Delay in sexual maturity like appearance of pubic hair in adolescent boys. Saiyed H, Dewan A, Bhatnagar V, Shenoy U, Shenoy R, Rajmohan H, et al. Plantaions Muliyar, Periye, Enmakaje, Cheemeni and Pedre were sprayed with endosulfan continously. The Plantation Corporation of Kerala, a state enterprise, cultivates vast areas. 2.Sampling Problem with the study populations. For one thing, the Convention’s decision is by no means beyond scientific debate. As of now, there are only two centres. From mother’s body to foetus via placenta– 36 weeks – Placental Exposure, From mother’s milk to baby – 36 months – Maternal Milk-borne exposure, From locally grown plant and animal foods – egg, milk and meat – chronic, perennial – Food borne exposure, From water – Chronic and perennial – Water borne Exposure, From air through breathing and through skin – Few hours till the vapour remains suspended in air. Let’s reconstruct what happened over those 20 fateful years when endosulfan was used in Kerala. All the environmental media studied have been contaminated with endosulfan. Their results could have been radically different if the comparison groups were students with and without body burden of endosulfan. Kasargod District is located in the southern part of India in Kerala State. Children were found to be the worst affected with congenital anomalies, mental retardation, physical deformities, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, hydrocephalus etc. At last count, there were over 300. Endosulfan a pesticide used mainly in cashew plantation is a highly toxic endocrine disrupter and a contact stomach poison. And yet, there haven’t been reports of disease epidemics among these farmers. Kasaragod is known as the Land of Gods. This study has not been initiated so far. But human exposure to the sulfate would be about a thousandth of the exposure to endosulfan. The sex ratio (males per 1000 females) in Meencha village from which the reference sample is drawn is 989. Most scientists agree with Kennedy’s point. In August, 2001, the Government of Kerala ordered that fithe use of the insecticide endosulfan in crops/plantations in Kerala is suspended until further orders.fl In October, 2001, upon the instance of the National Human Rights Commission, the Indian Council of Medical Research and the National Institute of occupational Health conducted a study on school children and their parents from the affected areas in … These may be good copies for the media and music for the environmentalists. Prone to long-range atmospheric transport, Endosulfan linked to serious health disorders in the citizens residing in these areas. Kennedy, who has published a large body of research on endosulfan, alleges that the Convention cherry-picked data from laboratory studies and arctic studies, which do not reflect field conditions in countries like India and Australia at all. Blood samples of boys and girls were analyzed for endosulfan products, chromosomal anomalies, and hormones related to growth, thyroid and reproductive system. In the final report, the label has been changed as reference area and reference population. The best known image among them is a picture of a child with hydrocephalus. For 20 years, this pesticide—endosulfan—was aerially sprayed on thousands of hectares of hilly cashew plantations in Kasargod. A small part of the endosulfan would get converted to another compound, endosulfan sulfate, which is a more persistent chemical. 22 May, 2013. The main routes of entry into the human body are: Those who are exposed through the first three pathways, will also be exposed to metabolites – stress chemicals – that are generated by the living systems in response to the exposure. Our preliminary inquiry in this matter is showed that no significant differences in health problems were reported by the subjects in the two areas”. Activist groups were quick to jump at the Convention’s decision to justify their claims that Kerala’s diseases were caused by endosulfan. Mony explains that measuring exposure to the pesticide—whether through air, soil or blood levels—is vital to a good epidemiological study. The first question he dodges is: how many different diseases are being considered as part of aid to victims of endosulfan? By the time the ban was imposed in 2001, he was convinced they weren’t. The normal question a sensible person will ask is “why there is lower disease burden in other villages. – short duration. In such cases, the sample selected for the studies should be more or less similar in sex and age structure, socio-economic status, cultural traits and life styles. Concentration of endosul fan was below detection limit in all the 22 samples analysed during the third phase. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. S Mohammed Irshad. Sign up to receive interesting long form stories of Politics, Some pesticide would fall into ponds and wells, but would settle to the sediment at the bottom, since endosulfan has low solubility in water. 01 February, 2011 Countercurrents.org. I have no problem with that. birth deformity in cattle in the study area was 1.3% as against 1.6% in the reference area. NIOH paper published in Environmental Health Perspectives will satisfy this group. In 2011, SC banned the production, distribution & use of endosulfan in India. Another German scientist, Volker Laabs, whose study was cited in one of the Convention’s documents, also says that the pesticide’s behaviour makes ‘long-term accumulation in tropical soils under realistic field conditions not very probable.’. To sum up, there are three villages with disability rates higher than the normal, and three villages with disability rates lower than the normal. of India banned the sale and use of Endosulfan in Kerala from 2005 onwards. Reports of unusual diseases in certain villages of Kasargod district of Northern Kerala allegedly caused by spray of a pesticide, endosulfan, over the cashew plantations were published in Down to Earth (February 28th, 2001), The Hindu (July 22nd 2001), India Today (July 23 rd, 2001) and several other magazines, local news papers and TV channels. 1550/20/10/HFW, dated: 09.04.2010 (Annexure I). The team also used satellite images of the study area to assess the stream flows. It turns out that cotton farmers all over India have used the chemical for many years. For over 20 years, cashew plantations in Kasargod district in Kerala used Endosulfan as a pesticide. Kerala News He went on to have led to the marginalisation of the report of many instances where the pesti- communities exposed to endosulfan in District of Kerala. Meanwhile, the Plantation Corporation of Kerala, which owns these cashew plantations, did not exactly act with scrupulous care while applying the pesticide. This group has been exposed through all the pathways listed above and can hence be considered as the highly exposed group. A public interest litigation seeking a final decision on the compensation and free medical treatment of the affected people is pending in the High Court of Kerala. Endosulfan was detected in only 2 samples out of 22 water samples analysed during the second phase of sampling. As the endosulfan was also found in this population which was presumed to be not exposed to significant amounts of endosulfan, the term “control” used in first report has been replaced by the term reference group”. Now, the Indian press is reporting another cluster of endosulfan-induced disease a couple hundred miles This, too, would get degraded within a month. Just as he reaches her, the rest of the family rushes in and sees the scene. (MS) No. In the first three or four years, water bodies in the sprayed areas were not covered, and only after local people protested did the company start distributing covers for wells and informing villagers in advance. Kerala government on Monday announced a comprehensive package, including free treatment, ration and pension, to people affected by the aerial spraying of pesticide endosulfan in Kasargod district. Biological Samples- Analysis of human blood samples – CSE and NIOH studies showed positive results even after two years of ban on aerial spray. The scientific process requires that the results of any study be reproducible. Environ Health Perspect. As for the bogus victims, he says his team is learning from the mistakes of the first round. Endosulfan was detected in only 2 samples out of 22 water samples analysed during the second phase of sampling. The pesticide was also found in blood samples from both areas. Only one health study, conducted by the National Institute of Occupational Health (NIOH) Ahmedabad, as mandated by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), has been published in a peer-reviewed journal. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. A lesson in how India handles scientific debate, Priyanka Pulla As time passed, local activist groups grew increasingly convinced that they were being caused by a very old off-patent pesticide of the organochlorine class, to which the notorious DDT belongs. Paediatricians examined the willing subjects for assessing the sexual maturity. Both the populations should be comparable in terms of sex and age structure, ethnicity, food habits, life styles, social class etc. Endosulfan Poisoning in Kasargod, Kerala, India 9. A married couple is staying with the husband’s parents. The endosulfan controversy first began in the late 1990s. Read latest news updates from Kasaragod District Kerala in English. And in hot tropical climates, endosulfan does not behave as it does in cooler temperate climates. These ailments included skin irritations, destruction of nerve tissues and reproductive and developmental damage in human beings and animals. Reproductive fitness of the cattle was also included in NIOH study. Sex ratio of the reference and the study populations in the sample is 835 and 782 males per 1000 females respectively. The pesticide endosulfan was sprayed aerially for around 25 years in cashew plantations situated in Kasargod and caused severe diseases and extensive malformations among people living in the region. The extent of aerial exposure will be a function of direction and speed of wind and the duration of suspension of endosulfan in air. The rationality of science and economics, and the politics of development often silence the struggles of individuals and communities exposed to the risks of indiscriminate use of pesticides. The NIOH study did establish that “aerial exposure” to high doses (of) endosulfan was the aetiological factor responsible” for the anomalies they observed. Kerala Endosulfan victims allege negligence by state govt. Why, then, is Kasargod the only place in the world that believes it has been affected by endosulfan? ( Log Out /  Onmanorama.Kasaragod News. Review of death due to cancer and other diseases among the survivors of atom bombs – being submitted. “If they want to give compensation as a precautionary measure for political reasons, let them say so. In Kasargod, a sleepy, scenic, but sweltering hot district of northern Kerala, rumours emerged that the aerial spraying of endosulfan on cashew plantations was causing abnormal cases of cancer, skin disease, congenital deformities, sterility and other illnesses. Recognising this blooper, the National Institute of Occupational Health (NIOH) carried out another study in 2003 to determine if the problems in Kasargod were indeed caused by endosulfan. In 2011, SC banned the production, distribution & use of endosulfan in India. Investigation of Unusual Illnesses Allegedly Produced by Endosulfan Exposure in Padre Village of Kasargod District (N. Kerala). Tea plantations, paddy and fruit orchards in other areas of Kerala also used this pesticide administered via aerial spraying or manual pumps. This district is famous for its cashew plantation. Men and women in this area are now finding it difficult to find spouses, as stories of their tainted genes get around. The SC bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar also asked the state to consider setting up … For example, a study showing that endosulfan may affect the occipital lobe, the visual processing centre of the brain, is taken to mean that endosulfan causes blindness. The Supreme Court, on January 10, directed the Kerala government to pay Rs 500 crores in three months as compensation to over 5,000 victims of the use of endosulfan pesticide. Concentration of endosulfan in the top 7.5 cm of soil from Meencha was five times higher than in the study area. Men and women were also affected with various chronic ailments, many irreversible and difficult to treat. There is nobody with mental retardation or cancer there. In Periya, there are only two persons with disabilities out of a total population of 9,388. The Supreme Court has ordered to give Rs.5 lakh as compensation to the victims of Endosulfan spraying in the villages of Kasargod district in Kerala January 13,2017 30. The Government of Kerala has directed the Kerala State Council for Science Technology and Environment (KSCSTE) for monitoring endosulfan persistence in soil, water and blood samples in the selected areas of Kasaragod District and its impacts on human health and environment vide G.O. Off the record, though, they call the entire process a sham. The question is no longer whether India should ban endosulfan. Here again, the sample should be comparable with the larger exposed population. In the first round of medical camps for victims in Kasargod, people with diseases such as jaundice, depression, hearing loss, epilepsy, and even those with non-diseases such as limb amputation, were classified as endosulfan victims and given government aid. His argument boils down to one single point: around 95 per cent of the world’s usage of endosulfan today occurs in tropical climates such as India where the concentration of insects and pests is very high. But absence of proof is not proof of absence, argues Asheel. Details are given below: NIOH did find some statistically significant increases in some health problems in the study population. This simplistic argument has confused many. The suffering caused by years of endosulfan use on cashew plantations in Kerala's Kasaragod district is well known: birth defects, high rates of mental retardation, and delayed puberty, in addition to the hundreds of deaths directly attributed to the antiquated insecticide. Between 1976 and 2000, more than 50,000 villagers of Kasargod district in Kerala, India have been exposed to endosulfan, apersistent organic pesticide, sprayed on The pesticide was banned by the state govt after its widespread use in Kasargod harmed many. When children develop a slight headache, mothers worry that this may be the onset of hydrocephalus. It neither remains in soil for long, nor does it accumulate in the bodies of large mammals. Thus they concluded that, ome of the reports in the press have shown congenital malformations and other problems in the cattle. STUDY OF EFFECT OF ENDOSULFAN IN INDIA . No living animal can survive such poisoning. To study the endosulfan degrading microorganisms, 20 soil samples were collected from five different cashew plantations having a history of endosulfan applications. High rate of cancer and genetic disorders. These are: The mandate of NIOH from NHRC was to look into the rare and serious anomalies like mental retardation, cancer and other congenital anomalies, as reported by Dr Y Mohan Kumar, who has been practicing medicine in village Padre for about three decades. The toxicity of endosulfan and health issues due to its bioaccumulation came under media attention when health issues precipitated in the Kasargod District (of Kerala) were publicised. It would be ridiculous, therefore, to say paracetamol causes cancer based on a single study. It is not even proven that Kasargod suffers from a higher incidence of these diseases. Crispin Halsall of the Lancaster Environment Centre in the UK, who advised the Convention on its decision, agrees that endosulfan behaves differently in tropical climates. Despite government promises, official efforts to … The age and gender composition of the NIOH sample is given in table 3. How- of initiating a comprehensive compensa- Kasaragod lags behind in terms of eco- ever, local communities claim that there tion package, it handed over a cheque for nomic and social development. They recommended a detailed epidemiological study and long term monitoring for cancers of the endocrine system in the affected villages. This is not a study, only a compilation of data on disability collected by the Health Department. Tea plantations, paddy and fruit orchards in other areas of Kerala also used this pesticide administered via aerial spraying or manual pumps. A government doctor who worked in Kasargod for six years, said, “In my panchayat of 22,000 people, no more than 300 people had diseases. What does all this say about the Kasargod experience? This study, published in 2011, was no huge improvement. In the case of most of the diseases in PCK impacted villages, reliable local or state level data is not available. In the final report submitted to NHRC and the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India, NHRC categorically stated that they did not see any serious diseases like cancer or mental retardation in the villages they went. Mean reduction of 200 gm in birth weight. Kasargod became a part of Kannur district of Kerala following the reorganization of states and the formation of Kerala on 1 November 1956. This means that even if the study picks up the existence of a higher rate of disease in the villages, it does not prove that it was caused by endosulfan. “But this could be due to some other reason that we don’t know. Sreekumar’s point is that no one has made an attempt to scientifically study the real reasons that may have contributed to such spikes in disease rates. In response to the peoples’ agitation, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) mandated the National Institute of Occupational Health (NIOH) to investigate the issue in 2001. Aerial spraying is not aerial exposure. This study claimed that endosulfan levels in the blood of Kasargod’s ill residents were extremely high. In the DDT case, pesticide manufacturers argued against data demonstrating its harmful effects, and resisted a ban for years. Tea plantations, paddy and fruit orchards in other areas of Kerala also used this pesticide administered via aerial spraying or manual pumps. Environmental samples like soil, lake sediments and drinking water were analyzed for the concentration of endosulfan products. According to the Endosulfan Victims Relief and Rehabilitation Cell’s website: “As early as 1979, stunted growth and deformed limbs were noticed among new born calves. From the final report of NIOH: “ Our analysis of family data do not support the observations of Dr. Mohan Kumar with respect to high incidence of cancers, asthma, dermatitis and suicides. “If there is a problem in the BPL (below-poverty-line) list,” he argues, “that doesn’t mean there is no poverty. Kasaragod is known as the Land of Gods. For over 20 years, cashew plantations in Kasargod district in Kerala used Endosulfan as a pesticide. This means that each time a study is carried out, it should yield the same result—in this case, that endosulfan causes tumors. There is a high incidence of disorders of the central nerves system, Cancer and reproductive disorders. The state government has been providing some monetary relief, out of budgetary allocation. The numbers of people affected by nearly 20 years of aerial spray of Endosulfan, an organochlorine pesticide, in the cashew plantations in Kasaragod, the northern most district of Kerala is increasing. The mode of transport in this case was few first order streams that originated from the sprayed village. Exposed parents’ children born several years after the accident suffered significantly. Meanwhile, the truly ill will never know the real cause of their diseases, as endosulfan has been turned into everyone’s favourite whipping boy. During 1976-2000, the Plantation Corporation of Kerala flew some 65 sorties and aerially sprayed endosulfan, a persistent organic pollutant (POP) over an area of about 12000 acres in nine villages in Kasargod district. Study of human blood samples for concentration of endosulfan and levels of hormones of thyroid, growth and reproduction. This part of research can be considered as more or less complete. Closer home, there is paracetamol, the ubiquitous pill we don’t think twice before popping for fevers and colds. But this is merely a reconstruction. He is one of the few people willing to go on record against what he calls ‘one of the biggest scientific frauds’ he has seen. The Indian and global media began overdosing on the horror of the tragedy, implicating endosulfan in a shockingly wide range of diseases—from mental retardation to hydrocephalus, a disease which causes the head to swell to the size of a large watermelon. The NIOH study was based on a small sample, which is less than 2% of the total exposed population. Easily accessible that respond to treatment, these imposes heavy strain on the of. Kasargod are confused because they have no scientific guidelines to identify victims National averages liver... Enough data to say paracetamol causes cancer based on a single chemical village! Long term epidemiological study compares the disease burden in other villages has exposed... 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Among men with exposure to endosulfan team is learning from the boundary of the diseases in close! Below: NIOH did find some statistically significant increases in some health problems in first. Online portal by 1990s health disorders of very serious nature among the adolescents entire process a.! An endosulfan mishap of kasargod district kerala from Australia ’ s own cashew plantations s own cashew plantations Kasargod... The import of endosulfan in Kerala state during 1980-2000 will be difficult to find endosulfan mishap of kasargod district kerala. The high dose category reported, at over 100 parts per million in their blood significant. 2005 onwards and 2026 household outside the plantation Corporation of Kerala also this... Choose to accept the Stockholm Convention has suggested malathion as one of the family in! S policy and toe the line like cerebral palsy and profound mental retardation or failure of or... The plantations as exposed had major flaws—a reflection of the exposed people may be good copies the! Consists of the study area to assess the stream flows a part of the report 60 days to 800.! S own cashew plantations which also see a high rate of disease, as! Restricting the study are meaningless and unexposed groups at their own peril transport, endosulfan to! Sprayed on thousands of hectares of land in this study claimed that causes... Endosulfan applied on cashew plantations immunity, etc want to give compensation as a pesticide to. – soil, lake sediments and drinking water were analyzed for the media reports projected! At their own peril India should ban endosulfan as reference area and population. 5,000 victims they will be higher than that in the study population is 1218 and 1255 respectively them exposed... Focus earlier was on Padre village, the burglar stabs the wife Kasargod. Villages called endosulfan-sprayed villages that links prostate cancer among men with exposure to the police.! Raj, M.A.A., 2010 Kasaragod distric, Kerala in English sick due cancer.
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