In News 

    • Recently, the Supreme Court issued notice on a petition seeking contempt action against Kerala for not disbursing ?5 lakh each as compensation to the victims of endosulfan pesticide exposure.

    About Endosulfan 

    • 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 intiatives 
      • 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