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Tuesday, November 2

Endosulfan : Fact Sheet

 
Endosulfan 
 Fact Sheet






Persistent organic pollutant
Endosulfan is a ‘persistent organic pollutant’ (POP) as defined under the Stockholm
Convention: it is persistent in the environment, bioaccumulative, demonstrates long
range environmental transport, and causes adverse effects to human health and the
environment. Endosulfan is listed as a POP in the Convention on Long-range
Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP), and is recognised as a Persistent Toxic
Substance by the United Nations Environment Programme.

Yesterday’s pesticide
First registered for use in 1954, endosulfan is a broad spectrum organochlorine
insecticide. Following international recognition of their long term negative impacts on
the global environment, organochlorines, including DDT, chlordane and HCH, have
been largely eliminated from use in global agriculture. Endosulfan remains the major
exception and is still widely applied to crops – particularly in the developing world.



 Widespread contamination
Due to its potential to evaporate and travel long distances in the atmosphere,
endosulfan has become one of world’s most widespread pollutants. Endosulfan is
now found extensively in global water resources, soils, air, rainfall, snow and ice
deposits and oceans, including in remote ecosystems such as the Arctic, Antarctic,
 Great Lakes, Canadian Rockies, Costa Rican rainforests, Alps, and Himalayas.

In human breast milk
Endosulfan is a widespread contaminant of human breast milk and has been found in
samples from women in Egypt, Madagascar, South Africa, El Salvador, Kazakhstan,
India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Spain, Colombia, Nicaragua, Sub-Saharan Africa,
Denmark and Finland, and in umbilical cord blood samples in Denmark, Finland,
Spain, USA, Japan. A survey of women in Denmark and Finland found endosulfan in
all samples of breast milk (total = 280) and in all placental samples (total = 130).
Neither country has ever recorded heavy use of endosulfan.

Threats to wildlife
According to the European Union “endosulfan is very toxic to nearly all kinds of
organisms”.1 Levels in the environment are frequently high enough to impact on
wildlife. According to the US EPA, “Monitoring data and incident reports confirm that
endosulfan is moving through aquatic and terrestrial food chains and that its use has
resulted in adverse effects on the environment adjacent to and distant from its
registered use sites”.2 Endosulfan is detected in the tissues of animals worldwide,
including polar bears, antelope, crocodiles, Minke whales, and African vultures.

Arctic contamination
Arctic concentrations of other organochlorine pesticides, such as DDT, chlordane,
and HCH, are now falling. Yet levels of endosulfan remain high. A 2005 study
showed a 3-fold increase in the concentration of endosulfan in the blubber of Beluga
whales. Arctic fish species show a similar trend. According to the US EPA: “Based on
the detection of endosulfan in areas distant from use sites, such as the Arctic, and its
potential to persist and bioaccumulate, the [US EPA] Agency has concerns for
dietary exposure of indigenous peoples to endosulfan.”3

Unsafe to users
According to the US EPA, endosulfan presents “short- and intermediate-term risks for
mixers, loaders, and applicators for the majority of uses, even with maximum
Personal Protective Equipment and engineering controls”.4 Mandatory safety
equipment in the US includes chemical resistant footwear, chemical resistant gloves,
chemical resistant head gear and a respirator. A survey of endosulfan sprayers
working in Spain found 100% (total = 220) had traces of the insecticide in their blood.

Widespread poisonings
Endosulfan is one of the most frequently reported causes of unintentional poisoning,5
particularly in Asia, Latin America, and West Africa. Most cases occur as a result of
occupational exposure. Poisoning incidents, including fatalities, are documented in
Benin, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines,
Mali, New Zealand, Senegal, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Togo, Turkey and USA.

Impacts on health
Acute endosulfan poisoning can cause convulsions, psychiatric disturbances,
epilepsy, paralysis, brain oedema, impaired memory and death. Long term exposure
is linked to immunosuppression, neurological disorders, congenital birth defects, 
chromosomal abnormalities, mental retardation, impaired learning and memory loss.

Food contamination
Endosulfan is an abundant food contaminant globally and is present in a wide range
of fruits and vegetables, as well as dairy products (milk, butter, cheese) and meat
(beef, lamb, pork). In Africa, Asia and South America, endosulfan is present in
drinking water resources, while in USA, China, Australia and West Africa, endosulfan
has been detected in fish and seafood.

Towards a global ban
Endosulfan is banned or withdrawn in 55 countries worldwide; mostly in Europe,
West Asia and the Far East. In February 2008, Benin became the first major West
African country to announce a ban, following recommendations from local pest 
management experts.

Safer alternatives are available
Successful replacement of endosulfan has been achieved in all countries where
endosulfan is now banned including France, Spain, Greece and Portugal – all major
users prior to the EU ban in 2006. Farmers in some non-EU countries have also
converted away from endosulfan, including in cotton, soy and coffee production. A
2008 study in Sri Lanka showed that yields of all crops, including rice and tea, have
been maintained since a national ban in 1998.


The information above is drawn from ‘Information for the consideration of Endosulfan, Provision of information to the
Stockholm Convention Secretariat for use by the POPs Review Committee (POPRC), Pesticide Action Network
(PAN) International, 30 June 2008’.
Key references are indicated below:

1 GFEA-U. 2007. Endosulfan. Draft Dossier prepared in support of a proposal of endosulfan to be considered as a
candidate for inclusion in the CLRTAP protocol on persistent organic pollutants. German Federal Environment
Agency – Umweltbundesamt Berlin, February

2 US EPA. 2007. Addendum to the Ecological Risk Assessment for Endosulfan. Memorandum to Special Review and
Reregistration Branch. October 31. EPA-HQ-OPP-2002-0262-0063
3 US EPA. 2007. Note to reader. Endosulfan Readers Guide. November 16. EPA-HQ-OPP-2002-0262-0057

4 US EPA. 2007. Note to reader. Endosulfan Readers Guide. November 16. EPA-HQ-OPP-2002-0262-0057

5 GFEA-U. 2007. Endosulfan. Draft Dossier prepared in support of a proposal of endosulfan to be considered as a
candidate for inclusion in the CLRTAP protocol on persistent organic pollutants. German Federal Environment
Agency – Umweltbundesamt Berlin, February

2 comments:

SoorajmalayattiL said...

എന്‍ഡോസള്‍ഫാനേ കുറിച്ച് കൂടുതല്‍ അറിയാന്‍ ഈ സൈറ്റ് നോക്കുക.


http://www.pesticideinfo.org/Detail_Chemical.jsp?Rec_Id=PC35085#Working

Rahul said...

CPM backed Government gave green signal for Endosulfan usage with out doing proper study of it's consequences to human health.This shows a strong polluted commercial link between CPM and Endosulfan's corporates.