritation, renal and pulmonary lesions, and mild argyria (blue or black discoloration of the skin). Severe toxicity can result in hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, shock, enlarged heart, severe argyria, and death by respiratory depression.(8)
Moreover, a key manufacturer of silver iodide for weather modification, Deepwater Chemicals, warns of potential health effects of silver iodide in their Material Safety Data Sheet as follows:
Chronic Exposure/Target Organs: Chronic ingestion of iodides may produce “iodism”, which may be manifested by skin rash, running nose, headache and irritation of the mucous membranes. Weakness, anemia, loss of weight and general depression may also occur. Chronic inhalation or ingestion may cause argyria characterized by blue-gray discoloration of the eyes, skin and mucous membranes. Chronic skin contact may cause permanent discoloration of the skin.(10)
Under the guidelines of the Clean Water Act by the EPA, silver iodide is considered a hazardous substance, a priority pollutant, and as a toxic pollutant.(10)