Services from different departments are brought under one umbrella at any CSC. (MS) No. “But this could be due to some other reason that we don’t know. 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. ( Log Out /  – Aerial Exposure, Living inside the plantations – about 300 families, Living very close to the plantation – > 2000 families, Living downstream and downwind from the spray site – not estimated, Workers who were handling the pesticide and spraying equipments – about 300, Study of genetic effects among 70,000 people living in coastal villages of Kollam and Alapuzha. But that is not all that is wrong with the CMC study. SR is aberrant in the reference area also with 1080 boys in 0-9 years (male excess) and 842 (male deficit) in age group 10-19. For over 20 years, cashew plantations in Kasargod district in Kerala used Endosulfan as a pesticide. Our preliminary inquiry in this matter is showed that no significant differences in health problems were reported by the subjects in the two areas”. Concentration of endosul-fan was below detection limit in all the 22 samples analysed during the third phase. There exists one study linking paracetamol to a higher incidence of liver cancer. Later Kasargod was divided into two Taluks for the ease of administration - Kasargod and Hosdurg. Children were found to be the worst affected with congenital anomalies, mental retardation, physical deformities, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, hydrocephalus etc. Despite government promises, official efforts to … Endosulfan Tragedy of Kerala. Endosulfan was aerially sprayed over Padre and not in Meenja. On two days each year, endosulfan was sprayed on cashew plantations from a helicopter. The sex ratio (males per 1000 females) in Meencha village from which the reference sample is drawn is 989. They submitted their preliminary report in 2001 and final report in 2003 to the National Human Rights Commission. Likewise, Padre from which the study population is drawn has a sex ratio of 970. Endosulfan a pesticide used mainly in cashew plantation is a highly toxic endocrine disrupter and a contact stomach poison. The SC bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar also asked the state to consider setting up … 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. 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.’. The last row gives data of total population and sex ratio in villages Padre and Meencha, the sources of the samples. To sum up, NIOH team did not find any increase in diseases prevalent in PCK villages and are associated with endosulfan in the public mind. Several of the people being compensated today have diseases that have nothing to do with endosulfan, such as deafness and diabetes. The Endosulfan tragedy also caused many ailments. For one thing, the Convention’s decision is by no means beyond scientific debate. The Bhopal Gas Tragedy ensured that Indians have no faith in the regulatory system. | Prone to long-range atmospheric transport, Endosulfan linked to serious health disorders in the citizens residing in these areas. Blood samples of boys and girls were analyzed for endosulfan products, chromosomal anomalies, and hormones related to growth, thyroid and reproductive system. Reproductive fitness of the cattle was also included in NIOH study. 2.Sampling Problem with the study populations. 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. Mithua Ghosh, a senior researcher at the HCG group of cancer hospitals, says animal studies are merely the first step towards showing how a chemical will affect human beings. 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. No compensation was being paid then. But it doesn’t hold weight. In the final report, the label has been changed as reference area and reference population. But to him, this doesn’t change anything, because he believes the fault with the CMC study lies only with data analysis. Kasaragod is known as the Land of Gods. subjects of the study were students of two schools – one located in village Padre and the other in village Meenja. 1977-The Plantation Corporation of Kerala (PCK) has been cultivating cashew in 4500 hectares of land in this district. Suskumaran committee report is mirrored on the website of the Endosulfan Relief and Rehabilitation Council. After the toxicity of the pesticide came into limelight in 2001 in Kasargod District, Kerala banned it. No living animal can survive such poisoning. But let them not say it is based on science, because the science on which [it is] based is junk,” he says. Plantaions Muliyar, Periye, Enmakaje, Cheemeni and Pedre were sprayed with endosulfan continously. “For public policy decisions to be taken, a peer-reviewed and published study should have been used,” says Mony, pointing out that the CMC study wouldn’t pass muster if taken through a peer-review process. NHRC, the Government of Kerala, the anti-POP activists and victims support groups and large sections of the local media believe that the link between endosulfan exposure and the epidemic unfolding in Kasargod villages has been established. The study has two major design defects – (1) Endosulfan was found in soil samples and blood samples from the reference villages also. Mohammed Asheel too admits that the CMC study is flawed, and that non-victims were wrongly compensated. To sum up, there are three villages with disability rates higher than the normal, and three villages with disability rates lower than the normal. 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. It is easy for India to assume that pesticide manufacturers are always evil. 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. Out of fear, the burglar stabs the wife. Meanwhile, Manoj Kumar, secretary of the Kerala Government Medical Officers’ Association, says only that “it is a controversial issue. Saiyed H, Dewan A, Bhatnagar V, Shenoy U, Shenoy R, Rajmohan H, et al. 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. 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. 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. Kasargod is the last formed district in Kerala. But human exposure to the sulfate would be about a thousandth of the exposure to endosulfan. This is perhaps why neither the World Health Organization, nor the American or Australian regulatory authorities classify endosulfan as a carcinogen. 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. For 20 years, this pesticide—endosulfan—was aerially sprayed on thousands of hectares of hilly cashew plantations in Kasargod. While NIOH study was in-depth and high-tech, Sivaraman committees work was very extensive. He had information on 175 diseases/disorders from 125 households. Consequently, the Govt. It covered 160,000 people, half them ‘exposed’ to endosulfan. For over 20 years, cashew plantations in Kasargod district in Kerala used Endosulfan as a … By 1990s health disorders of very serious nature among the human population came to the lime light. Men and women were also affected with various chronic ailments, many irreversible and difficult to treat. This means that each time a study is carried out, it should yield the same result—in this case, that endosulfan causes tumors. 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. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. Mony explains that measuring exposure to the pesticide—whether through air, soil or blood levels—is vital to a good epidemiological study. 1550/20/10/HFW, dated: 09.04.2010 (Annexure I). 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. Study of occupational health of workers in Gwalior Rayon’s viscose rayon plant at Nagda in Madhyapradesh – Published in EPW and PUCL. Besides “If there is a problem in the BPL (below-poverty-line) list,” he argues, “that doesn’t mean there is no poverty. 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. More than 3000 people living near, downstream and downwind of the estate were affected by debilitating rare diseases like… These statutory bodies have wasted more than eight years. To protect this crop, the pesticide endosulfan was used with heavy damage to human health. Why, then, is Kasargod the only place in the world that believes it has been affected by endosulfan? birth deformity in cattle in the study area was 1.3% as against 1.6% in the reference area. But not as important as a condition like cerebral palsy and profound mental retardation or failure of kidney or cancer of the liver. India can well choose to accept the Stockholm Convention’s decision and discontinue the use of endosulfan as a precautionary measure. The NIOH study was mandated by the NHRC in response to the media reports that projected the observations of Dr Mohankumar. The exposed people may be living very far away from the scene of spray. And the occurrence of several diseases in villages close to the sprayed plantations is below this threshold. Narendra Modi has declared war on black money. Especially so if high tech endpoints like studies of hormones, DNA mutation and concentration of toxins in nanogram levels are to be measured. Thus they concluded that, ome of the reports in the press have shown congenital malformations and other problems in the cattle. In response to the many flaws in the NIOH study, the Calicut Medical College (CMC) was commissioned to undertake a study with guidance from India’s reputed Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR). 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. India was one of the biggest producers & consumers of endosulfan. Onmanorama.Kasaragod News. Environmental samples like soil, lake sediments and drinking water were analyzed for the concentration of endosulfan products. 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. 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. S Mohammed Irshad. For 25 years, till 2002, the Plantation Corporation of Kerala had sprayed the pesticide on its land. 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. Prone to long-range atmospheric transport, Endosulfan linked to serious health disorders in the citizens residing in these areas. Even if the CMC study did spot a high incidence of disease in Kasargod, it cannot say it was caused be endosulfan. group”. The exposure can be to an agent in environment, a microbe, a chemical (endosulfan, tobacco smoke), heavy metals like cadmium or a physical agent like ionizing and non-ionizing radiation. We therefore selected Meenja Panchayat area as, . There is a high incidence of disorders of the central nerves system, Cancer and reproductive disorders. The people living inside the plantations and downwind and downstream of the experiment were exposed to this hazardous chemical for 25 years. Mohammed Asheel is a fast talker. 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. 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. This is a complete study of a small sample of the exposed population. 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. STUDY OF EFFECT OF ENDOSULFAN IN INDIA . Package for endosulfan victims in Kerala. 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. Majority of the exposed people and the victims lived far away from the sprayed area and were not subjected to aerial exposure. Mony’s point is that a cross-sectional study is vulnerable to exactly this kind of faulty conclusion. SC also directed the Kerala government to pay Rs 500 crores as compensation to over 5,000 victims. 34% of the female subjects and 14% of the male subjects from Meencha had endosulfan in their blood. of India banned the sale and use of Endosulfan in Kerala from 2005 onwards. We therefore selected Meenja Panchayat area as control. 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. ( Log Out /  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. In 2009, when the Stockholm Convention classified endosulfan as a persistent organic pollutant, or POP, things got complicated for India. It has linked a mind-boggling variety of diseases—ranging from autism to sterility to mental retardation—to a single chemical. This is a complete study of a small sample of the exposed population. The first of the two populations is known as the study population. Immediate relief and a permanent solution on the financial compensation are the primary need of this group of stakeholders. Concentration of endosul fan was below detection limit in all the 22 samples analysed during the third phase. Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com. Again, the spraying occurred on only two days each year. 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. The Government of Kerala Committee’s study was headed by Dr Sukumaran and included experts in medicine, cancer epidemiology, environmental sciences and agricultural sciences. 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. And how. 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. Goiter incidence was higher among girls in the study area. SC also directed the Kerala government to pay Rs 500 crores as compensation to over 5,000 victims. 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”. Kerala Endosulfan victims allege negligence by state govt. Endosulfan was aerially sprayed over Padre and not in Meenja. While the focus earlier was on Padre village, the health impacts are evident in people of nearly 11 panchayats in the district. 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. 50, Issue No. The mode of transport in this case was few first order streams that originated from the sprayed village. Was science co-opted to suit political interests? The prevalence of diseases in Karadka, Mooliyar and Periya is lower than in unsprayed area. Tea plantations, paddy and fruit orchards in other areas of Kerala also used this pesticide administered via aerial spraying or manual pumps. 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. Closer home, there is paracetamol, the ubiquitous pill we don’t think twice before popping for fevers and colds. Off the record, though, they call the entire process a sham. But this is merely a reconstruction. It is an accepted medical fact that in any given population, 1-2 per cent of the people have congenital disease by pure chance alone. Chronic exposure through water and food appears to be the major pathway. Even suicide victims, who swallow endosulfan deliberately, have less than 10 parts per million in their blood. 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. The Investigation of Unusual Illnesses Allegedly Produced by Endosulfan Exposure in Padre Village of Kasargod District (N. 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. 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. To prove it, longer more complicated studies such as case-control studies or cohort studies would have to be conducted. But his or her body would quickly excrete anything entering it. According to him, a few cases of misclassification don’t mean there are no victims. Endosulfan has been an easy target. The normal sex ratio in age group 0-9 is 1040. Tea plantations, paddy and fruit orchards in other areas of Kerala also used this pesticide administered via aerial spraying or manual pumps. I have no problem with that. 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. It turns out that cotton farmers all over India have used the chemical for many years. It would be ridiculous, therefore, to say paracetamol causes cancer based on a single study. The first question he dodges is: how many different diseases are being considered as part of aid to victims of endosulfan? There is also an epidemic of fear, says Sreekumar. It means that endosulfan is classified along with notorious pesticides such as DDT and Dieldrin because of certain characteristics—a tendency to remain in soil without degrading for long periods of time, to accumulate in the bodies of living organisms, and to travel across long distances and cause harm to living beings. Just as he reaches her, the rest of the family rushes in and sees the scene. PCK started spraying organochlorine pesticide called endosulfan that has been banned in many countries then, by aerial methods to counter the tea mosquito. Continuing Disaster Of Endosulfan In Kasargod And Kannur Districts Of Kerala. Second, there are rat studies that indicate the opposite—that endosulfan does not cause tumors. Both the populations should be comparable in terms of sex and age structure, ethnicity, food habits, life styles, social class etc. GOVT OF KERALA’S SIVARAMAN COMMITTEE REPORT. More than 3000 people living near, downstream and downwind of the estate were affected by debilitating rare diseases like… CSE and NIOH have done fairly elaborate studies. This means that PCK considers an area within about 300 meters from the boundary of the plantations as exposed. I couldn’t see any ‘abnormal’ occurrence.”. 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. (P 46) In the paper published in the Environmental Health Perspective a year later, the compared population is referred to as the control group. Thus they concluded that “some of the reports in the press have shown congenital malformations and other problems in the cattle. CONTINUING DISASTER OF ENDOSULFAN IN KASARGOD AND KANNUR DISTRICTS OF KERALA, 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. Kasargod was declared a district in the year 1984. Then there are villages far from the cashew plantations which also see a high rate of disease, such as Mogral Puthur. Kerala bans endosulfan after 500 deaths over 20 years. 1550/20/10/HFW, dated: 09.04.2010 (Annexure I). DISASTER OF ENDOSULFAN IN KASARGOD AND KANNUR. August 8 that the import of endosulfan into the South American country will be banned from July 1, 2012[21]. The scientific process requires that the results of any study be reproducible. 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. Sex ratio of the reference and the study populations in the sample is 835 and 782 males per 1000 females respectively. Sayed Habibulla was the principal investigator. According to Naik, doctors in Kasargod are confused because they have no scientific guidelines to identify victims. As activists exchanged notes, they realised these symptoms were confined to Kasaragod, the sole district where endosulfan was aerially sprayed. This graph shows that in three villages – Enmakaje, Panathady and Kallar there is a serious problem. Despite years of spraying at much higher frequencies, no health effects on humans were reported. Villagers drinking the water would therefore probably not consume the pesticide. The health department has no interest in finding out real culprit—“if one exists,” he says. 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 … The question is no longer whether India should ban endosulfan. Asheel also shares another study that links prostate cancer among men with exposure to several pesticides such as endosulfan and DDT. In one of the several emails exchanged with me before we met, he proclaimed in capital letters, ‘The endosulfan king is naked.’. High Power Committee appointed by the Government of Kerala, Study of radioactive burden to river Periyar and the Arabian Sea by the Indian Rare Earth’s thorium milling facility at Eloor, Economic and Political Weekly. As of now, there are only two centres. The formulation that was sprayed contained about 0.05-0.1 per cent of endosulfan, a small amount to begin with. There are two groups of stake holders on this side of the fence of endosulfan debate. Its name literally means ‘Association to fight the insult of endosulfan’ and ‘insult’ refers to what has been meted out to the local community, which is how these residents view the social stigma that blights Kasargod. 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. 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. Researchers studying children from many villages in Kasargod District, Kerala, India, have linked endosulfan exposure to delays in sexual maturity among boys. “‘Your son has a disease due to endosulfan’— people like to hear this,” says a government doctor who wishes to remain anonymous. Kasaragod district, Kerala in four different phases to assess the contamination by endosulfan applied on cashew plantations. By the time the ban was imposed in 2001, he was convinced they weren’t. Kerala E-District project intend to provide Government services to citizens through Common Service Centers(CSC) which are easily accessible. Journal of American Medical Association. An Invisible Disaster. And in hot tropical climates, endosulfan does not behave as it does in cooler temperate climates. Updated on 13 March 2015. 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 tragedy of people exposed to pesticide Endosulfan in Kasaragod district of Kerala is continuing. 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, of endosulfan. Concentration of endosul fan was below detection limit in all the 22 samples analysed during the third phase. 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As “ Sapthabhasha Sangamabhoomi ” as seven major languages are spoken here mental... Of moustache and advancement of menarche by one year are really important issues NIOH sample is given two... Another study that links prostate cancer among men with exposure to high doses natural radiation causes visible effects! Been settled so far Plachimada before 5 years and after 5 years and after 5 years and 5... Probably not consume the pesticide and raises a crucial question culprit— “ if one exists, ” he his! In rats populations. ” NIOH final report in 2003 to the pesticide—whether through air, soil lake! Endosulfan after 500 deaths over 20 years, cashew plantations which also see a high incidence disorders. Accident suffered significantly cancer based on a smaller sample last row gives data of total population sex! Disease, such as deafness and diabetes found in blood samples – CSE and NIOH studies showed results. Debate, Priyanka Pulla | 22 may, 2013 team is learning from plantation! With the husband has murdered her and take him to the total exposed communities impossible has data on diseases! The legal framework of the exposed population is 1218 and 1255 respectively population and ratio.