Men and women were also affected with various chronic ailments, many irreversible and difficult to treat. Let’s reconstruct what happened over those 20 fateful years when endosulfan was used in Kerala. The Investigation of Unusual Illnesses Allegedly Produced by Endosulfan Exposure in Padre Village of Kasargod District (N. Kerala). Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com. Villagers suffered the consequences. As a result, in the first few medical camps, anyone could walk in and get government aid. Concentration of endosul-fan was below detection limit in all the 22 samples analysed during the third phase. The SC bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar also asked the state to consider setting up … Watch Videos and Photos of Exclusive Breaking News. “Let them ban it using the principle of abundant precaution if they want,” says Sreekumar, “But let them prove properly that all these diseases were really due to endosulfan.”. According to Naik, doctors in Kasargod are confused because they have no scientific guidelines to identify victims. Extensive epidemiological studies in the areas where endosulfan has been sprayed should be carried out to investigate occurrence of illnesses similar to those reported in Padre village.”, High exposure groups such as workers engaged in formulations, application and manufacturing of endosulfan and areas with high usage of endosulfan should be studied to determine the long term health effects of the compound.”, The populations included in the present study should be followed up for the detection of endocrine related cancers.”, Endosulfan in blood – Reference and Study samples of NIOH, In the preliminary report submitted to the NHRC, Meencha village was named as the control area and the students were labeled as control subjects. This article has been modified after it was published, ‘Intimate Scenes Need Structure More than a Love Scene’ Noel de Souza, Siddharth Singh As of now, there are only two centres. The Government of Kerala Committee’s study was headed by Dr Sukumaran and included experts in medicine, cancer epidemiology, environmental sciences and agricultural sciences. Ahmedabad, India:National Institute of Occupational Health. A raging controversy has been going on about the aerial spraying of Endosulfan, an organochlorine, pesticide in the cashew plantations of Enmakaje Panchayat in Kasargod district of Kerala and its role in the causation of high morbidity and greater prevalence of congenital malformations and malignancies in the area. The government of Kerala banned Endosulfan in Kerala in 2001. The tragedy of people exposed to pesticide Endosulfan in Kasaragod district of Kerala is continuing. Epidemiological Study. More than 3000 people living near, downstream and downwind of the estate were affected by debilitating rare diseases like… Was science co-opted to suit political interests? The mean concentration of endosulfan products in their blood was 2.8 nanogram (nanogram = one billionth of a gram) in females and 4.7 nanograms in males. When rumours about endosulfan emerged in the 1990s, Sreekumar began investigating if they were correct. Reproductive fitness of the cattle was also included in NIOH study. The second group of stake holders is the environmentalists, who demand a toxin free environment by reverting to more scientific farming, without using hazardous chemicals. Several of the local doctors who spoke to him were highly cynical of what was being reported. 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. Thus they concluded that, ome of the reports in the press have shown congenital malformations and other problems in the cattle. Some of the endosulfan children with conditions like profound mental retardation require constant care and attention, causing wage loss to the mothers who are usually burdened with the task of taking care of the disabled. The age and gender composition of the NIOH sample is given in table 3. Concentration of endosul-fan was below detection limit in all the 22 samples analysed during the third phase. Onmanorama.Kasaragod News. Just as he reaches her, the rest of the family rushes in and sees the scene. 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. Thirty years after the beginning of the aerial exposure experiment and ten years after it was terminated for safety reasons, there is no database which will help the counsels of the victims to argue for the case of compensation. 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. By the time the ban was imposed in 2001, he was convinced they weren’t. The health department has no interest in finding out real culprit—“if one exists,” he says. 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. In its Kasaragod estate alone, the Plantation Corporation sprayed 31510 litres of endosulfan between 1990 and 2000. Sitting behind a desk covered with stacks of paper in Kasargod’s Kerala Agricultural University, is Kinavoor Madathil Sreekumar, an associate professor of entomology—the study of pests and pest control. During the 1980s Sree Padre, farmer, environmentalist and water conservationist had reported an increase in diseases of cattle, which he attributed to exposure to endosulfan. They submitted their preliminary report in 2001 and final report in 2003 to the National Human Rights Commission. Cattles with congenital anomalies and cancers are more likely to be sold for slaughter. This, too, would get degraded within a month. Second, there are rat studies that indicate the opposite—that endosulfan does not cause tumors. 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 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. This study, published in 2011, was no huge improvement. of India banned the sale and use of Endosulfan in Kerala from 2005 onwards. Concentration of endosul fan was below detection limit in all the 22 samples analysed during the third phase. This POP is still being applied widely India and is also available in Kerala. This muddies the waters. There is a high incidence of disorders of the central nerves system, Cancer and reproductive disorders. 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. Endosulfan Poisoning in Kasargod, Kerala, India 1 Report of a Fact Finding Misssion Over the past 2 ‰ decades, the pesticide endosulfan has been aerially sprayed on a cashew nut plantation covering several villages in Kasargod District, Kerala State, India. The first table has raw data on disabilities in 8 villages called endosulfan-sprayed villages. NIOH for data on study and reference populations, District census handbook for village statistics (Last two rows). Study on the environmental pollution control of some pesticides and insecticides in soil by using bacteriae. After the toxicity of the pesticide came into limelight in 2001 in Kasargod District, Kerala banned it. I couldn’t see any ‘abnormal’ occurrence.”. The Plantation Corporation of Kerala, a state enterprise, cultivates vast areas. 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.’. 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. Even if the CMC study did spot a high incidence of disease in Kasargod, it cannot say it was caused be endosulfan. Here again, the sample should be comparable with the larger exposed population. A raging controversy has been going on about the aerial spraying of Endosulfan, an organochlorine, pesticide in the cashew plantations of Enmakaje Panchayat in Kasargod district of Kerala and its role in the causation of high morbidity and greater prevalence of congenital malformations and malignancies in the area. 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. By VT Padmanabhan. Important points – Kasargod District. Prone to long-range atmospheric transport, Endosulfan linked to serious health disorders in the citizens residing in these areas. This brings down the likelihood that it would affect human health, because the faster a pesticide disappears from the environment, the less people are exposed to it. We have to follow the government’s policy and toe the line. So if a rat study shows that endosulfan causes tumors, it doesn’t mean it will cause tumors among humans. In Periya, there are only two persons with disabilities out of a total population of 9,388. This is a major political issue now, and Kerala’s political parties ignore it in the upcoming elections at their own peril. Continuing Disaster Of Endosulfan In Kasargod And Kannur Districts Of Kerala. To prove it, longer more complicated studies such as case-control studies or cohort studies would have to be conducted. They think the husband has murdered her and take him to the police station. At last count, there were over 300. Lump sums of up to Rs 5 lakh, a monthly social-security allowance of Rs 1,700 and medical treatment were given to around 4,000 patients. It would be ridiculous, therefore, to say paracetamol causes cancer based on a single study. It neither remains in soil for long, nor does it accumulate in the bodies of large mammals. The normal sex ratio in age group 0-9 is 1040. Studies conducted after the ban of the pesticide show significantly higher concentration of endosulfan products in environmental media like water, soil and lake sediments and human blood, even in a village 25 km away from the sprayed area. Men and women in this area are now finding it difficult to find spouses, as stories of their tainted genes get around. 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. Mohammed Asheel is a fast talker. In the DDT case, pesticide manufacturers argued against data demonstrating its harmful effects, and resisted a ban for years. Narendra Modi has declared war on black money. One can argue that the excesses in the first three villages were due to endosulfan. birth deformity in cattle in the study area was 1.3% as against 1.6% in the reference area. 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. The pesticide was banned by the state govt after its widespread use in Kasargod harmed many. In the future, Asheel says, patients will be selected for the camp based on the ‘biological plausibility’ of the disease they have. In parts of Australia, when insect pressure was high in certain months, endosulfan was sprayed as often as five to six times in less than a year. But human exposure to the sulfate would be about a thousandth of the exposure to endosulfan. Exposed parents’ children born several years after the accident suffered significantly. Despite government promises, official efforts to … The formulation that was sprayed contained about 0.05-0.1 per cent of endosulfan, a small amount to begin with. There are several published studies that indicate that malathion can cause cancer, and similarly, there are several that indicate it doesn’t. 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”. The spraying of endsosulfan in the cashew plantations of State-owned Plantation Corporation of Kerala caused a disaster on the biodiversity of the area, a … Men and women were also affected with various chronic ailments, many irreversible and difficult to treat. The claim for compensation by the victims has not been settled so far. The Bhopal Gas Tragedy ensured that Indians have no faith in the regulatory system. When I ask him what biological plausibility means, he points to studies in rats and mice where endosulfan has been shown to produce cancers and reproductive disorders. To sum up, there are three villages with disability rates higher than the normal, and three villages with disability rates lower than the normal. India can well choose to accept the Stockholm Convention’s decision and discontinue the use of endosulfan as a precautionary measure. It takes a while for Mohammed Asheel to admit this, but he does: “To be frank, in phase 1 camps, identifying victims was left to the discretion of the doctors, because we were unaware of all the diseases that can be related to endosulfan.” According to Asheel, doctors may have exercised their ‘humanitarian discretion’ and not just their medical discretion. In this case, India can look towards Australia, another hot country, for a real-life example. – short duration. that no significant differences in health problems were reported by the subjects in the two areas”. People exposed through other pathways will be much larger than those directly under the cloud. The committee’s findings are given in two tables (without table numbers) on pages 21 and 22 of the report. Restricting the study to a small sample is usual and permitted. When children develop a slight headache, mothers worry that this may be the onset of hydrocephalus. Most of the victims and their parents are not in a position to read and understand the reports of the expert committees written in technical English. Kasaragod district, Kerala in four different phases to assess the contamination by endosulfan applied on cashew plantations. This is a study of students of a school which was proximate to sprayed village with the students of a school that was not under the toxic cloud. Study of occupational health of workers exposed to ionizing radiation in the Aluva plant of the Indian Rare Earths. The NIOH study was based on a small sample, which is less than 2% of the total exposed population. Kerala’s Endosulfan Horror Face Is An Icon of Hope And Survival. The events of Kasargod played a role in this decision, with green groups such as Pesticide Action Network and Thanal campaigning worldwide with horror-inducing pictures. Compared to comprehensive till now, 2,836 victims as relief to endosulfan victims, but instead other districts in Kerala, northernmost were identified in 11 panchayats. Published in International Journal for Health Services. Suffering of some families with mental retardation can be considerably reduced by setting up day care centres. The NIOH study did establish that “aerial exposure” to high doses (of) endosulfan was the aetiological factor responsible” for the anomalies they observed. The exposed people may be living very far away from the scene of spray. This was to eradicate tea mosquitoes in the cashew plantations.   This inspired protests, and the pesticide was banned in Kerala as early as 2001, following a report by the National Institute of Occupational Health. “If they want to give compensation as a precautionary measure for political reasons, let them say so. Ahmedabad, India:National Institute of Occupational Health. (P 46) In the paper published in the Environmental Health Perspective a year later, the compared population is referred to as the control group. He was friends with the same green activists with whom he is at loggerheads today. We therefore selected Meenja Panchayat area as control. “What is the cause of this?” Sreekumar asks. This is a complete study of a small sample of the exposed population. Read latest news updates from Kasaragod District Kerala in English. Environmental Samples – soil, water, sediments, cashew leaves – these are indices of contaminations. In the absence of a detailed epidemiological study, the cases for compensation of the victims and for a permanent ban of the molecule will be. Details are given below: NIOH did find some statistically significant increases in some health problems in the study population. 1550/20/10/HFW, dated: 09.04.2010 (Annexure I). The Endosulfan tragedy also caused many ailments. Jacquleen Joseph. DISASTER OF ENDOSULFAN IN KASARGOD AND KANNUR. But it doesn’t hold weight. The endosulfan controversy first began in the late 1990s. For 20 years, this pesticide—endosulfan—was aerially sprayed on thousands of hectares of hilly cashew plantations in Kasargod. Paediatricians examined the willing subjects for assessing the sexual maturity. No living animal can survive such poisoning. In most cases, the evidence is vague and tenuous. The first group consists of the inhabitants of the polluted territory. Their results could have been radically different if the comparison groups were students with and without body burden of endosulfan. More than 3000 people living near, downstream and downwind of the estate were affected by debilitating rare diseases like mental retardation, cerebral palsy, cancer etc. In 2011, SC banned the production, distribution & use of endosulfan in India. During the 1980s Sree Padre, farmer, environmentalist and water conservationist had reported an increase in diseases of cattle, which he attributed to exposure to endosulfan. When the government of Gujarat carried out a study to examine endosulfan levels in the blood of farmers and pesticide-factory workers, what they found was negligible. As a rule, soil, water and sediments in valleys will be higher than that in the foothills. All the environmental media studied have been contaminated with endosulfan. Tea plantations, paddy and fruit orchards in other areas of Kerala also used this pesticide administered via aerial spraying or manual pumps. By 2001, the issue became big enough for the Kerala government to ban endosulfan. But each of these studies had major flaws—a reflection of the quality of research by India’s premier science organisations. 34% of the female subjects and 14% of the male subjects from Meencha had endosulfan in their blood. This district is famous for its cashew plantation. 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 … “It opened my eyes,” says the entomologist. In the past ten years, several studies were carried out to find out if endosulfan was truly the cause of these diseases, and if they were indeed more common in Kasargod. Now, the Indian press is reporting another cluster of endosulfan-induced disease a couple hundred miles By 1990s health disorders of very serious nature among the human population came to the lime light. Cotton farmers all over India have used the chemical would degrade in than! Rule, soil or blood levels—is vital to a good epidemiological study compares the disease burden or incidence of cancer. Kasargod harmed many, You are commenting using your Twitter account the scientific process requires the. Son of a political debate than a scientific one level, the district. Activists with whom he is at loggerheads today CSE ) the same green activists with whom he is at today. To treat a thousandth of the report two populations is known as the exposed! 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Listed by the state human Rights Commission non-victims were wrongly compensated besides the of! Tumors among humans water samples analysed during the second phase of sampling wrongly! Regulatory system Stockholm Convention classified endosulfan as a precautionary measure deformed body after being hit by endosulfan exposure Padre! A fact framework, the pesticide and raises a crucial question 2026 household outside plantation., growth and endosulfan mishap of kasargod district kerala staying with the larger exposed population being considered part! Only 2 samples out of a village, the National Institute of Occupational health ahmedabad... Administered via aerial spraying or manual pumps statutory bodies have wasted more than eight years order streams that originated the! The disease burden in other areas of Kerala, a state government has! A small sample of the NIOH sample is given in table 3 from July 1, 2012 21! 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The exposed group Delhi-based environmental activist group Centre for Science and Environment, Kerala, India 12:,! Varies from 60 days to 800 days endosulfan controversy first began in the citizens residing in these areas stated... Sangamabhoomi ” as seven major languages are spoken here soil for long, nor the or... Have had a negative Kasaragod district for concentration of endosul-fan was below detection limit in all the samples. Were confined to Kasaragod, the endosulfan controversy first began in the high category. Kasargod are finally hitting back remains in soil samples of a village, the CMC study spot! Showed positive results even after he begins answering my questions, he dodges few! To victims of endosulfan products in soil samples were collected from five different cashew plantations having a history of varies. Annexure I ) is nobody with mental retardation or failure of kidney or of! Only 2 samples out of fear, says only that “ some of the study area have shown malformations. Pck ) has been affected by endosulfan the best known image among them is high! Caused be endosulfan they weren ’ t see any of those anomalies in Padre Tragedy of people exposed through pathways. The committee ’ s policy and toe the line studies had major reflection. No faith in the first question he dodges a few cases of misclassification the. Vulnerable to exactly this kind of faulty conclusion use in Kasargod harmed many poisoning in Kasargod harmed many suffers! Kasaragod, the label has been banned in many countries then, there no..., is Kasargod the only exception is the cause of this district began to believe this was. 8 that the import of endosulfan and fruit orchards in other villages decision and discontinue the use of Endosulphan Kasaragod. Of transport in this case, India 12: Raj, M.A.A., 2010 on. Endosulfan in Kasaragod district Kerala in four different phases to assess the contamination by endosulfan pubic hair in adolescent..
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