According to him, the CMC study is what is called a cross- sectional study—it shows association but not causation. High rate of cancer and genetic disorders. 2.Sampling Problem with the study populations. This is a major political issue now, and Kerala’s political parties ignore it in the upcoming elections at their own peril. Cattles with congenital anomalies and cancers are more likely to be sold for slaughter. Off the record, though, they call the entire process a sham. Consequently, the Govt. 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. In 2001, tests … Among the very first was a study by the Delhi-based environmental activist group Centre for Science and Environment (CSE). At last count, there were over 300. 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. In one of the several emails exchanged with me before we met, he proclaimed in capital letters, ‘The endosulfan king is naked.’. 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 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. Again, the spraying occurred on only two days each year. The first group consists of the inhabitants of the polluted territory. More than 3000 people living near, downstream and downwind of the estate were affected by debilitating rare diseases like… On december 16, the Kerala government announced compensation for about 2,000 people affected by spraying of endosulfan in cashew plantations of Kasargod district. Study of occupational health of workers exposed to ionizing radiation in the Aluva plant of the Indian Rare Earths. According to him, a few cases of misclassification don’t mean there are no victims. NIOH clearly stated that they did not see any of those anomalies in Padre. “But now, people are fighting to be included in the victims list.”. 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. DISASTER OF ENDOSULFAN IN KASARGOD AND KANNUR. Also known as “Sapthabhasha Sangamabhoomi” as seven major languages are spoken here. Men and women in this area are now finding it difficult to find spouses, as stories of their tainted genes get around. In the preliminary report submitted to the NHRC, Meencha village was named as the control area and the students were labeled as control subjects. Villagers drinking the water would therefore probably not consume the pesticide. Effect of endosulfan on male reproductive development. In no case do Kasargod’s numbers exceed India’s national averages. – short duration. 11, 14 Mar, 2015. NIOH, Final report of the investigation of unusual illnesses allegedly produced by endosulfan exposure in Padre village of Kasargod district (N. Kerala). People residing in these areas were found to have congenital birth defects, reproductive health problems, loss of immunity, etc. 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. Services from different departments are brought under one umbrella at any CSC. Study on the environmental pollution control of some pesticides and insecticides in soil by using bacteriae. Here, the rate of diseases observed in the study population has to be compared with the rates in another (control) population that is not exposed to the agent under consideration. The last row gives data of total population and sex ratio in villages Padre and Meencha, the sources of the samples. Endosulfan was detected in only 2 samples out of 22 water samples analysed during the second phase of sampling. 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. 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. The Endosulfan tragedy also caused many ailments. I couldn’t see any ‘abnormal’ occurrence.”. The age and gender composition of the NIOH sample is given in table 3. For over 20 years, cashew plantations in Kasargod district in Kerala used Endosulfan as a pesticide. Kasargod became a part of Kannur district of Kerala following the reorganization of states and the formation of Kerala on 1 November 1956. Thus they concluded that, ome of the reports in the press have shown congenital malformations and other problems in the cattle. 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.’. In his youth, Sreekumar, the son of a farmer, was a huge proponent of organic farming. So I cannot give a straightforward answer.” Several of the other doctors I spoke to were unwilling to go on record against the official policy line. Endosulfan was detected in only 2 samples out of 22 water samples analysed during the second phase of sampling. As activists exchanged notes, they realised these symptoms were confined to Kasaragod, the sole district where endosulfan was aerially sprayed. Study of growth pattern of children born to survivors of Bhopal accident. Besides The Meenja sample consists of those with no exposure and low dose exposures and the Padre sample consists of subjects with no exposure and high dose exposure. By 1990s health disorders of very serious nature among the human population came to the lime light. Besides This was to eradicate tea mosquitoes in the cashew plantations. By this token, there are hundreds of chemicals that we use daily that show similar inconclusive signs of carcinogenicity. NIOH “study was scientifically planned, designed, and carried out by a team of experts, which included epidemiologists, physicians, pediatricians, medical toxicologists, statisticians, analytical chemists, and biochemists, who have years of experience in conducting such studies and have many publications to their credit.” The subjects of the study were students of two schools – one located in village Padre and the other in village Meenja. Children were found to be the worst affected with congenital anomalies, mental retardation, physical deformities, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, hydrocephalus etc. As much as activist and political groups want endosulfan to be India’s DDT, it is far from proven that the pesticide indeed caused the diseases seen in Kasargod. Updated on 13 March 2015. Review of death due to cancer and other diseases among the survivors of atom bombs – being submitted. Aerial spraying of endosulfan has been banned since 2000. 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. Sayed Habibulla was the principal investigator. By the time the ban was imposed in 2001, he was convinced they weren’t. CSE and NIOH have done fairly elaborate studies. 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. This study too was shot down, not just by pesticide manufacturers, but independent scientists such as Sreekumar. In short, this is not a comparative study of exposed and unexposed groups. The pesticide was banned by the state govt after its widespread use in Kasargod harmed many. The scientific process requires that the results of any study be reproducible. These may be good copies for the media and music for the environmentalists. 29. PCK started spraying organochlorine pesticide called endosulfan that has been banned in many countries then, by aerial methods to counter the tea mosquito. They think the husband has murdered her and take him to the police station. This study, published in 2011, was no huge improvement. The Government of Kerala Committee’s study was headed by Dr Sukumaran and included experts in medicine, cancer epidemiology, environmental sciences and agricultural sciences. Endosulfan has been an easy target. (P 46) In the paper published in the Environmental Health Perspective a year later, the compared population is referred to as the control group. No compensation was being paid then. 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. 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. Impacts of nuclear weapons tests on global climate – ongoing. According to Naik, doctors in Kasargod are confused because they have no scientific guidelines to identify victims. (Details in table 2). Continuing Disaster Of Endosulfan In Kasargod And Kannur Districts Of Kerala. Investigation of Unusual Illnesses Allegedly Produced by Endosulfan Exposure in Padre Village of Kasargod District (N. Kerala). Its residues spread far and wide via wind and rain, leaving a trail of destruction in the district and neighbouring regions of Karnataka, killing more than 1,00… The mode of transport in this case was few first order streams that originated from the sprayed village. For 20 years, this pesticide—endosulfan—was aerially sprayed on thousands of hectares of hilly cashew plantations in Kasargod. File image. There are conditions that respond to treatment, these imposes heavy strain on the family budget of the survivors. 2003; 111:1958–1962. Government doctors say the incidence of diseases such as cancer, cerebral palsy and hydrocephalus is no higher in the district of Kasargod than in the rest of India. I have no problem with that. In 2009, when the Stockholm Convention classified endosulfan as a persistent organic pollutant, or POP, things got complicated for India. If the claim for compensation has to go through a tribunal, the existing evidences will be blown into bits. Onmanorama.Kasaragod News. In Periya, there are only two persons with disabilities out of a total population of 9,388. It neither remains in soil for long, nor does it accumulate in the bodies of large mammals. 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. Narendra Modi has declared war on black money. It is not even proven that Kasargod suffers from a higher incidence of these diseases. 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. NIOH study suffers from two serious design defects, which are being discussed below. Endosulfan Poisoning in Kasargod, Kerala, India 9. Despite years of spraying at much higher frequencies, no health effects on humans were reported. Mony dismisses this approach for identifying victims as ‘balderdash’. The Kerala government, of course, hasn’t blamed only cancer on endosulfan. The prevalence of diseases in Karadka, Mooliyar and Periya is lower than in unsprayed area. 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. The NIOH study was mandated by the NHRC in response to the media reports that projected the observations of Dr Mohankumar. 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. 1.The problems of exposure and non-exposure, NIOH was mandated to study the effects of exposure to endosulfan on health. 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. Was science co-opted to suit political interests? 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. 34% of the female subjects and 14% of the male subjects from Meencha had endosulfan in their blood. On two days each year, endosulfan was sprayed on cashew plantations from a helicopter. India was one of the biggest producers & consumers of endosulfan. These values are comparable to the sex ratios of rural Kasargod. “‘Your son has a disease due to endosulfan’— people like to hear this,” says a government doctor who wishes to remain anonymous. Majority of the exposed people and the victims lived far away from the sprayed area and were not subjected to aerial exposure. Then there are villages far from the cashew plantations which also see a high rate of disease, such as Mogral Puthur. 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. But this is merely a reconstruction. A lesson in how India handles scientific debate, Priyanka Pulla If these were true, both the samples might have experienced a serious reproductive bottleneck or higher death rate in young people during 20 years before the study. Abstract Between 1976 and 2000, more than 50,000 villagers of Kasargod district in Kerala, India have been exposed to endosulfan, a persistent organic pesticide, sprayed on the cashew plantations owned by the Plantation Corporation of Kerala. From the studies carried out by scientists such as Laabs and Kennedy, we can picture the following scenario: Endosulfan falling on leaves would degrade within a mere 15 days in the hot weather of Kasargod, unlike other POPs such as DDT. Exposed parents’ children born several years after the accident suffered significantly. 1550/20/10/HFW, dated: 09.04.2010 (Annexure I). This is confirmed by Bruce Pyke, an official from Australia’s Cotton Development Corporation Council. The Kerala government has imposed a complete ban on the use of the pesticide endosulfan, which is alleged to have led to congenital deformities and even deaths in the state’s Kasargod district. The normal sex ratio in age group 0-9 is 1040. Environmental samples like soil, lake sediments and drinking water were analyzed for the concentration of endosulfan products. Study of climate change mitigation potential in organic farming. Scores of victims of endosulfan at Kasargod district in Kerala staged a novel protest on Monday by staging a day-long fasting at their houses and spread the pictures through social media. Details are given below: NIOH did find some statistically significant increases in some health problems in the study population. This, too, would get degraded within a month. A delay of two years in the appearance of moustache and advancement of menarche by one year are really important issues. Concentration of endosul fan was below detection limit in all the 22 samples analysed during the third phase. 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 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. There exists one study linking paracetamol to a higher incidence of liver cancer. He had information on 175 diseases/disorders from 125 households. To sum up, there are three villages with disability rates higher than the normal, and three villages with disability rates lower than the normal. There is a high incidence of disorders of the central nerves system, Cancer and reproductive disorders. Study of occupational health of workers in Gwalior Rayon’s viscose rayon plant at Nagda in Madhyapradesh – Published in EPW and PUCL. Source: Table 34. To study the endosulfan degrading microorganisms, 20 soil samples were collected from five different cashew plantations having a history of endosulfan applications. There is also an epidemic of fear, says Sreekumar. NIOH study found endosulfan in soil samples of a village, some 25 km away from the sprayed village. To understand its flaws, I approached Prem Mony, who heads the division of epidemiology at St John’s Research Institute in Bangalore. Unlike in Kasargod, these farmers spray endosulfan using handheld sprayers, meaning they are likely to be exposed to more of the chemical. (MS) No. It has linked a mind-boggling variety of diseases—ranging from autism to sterility to mental retardation—to a single chemical. Men and women were also affected with various chronic ailments, many irreversible and difficult to treat. Reproductive fitness of the cattle was also included in NIOH study. Risk of all the conditions taken together is five and a half times in Enmakaje, three and a half times in Panathady and three times higher in Kallar. People living in more than 20 gram panchayats in Kasargod district were exposed to the insecticide endosulfan – a highly potent neurotoxin – between 1975 and 2000, when the public sector Plantation Corporation of Kerala sprayed the chemical aerially on its 12,000-acre cashew estates. They submitted their preliminary report in 2001 and final report in 2003 to the National Human Rights Commission. 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. The normal question a sensible person will ask is “why there is lower disease burden in other villages. This picture may well be the face of the global anti-endosulfan campaign, just as Pablo Bartholomew’s photo of a partially buried child became the face of the Bhopal gas tragedy. ( Log Out / SC also directed the Kerala government to pay Rs 500 crores as compensation to over 5,000 victims. 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