“But now, people are fighting to be included in the victims list.”. 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. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. India was one of the biggest producers & consumers of endosulfan. The Kerala government, of course, hasn’t blamed only cancer on endosulfan. This group has been exposed through all the pathways listed above and can hence be considered as the highly exposed group. Change ), DETAILS OF HOUSES, PEOPLE AND WELLS – CASHEW PLANTATION, Dr.P.K.Sivaraman Additional Director of Health Services (PH), As early as 1979, stunted growth and deformed limbs were noticed among new born calves. Meanwhile, a human exposed directly to the spray would get less than 1 per cent of what amounts to a lethal dose of endosulfan, the dose that can cause death. Prone to long-range atmospheric transport, Endosulfan linked to serious health disorders in the citizens residing in these areas. Most scientists agree with Kennedy’s point. This POP is still being applied widely India and is also available in Kerala. In January 2012, The Guardian ran an article saying half the homes in the village of Kattuka (Kattukukke misspelt) in Kasargod had a disabled person—a gross exaggeration. The National Institute Occupational Health (Indian Council of Medical Research) says that after studying various aetiological factors responsible for health problem was aerial spraying of Endosulfan.” www.endosulfanvictims.org. Endosulfan was the only pesticide applied to cashew plantations in the villages for 20 years, and had contaminated the village environment. This is the first report of a statistically significant increase of some abnormalities detected in human beings subjected to long term chronic exposure of endosulfan. There are serious design defects in this study and these might make any extrapolation of the findings to the total exposed communities impossible. This article highlights the aftermath of aerially spraying endosulfan, a toxic pesticide, in Kasaragod District of Kerala. Endosulfan was aerially sprayed over Padre and not in Meenja. ( Log Out /  This district is famous for its cashew plantation. Kasaragod is known as the Land of Gods. Especially so if high tech endpoints like studies of hormones, DNA mutation and concentration of toxins in nanogram levels are to be measured. After the toxicity of the pesticide came into limelight in 2001 in Kasargod District, Kerala banned it. 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 best known image among them is a picture of a child with hydrocephalus. This muddies the waters. Several of the local doctors who spoke to him were highly cynical of what was being reported. Tea plantations, paddy and fruit orchards in other areas of Kerala also used this pesticide administered via aerial spraying or manual pumps. Endosulfan was detected in only 2 samples out of 22 water samples analysed during the second phase of sampling. “If they want to give compensation as a precautionary measure for political reasons, let them say so. Goiter incidence was higher among girls in the study area. These statutory bodies have wasted more than eight years. From NIOH report: “Our major criteria for the selection of reference population was the similarity (in) ethnic background, climate, food habits, occupations, crops and socio-economic status and absence of aerial spray of endosulfan. But the residents of Kasargod are finally hitting back. 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 half-life of endosulfan varies from 60 days to 800 days. 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. 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. A portion of the data from this report was published in Environmental Health Perspective, a peer-reviewed published by the US National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Endosulfan was detected in only 2 samples out of 22 water samples analysed during the second phase of sampling. The Investigation of Unusual Illnesses Allegedly Produced by Endosulfan Exposure in Padre Village of Kasargod District (N. Kerala). PCK started spraying organochlorine pesticide called endosulfan that has been banned in many countries then, by aerial methods to counter the tea mosquito. In 2011, SC banned the production, distribution & use of endosulfan in India. Paediatricians examined the willing subjects for assessing the sexual maturity. Concentration of endosulfan in the top 7.5 cm of soil from Meencha was five times higher than in the study area. August 8 that the import of endosulfan into the South American country will be banned from July 1, 2012[21]. This means higher endosulfan levels did not lead to higher rates of disease. Kasaragod district, Kerala in four different phases to assess the contamination by endosulfan applied on cashew plantations. Our preliminary inquiry in this matter. The normal sex ratio in age group 0-9 is 1040. NIOH study sample consisted of less than 2% of the people chronically exposed to endosulfan continuously for twenty years. According to him, a few cases of misclassification don’t mean there are no victims. NIOH study found endosulfan in soil samples of a village, some 25 km away from the sprayed village. Asheel’s talk is peppered with words such as ‘gaba receptors’ and ‘COPD’ (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), medical terminology that will throw most lay people off. SC also directed the Kerala government to pay Rs 500 crores as compensation to over 5,000 victims. The exposed people may be living very far away from the scene of spray. Kasargod District is located in the southern part of India in Kerala State. [63] [64] This inspired protests, and the pesticide was banned in Kerala as early as 2001, following a report by the National Institute of Occupational Health. Was science co-opted to suit political interests? For Kerala, the statistics for disabilities (mental, physical, visual or hearing) are available in the Census report for 2001 and the National Sample Survey —- round). Meanwhile, an association of countries grouped under the Stockholm Convention, which aims to eliminate the use of dangerous chemicals in the world, called for a global ban on endosulfan in 2009. NIOH clearly stated that they did not see any of those anomalies in Padre. Some people have been exposed through all four pathways and they will be in the high dose category. | The community can be living in a compact area, as was the case with Bhopal, or may be families of workers living in different places, or any other group like students in an institution. But these would not be statistically significant. Consequently, the Govt. 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. Then again, aerial spraying is different from hand spraying, say activists. 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. Updated on 13 March 2015. Blood samples of boys and girls were analyzed for endosulfan products, chromosomal anomalies, and hormones related to growth, thyroid and reproductive system. Source: Table 34. It neither remains in soil for long, nor does it accumulate in the bodies of large mammals. 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. Paediatricians examined the willing subjects for assessing the sexual maturity. 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 To protect this crop, the pesticide endosulfan was used with heavy damage to human health. 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. NIOH made the following recommendations to the NHRC: “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.”, The physiography of Padre village has been a major factor responsible fond continued. Jacquleen Joseph. But to him, this doesn’t change anything, because he believes the fault with the CMC study lies only with data analysis. Because of the difference between the age structure and the sex ratio between the study and reference samples and population in Kasargod villages, extrapolation of the findings in this study to the total exposed population may not be possible. It is not even proven that Kasargod suffers from a higher incidence of these diseases. Dr Y Mohankumar, a physician with more than two decades of practice in Padre village had published his shocking finding of 171 patients with severe disabilities and cancer in 126 households. It turns out that cotton farmers all over India have used the chemical for many years. As a rule, soil, water and sediments in valleys will be higher than that in the foothills. 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. All the environmental media studied have been contaminated with endosulfan. 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. 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. High rate of cancer and genetic disorders. Tea plantations, paddy and fruit orchards in other areas of Kerala also used this pesticide administered via aerial spraying or manual pumps. Kerala News 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. In the final report, the label has been changed as reference area and reference population. 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. Mean reduction of 200 gm in birth weight. Endosulfan a pesticide used mainly in cashew plantation is a highly toxic endocrine disrupter and a contact stomach poison. (2) Difference in age structure and sex ratio between the study and reference groups and between the samples and the mother villages from which the samples were drawn. The Bhopal Gas Tragedy ensured that Indians have no faith in the regulatory system. Besides Environmental samples like soil, lake sediments and drinking water were analyzed for the concentration of endosulfan products. The claim for compensation by the victims has not been settled so far. As of now, there are only two centres. Despite government promises, official efforts to … There is a high incidence of disorders of the central nerves system, Cancer and reproductive disorders. The endosulfan controversy first began in the late 1990s. The committee did not do this. Continuing Disaster Of Endosulfan In Kasargod And Kannur Districts Of Kerala. File image. When children develop a slight headache, mothers worry that this may be the onset of hydrocephalus. The SC bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar also asked the state to consider setting up … Mony dismisses this approach for identifying victims as ‘balderdash’. 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. And the conditions significantly higher in the exposed community, though important from a scientific and research point of view, are not the major source of worry for the exposed people. The age and gender composition of the NIOH sample is given in table 3. In Cheemeni and Ajanur, there are small differences of 20% and 13% respectively. Unlike in the case of aerial exposure, distance from the plantation may not be a good indicator of the concentration in water. 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. The case of the endosulfan disaster that occurred in Kasargod, Kerala can be accounted to environmental harms which detrimentally affected the environment and its units, especially humans. For 20 years, this pesticide—endosulfan—was aerially sprayed on thousands of hectares of hilly cashew plantations in Kasargod. Rate of infertility in cattle was 4 times higher in the reference area. While the focus earlier was on Padre village, the health impacts are evident in people of nearly 11 panchayats in the district. Saiyed H, Dewan A, Bhatnagar V, Shenoy U, Shenoy R, Rajmohan H, … (Details in table 2). Since endosulfan can cause mutation, the impacts of exposure during 1980-2000 will be felt several decades and even generations later. Reproductive fitness of the cattle was also included in NIOH study. Estimated number of people living in these houses is 1548 inside the plantation and 10,738 in the latter. The first group consists of the inhabitants of the polluted territory. We have to follow the government’s policy and toe the line. 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”. Onmanorama.Kasaragod News. Some of the services are also made available through online portal. If the exposed population is very large, the first study can be on a smaller sample. 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. 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. 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 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. S Mohammed Irshad. The pesticide was banned by the state govt after its widespread use in Kasargod harmed many. 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.’. 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. Formed in 1984 May 24; Kasargod became part of Kannur district of Kerala at the time of formation of Kerala in November 1, 1956. A delay of two years in the appearance of moustache and advancement of menarche by one year are really important issues. But it doesn’t hold weight. of India banned the sale and use of Endosulfan in Kerala from 2005 onwards. The normal question a sensible person will ask is “why there is lower disease burden in other villages. In the preliminary report submitted to the NHRC, Meencha village was named as the control area and the students were labeled as control subjects. Even after he begins answering my questions, he dodges a few. Sex ratio in age groups 0- 9 and 10-19 in the study population is 1218 and 1255 respectively. Published in International Journal for Health Services. 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. The case of the endosulfan disaster that occurred in Kasargod, Kerala can be accounted to environmental harms which detrimentally affected the environment and its units, especially humans. Objective: to see if exposure to high doses natural radiation causes visible genetic effects among their progenies. There are conditions that respond to treatment, these imposes heavy strain on the family budget of the survivors. The extent of aerial exposure will be a function of direction and speed of wind and the duration of suspension of endosulfan in air. Vol. Among the slides are abstracts of clinical studies that show that rat testicles shrink in size when they are continuously fed the pesticide for a month. 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. For 25 years, till 2002, the Plantation Corporation of Kerala had sprayed the pesticide on its land. Government doctors admit this, saying they experience pressure to include people in the endosulfan- affected list. 34% of the female subjects and 14% of the male subjects from Meencha had endosulfan in their blood. The people living inside the plantations and downwind and downstream of the experiment were exposed to this hazardous chemical for 25 years. For one thing, the Convention’s decision is by no means beyond scientific debate. Environ Health Perspect. Prone to long-range atmospheric transport, Endosulfan linked to serious health disorders in the citizens residing in these areas. NHRC and all the pro-victims campaigners assert that through this study, NIOH has proven the link between endosulfan and the epidemics in PCK villages. But the blood levels CSE reported, at over 100 parts per million, were not just high, they were unbelievable. Kasaragod is known as the Land of Gods. It only means that the system of classifying BPL people needs to be improved.”. Epidemiological Study. Unlike in Kasargod, these farmers spray endosulfan using handheld sprayers, meaning they are likely to be exposed to more of the chemical. 1550/20/10/HFW, dated: 09.04.2010 (Annexure I). Kasargod is the last formed district in Kerala. So far, several hundred crore have been disbursed to so-called endosulfan victims in Kerala, with very little proof that the pesticide was indeed the cause. And the occurrence of several diseases in villages close to the sprayed plantations is below this threshold. 1977-The Plantation Corporation of Kerala (PCK) has been cultivating cashew in 4500 hectares of land in this district. 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. 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. Study of growth pattern of children born to survivors of Bhopal accident. Another study suggests a link between endosulfan and autism among children in California. Impacts of nuclear weapons tests on global climate – ongoing. In soil, the chemical would degrade in less than a month. It covered 160,000 people, half them ‘exposed’ to endosulfan. Results – positive. 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. This part of research can be considered as more or less complete. Thus they concluded that, ome of the reports in the press have shown congenital malformations and other problems in the cattle. 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. The formulation that was sprayed contained about 0.05-0.1 per cent of endosulfan, a small amount to begin with. Environmentalists and denizens of this district began to believe this spray was slowly poisoning people. Read latest news updates from Kasaragod District Kerala in English. Without studying the reports, the National and the State Human Rights Commissions have been making radical demands on the Governments. Take malathion for example, a very old pesticide known to be relatively safe for humans. 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. Mohammed Asheel too admits that the CMC study is flawed, and that non-victims were wrongly compensated. 1.The problems of exposure and non-exposure, NIOH was mandated to study the effects of exposure to endosulfan on health. In 2001, tests … According to him, the CMC study is what is called a cross- sectional study—it shows association but not causation. 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. India was one of the biggest producers & consumers of endosulfan. The pesticide was banned by the state govt after its widespread use in Kasargod harmed many. 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 /  One can argue that the excesses in the first three villages were due to endosulfan. While NIOH study was in-depth and high-tech, Sivaraman committees work was very extensive. More than 3000 people living near, downstream and downwind of the estate were affected by debilitating rare diseases like… ( Log Out /  India, Around the world and many more.. ‘Intimate Scenes Need Structure More than a Love Scene’. Activist groups were quick to jump at the Convention’s decision to justify their claims that Kerala’s diseases were caused by endosulfan. At about the same time, the wife wakes up and comes to the kitchen to drink water. Under the existing legal framework, the is payment can only be decided by a tribunal or a court. Kasargod became a part of Kannur district of Kerala following the reorganization of states and the formation of Kerala on 1 November 1956. (MS) No. In his youth, Sreekumar, the son of a farmer, was a huge proponent of organic farming. To sum up, there are three villages with disability rates higher than the normal, and three villages with disability rates lower than the normal. The nodal medical officer of Kasargod district, who played a key role in Kerala’s campaign against the pesticide endosulfan, refuses to answer my questions until I see a slide-show on the toxic effects of this chemical. There is a high incidence of disorders of the central nerves system, Cancer and reproductive disorders. Men and women were also affected with various chronic ailments, many irreversible and difficult to treat. But not as important as a condition like cerebral palsy and profound mental retardation or failure of kidney or cancer of the liver. Ahmedabad, India:National Institute of Occupational Health. 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. File image. They submitted their preliminary report in 2001 and final report in 2003 to the National Human Rights Commission. Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com. This was to eradicate tea mosquitoes in the cashew plantations. 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 … Rate of infertility in cattle was 4 times higher in the reference area. Men and women in this area are now finding it difficult to find spouses, as stories of their tainted genes get around. Mony’s point is that a cross-sectional study is vulnerable to exactly this kind of faulty conclusion. There are two groups of stake holders on this side of the fence of endosulfan debate. This is why a single study is never enough to establish a fact. Reproductive fitness of the cattle was also included in NIOH study. 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. For over 20 years, cashew plantations in Kasargod district in Kerala used Endosulfan as a pesticide. birth deformity in cattle in the study area was 1.3% as against 1.6% in the reference area. Study of occupational health of workers exposed to ionizing radiation in the Aluva plant of the Indian Rare Earths. Services from different departments are brought under one umbrella at any CSC. This ongoing study is looking into soil carbon sequestration in organic and non-organic farms in three Indian states. An Invisible Disaster. These ailments included skin irritations, destruction of nerve tissues and reproductive and developmental damage in human beings and animals. that no significant differences in health problems were reported by the subjects in the two areas”. Men and women were also affected with various chronic ailments, many irreversible and difficult to treat. Again, the spraying occurred on only two days each year. Even if the CMC study did spot a high incidence of disease in Kasargod, it cannot say it was caused be endosulfan. 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. Also known as “Sapthabhasha Sangamabhoomi” as seven major languages are spoken here. Kerala Endosulfan victims allege negligence by state govt. Asheel also shares another study that links prostate cancer among men with exposure to several pesticides such as endosulfan and DDT. Budget of the findings to the police station increases in some health problems in the study population most... Example, a very old pesticide known to be the major pathway spouses, as stories of tainted. 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Each of these studies had major flaws—a reflection of the biggest producers & of. Endosulfan emerged in the case of most of the reports, the existing evidences be...

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