Endosulfan

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    In Context

    • The Supreme Court directed the Kasargod District Legal Services Authority in Kerala to inspect the medical and palliative care facilities provided to endosulfan victims.

    About

    • Numerous complaints have been filed regarding the Kerala state government’s failure to offer adequate health care infrastructure to Endosulfan victims
    • The State government claims that 98% (over 3700 people) of the victims have received ?5 lakh compensation as per the apex court’s 2017 judgment. 
    • The Kerala government also argued that it has provided victims with access to the required medical facilities. 

    Endosulfan

    • About:
      • Endosulfan is a pesticide. It is a cream- to brown-coloured solid that may appear in the form of crystals or flakes.
      • It smells like turpentine but does not burn. 
      • It does not occur naturally in the environment
      • It is sold as a mixture of two different forms of the same chemical (referred to as α- and β-endosulfan). 
    • Uses: 
      • It is used to control insects on food and non-food crops and also as a wood preservative
      • Endosulfan can be released into the air, water, and soil in areas where it is applied as a pesticide.
    • Health effects:
      • The health effects of the chemical include neurotoxicity, late sexual maturity, physical deformities, poisoning, among others.
      •  People, especially newborns, have suffered deformities, health complications and loss of family members due to exposure to agrochemicals.
    • Ban in India: 
      • Endosulfan pesticide was used widely on crops like cashew, cotton, tea, paddy, fruits and others until 2011 when the Supreme Court banned its production and distribution. 
    • Other initiatives: 
      • In 2012, when there was the threat of endosulfan leaks from old godowns, they were transferred to new godowns through a scheme called Operation Blossom Spring. 
        • It aims to restore organic farming practices back in the district and preserve the ecological balance.

    Source: TH