The SC bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar also asked the state to consider setting up … My chat with Jayakrishnan T, one of the authors of the CMC study, ends halfway when he says he is only answerable to epidemiologists. This means that each time a study is carried out, it should yield the same result—in this case, that endosulfan causes tumors. As for the bogus victims, he says his team is learning from the mistakes of the first round. Kerala E-District project intend to provide Government services to citizens through Common Service Centers(CSC) which are easily accessible. If the exposed population is very large, the first study can be on a smaller sample. And the occurrence of several diseases in villages close to the sprayed plantations is below this threshold. It neither remains in soil for long, nor does it accumulate in the bodies of large mammals. For over 20 years, cashew plantations in Kasargod district in Kerala used Endosulfan as a … The first question he dodges is: how many different diseases are being considered as part of aid to victims of endosulfan? Effect of endosulfan on male reproductive development. 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. (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 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. By 1990s health disorders of very serious nature among the human population came to the lime light. 22 May, 2013. 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. File image. 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. In 2009, when the Stockholm Convention classified endosulfan as a persistent organic pollutant, or POP, things got complicated for India. In its Kasaragod estate alone, the Plantation Corporation sprayed 31510 litres of endosulfan between 1990 and 2000. Suskumaran committee report is mirrored on the website of the Endosulfan Relief and Rehabilitation Council. CSE and NIOH have done fairly elaborate studies. In 2011, SC banned the production, distribution & use of endosulfan in India. This is not a study, only a compilation of data on disability collected by the Health Department. Reproductive fitness of the cattle was also included in NIOH study. High rate of cancer and genetic disorders. We therefore selected Meenja Panchayat area as, . Prone to long-range atmospheric transport, Endosulfan linked to serious health disorders in the citizens residing in these areas. 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. ( Log Out /  Saiyed H, Dewan A, Bhatnagar V, Shenoy U, Shenoy R, Rajmohan H, … From the final report of NIOH: “ Our analysis of family data do not support the observations of Dr. Mohan Kumar with respect to high incidence of cancers, asthma, dermatitis and suicides. 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. The suffering caused by years of endosulfan use on cashew plantations in Kerala's Kasaragod district is well known: birth defects, high rates of mental retardation, and delayed puberty, in addition to the hundreds of deaths directly attributed to the antiquated insecticide. The question is no longer whether India should ban endosulfan. India can well choose to accept the Stockholm Convention’s decision and discontinue the use of endosulfan as a precautionary measure. In the preliminary report submitted to the NHRC, Meencha village was named as the control area and the students were labeled as control subjects. of India banned the sale and use of Endosulfan in Kerala from 2005 onwards. NHRC and the governments ignored the main recommendation to undertake a full-length, detailed long term epidemiological study of all exposed persons. This group has been exposed through all the pathways listed above and can hence be considered as the highly exposed group. The Supreme Court, on January 10, directed the Kerala government to pay Rs 500 crores in three months as compensation to over 5,000 victims of the use of endosulfan pesticide. There is also an epidemic of fear, says Sreekumar. 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. The normal question a sensible person will ask is “why there is lower disease burden in other villages. 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. But human exposure to the sulfate would be about a thousandth of the exposure to endosulfan. India, Around the world and many more.. ‘Intimate Scenes Need Structure More than a Love Scene’. ( Log Out /  Kerala Endosulfan victims allege negligence by state govt. Kasaragod district, Kerala in four different phases to assess the contamination by endosulfan applied on cashew plantations. 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. Most of the victims and their parents are not in a position to read and understand the reports of the expert committees written in technical English. The claim for compensation by the victims has not been settled so far. 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. The last row gives data of total population and sex ratio in villages Padre and Meencha, the sources of the samples. “But now, people are fighting to be included in the victims list.”. The Stockholm Convention has suggested malathion as one of the alternatives to endosulfan for use by India. Study of occupational health of workers exposed to ionizing radiation in the Aluva plant of the Indian Rare Earths. In the future, Asheel says, patients will be selected for the camp based on the ‘biological plausibility’ of the disease they have. There were three exposure groups in NIOH study – (a) no exposure (b) low dose exposure and (c) high dose exposure. First, rat models often do not translate to human beings. “So far this is only a political issue,” says Naik, “We medical people have had no role in this.”. Rate of infertility in cattle was 4 times higher in the reference area. This was to eradicate tea mosquitoes in the cashew plantations. This means that the exposed group should be compared with a comparable unexposed group, which will be known as the control group. Some individuals among them are suffering from debilitating diseases, most of them incurable. Out of fear, the burglar stabs the wife. In situation where good and reliable local or regional health statistics are available, the rates found in the study population can be compared with that. Notes. This is a major political issue now, and Kerala’s political parties ignore it in the upcoming elections at their own peril. At about the same time, the wife wakes up and comes to the kitchen to drink water. Mony narrates the plot of a movie to explain the difference between association and causation. Only one health study, conducted by the National Institute of Occupational Health (NIOH) Ahmedabad, as mandated by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), has been published in a peer-reviewed journal. 2.Sampling Problem with the study populations. Blood samples of boys and girls were analyzed for endosulfan products, chromosomal anomalies, and hormones related to growth, thyroid and reproductive system. 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. 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. Endosulfan was aerially sprayed over Padre and not in Meenja. 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. They think the husband has murdered her and take him to the police station. “Let them ban it using the principle of abundant precaution if they want,” says Sreekumar, “But let them prove properly that all these diseases were really due to endosulfan.”. This is why a single study is never enough to establish a fact. Mean reduction of 200 gm in birth weight. Environmentalists and denizens of this district began to believe this spray was slowly poisoning people. Thus they concluded that, ome of the reports in the press have shown congenital malformations and other problems in the cattle. There is nobody with mental retardation or cancer there. Kasargod is the last formed district in Kerala. Thirty years after the beginning of the aerial exposure experiment and ten years after it was terminated for safety reasons, there is no database which will help the counsels of the victims to argue for the case of compensation. There is a high incidence of disorders of the central nerves system, Cancer and reproductive disorders. Around two weeks ago, tired of the lies of the media and politicians, an organisation called Endosulfan Apamaana Vimochana Samiti was formed. Chronic exposure through water and food appears to be the major pathway. Prone to long-range atmospheric transport, Endosulfan linked to serious health disorders in the citizens residing in these areas. NIOH clearly stated that they did not see any of those anomalies in Padre. 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. In most cases, the evidence is vague and tenuous. This POP is still being applied widely India and is also available in Kerala. So everyone in Kasargod must have fallen sick due to endosulfan. STUDY OF EFFECT OF ENDOSULFAN IN INDIA . 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. But the blood levels CSE reported, at over 100 parts per million, were not just high, they were unbelievable. In 2011, SC banned the production, distribution & use of endosulfan in India. 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. In no case do Kasargod’s numbers exceed India’s national averages. The damage to public utilities and infrastructure has been on the rise, Siddharth Singh that no significant differences in health problems were reported by the subjects in the two areas”. And in hot tropical climates, endosulfan does not behave as it does in cooler temperate climates. Despite government promises, official efforts to … Updated on 13 March 2015. The Investigation of Unusual Illnesses Allegedly Produced by Endosulfan Exposure in Padre Village of Kasargod District (N. Kerala). These are: The mandate of NIOH from NHRC was to look into the rare and serious anomalies like mental retardation, cancer and other congenital anomalies, as reported by Dr Y Mohan Kumar, who has been practicing medicine in village Padre for about three decades. The CMC study also does not specify the method it followed to arrive at a meaningful sample, a critical requirement for a good study. Sayed Habibulla was the principal investigator. Estimated number of people living in these houses is 1548 inside the plantation and 10,738 in the latter. An Invisible Disaster. 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. Perhaps one of the biggest critics of this decision is Ivan Kennedy, an environmental chemist at the University of Sydney, who has called it ‘bad bad science’. They submitted their preliminary report in 2001 and final report in 2003 to the National Human Rights Commission. “But this could be due to some other reason that we don’t know. 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. As activists exchanged notes, they realised these symptoms were confined to Kasaragod, the sole district where endosulfan was aerially sprayed. Published in International Journal for Health Services. Review of death due to cancer and other diseases among the survivors of atom bombs – being submitted. He was friends with the same green activists with whom he is at loggerheads today. Again, the spraying occurred on only two days each year. If the claim for compensation has to go through a tribunal, the existing evidences will be blown into bits. To understand its flaws, I approached Prem Mony, who heads the division of epidemiology at St John’s Research Institute in Bangalore. Men and women were also affected with various chronic ailments, many irreversible and difficult to treat. The committee did not do this. But this is merely a reconstruction. The Kerala government, of course, hasn’t blamed only cancer on endosulfan. 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 first round of medical camps for victims in Kasargod, people with diseases such as jaundice, depression, hearing loss, epilepsy, and even those with non-diseases such as limb amputation, were classified as endosulfan victims and given government aid. Meanwhile, Manoj Kumar, secretary of the Kerala Government Medical Officers’ Association, says only that “it is a controversial issue. Blood samples of boys and girls were analyzed for endosulfan products, chromosomal anomalies, and hormones related to growth, thyroid and reproductive system. In this case, India can look towards Australia, another hot country, for a real-life example. It turns out that cotton farmers all over India have used the chemical for many years. To sum up, there are three villages with disability rates higher than the normal, and three villages with disability rates lower than the normal. Ahmedabad, India:National Institute of Occupational Health. They submitted their preliminary report in 2001 and final report in 2003 to the National Human Rights Commission. In the DDT case, pesticide manufacturers argued against data demonstrating its harmful effects, and resisted a ban for years. Narendra Modi has declared war on black money. Thus they concluded that “some of the reports in the press have shown congenital malformations and other problems in the cattle. But it doesn’t hold weight. 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. (Details in table 2). Kasargod became a part of Kannur district of Kerala following the reorganization of states and the formation of Kerala on 1 November 1956. Besides This graph shows that in three villages – Enmakaje, Panathady and Kallar there is a serious problem. In response to the peoples’ agitation, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) mandated the National Institute of Occupational Health (NIOH) to investigate the issue in 2001. In his youth, Sreekumar, the son of a farmer, was a huge proponent of organic farming. 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. Both the populations should be comparable in terms of sex and age structure, ethnicity, food habits, life styles, social class etc. He insists that the problem of misclassification in the first medical camp has now been addressed. The Endosulfan tragedy also caused many ailments. By VT Padmanabhan. And yet, there haven’t been reports of disease epidemics among these farmers. The endosulfan controversy first began in the late 1990s. His argument boils down to one single point: around 95 per cent of the world’s usage of endosulfan today occurs in tropical climates such as India where the concentration of insects and pests is very high. Only then can it be said that endosulfan causes cancer in rats. Even suicide victims, who swallow endosulfan deliberately, have less than 10 parts per million in their blood. The best known image among them is a picture of a child with hydrocephalus. “‘Your son has a disease due to endosulfan’— people like to hear this,” says a government doctor who wishes to remain anonymous. Paediatricians examined the willing subjects for assessing the sexual maturity. The second group of stake holders is the environmentalists, who demand a toxin free environment by reverting to more scientific farming, without using hazardous chemicals. While it is a good argument, it opens a whole new can of worms. “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. 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 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. Important points – Kasargod District. If it was due to endosulfan, why didn’t this happen in all villages close to the cashew plantations?” he asks. Here again, the sample should be comparable with the larger exposed population. Biological Samples- Analysis of human blood samples – CSE and NIOH studies showed positive results even after two years of ban on aerial spray. Tea plantations, paddy and fruit orchards in other areas of Kerala also used this pesticide administered via aerial spraying or manual pumps. 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. It takes a while for Mohammed Asheel to admit this, but he does: “To be frank, in phase 1 camps, identifying victims was left to the discretion of the doctors, because we were unaware of all the diseases that can be related to endosulfan.” According to Asheel, doctors may have exercised their ‘humanitarian discretion’ and not just their medical discretion. A married couple is staying with the husband’s parents. During 1976-2000, the Plantation Corporation of Kerala flew some 65 sorties and aerially sprayed endosulfan, a persistent organic pollutant (POP) over an area of about 12000 acres in nine villages in Kasargod district. Did it really happen? Sex ratio of the reference and the study populations in the sample is 835 and 782 males per 1000 females respectively. The NIOH study was based on a small sample, which is less than 2% of the total exposed population. Mony explains that measuring exposure to the pesticide—whether through air, soil or blood levels—is vital to a good epidemiological study. Some want to sell their land and move elsewhere, but the belief that the soil is poisoned ensures that they will get only throwaway prices. 1.The problems of exposure and non-exposure, NIOH was mandated to study the effects of exposure to endosulfan on health. 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. Kerala Endosulfan victims allege negligence by state govt. The NIOH study did establish that “aerial exposure” to high doses (of) endosulfan was the aetiological factor responsible” for the anomalies they observed. Endosulfan was used extensively as an aerial spray, including over the state’s own cashew plantations. “If there is a problem in the BPL (below-poverty-line) list,” he argues, “that doesn’t mean there is no poverty. 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. 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. 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 the final report submitted to NHRC and the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India, NHRC categorically stated that they did not see any serious diseases like cancer or mental retardation in the villages they went. The Plantation Corporation of Kerala, a state enterprise, cultivates vast areas. Without studying the reports, the National and the State Human Rights Commissions have been making radical demands on the Governments. Investigation of Unusual Illnesses Allegedly Produced by Endosulfan Exposure in Padre Village of Kasargod District (N. Kerala). 29. 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. The endosulfan controversy first began in the late 1990s. The Indian and global media began overdosing on the horror of the tragedy, implicating endosulfan in a shockingly wide range of diseases—from mental retardation to hydrocephalus, a disease which causes the head to swell to the size of a large watermelon. 29. 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. Vol. The exposed people may be living very far away from the scene of spray. An epidemiological study compares the disease burden or incidence of selected diseases, abnormalities two or more population groups. The Meenja sample consists of those with no exposure and low dose exposures and the Padre sample consists of subjects with no exposure and high dose exposure. Take malathion for example, a very old pesticide known to be relatively safe for humans. Mony dismisses this approach for identifying victims as ‘balderdash’. The events of Kasargod played a role in this decision, with green groups such as Pesticide Action Network and Thanal campaigning worldwide with horror-inducing pictures. The Bhopal Gas Tragedy ensured that Indians have no faith in the regulatory system. Despite years of spraying at much higher frequencies, no health effects on humans were reported. Here, the rate of diseases observed in the study population has to be compared with the rates in another (control) population that is not exposed to the agent under consideration. It covered 160,000 people, half them ‘exposed’ to endosulfan. Endosulfan was detected in only 2 samples out of 22 water samples analysed during the second phase of sampling. These may be good copies for the media and music for the environmentalists. While NIOH study was in-depth and high-tech, Sivaraman committees work was very extensive. 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. SC also directed the Kerala government to pay Rs 500 crores as compensation to over 5,000 victims. The first group consists of the inhabitants of the polluted territory. Meanwhile, the Plantation Corporation of Kerala, which owns these cashew plantations, did not exactly act with scrupulous care while applying the pesticide. For one thing, the Convention’s decision is by no means beyond scientific debate. “Not many people were coming forward for treatment then,” he says. A delay of two years in the appearance of moustache and advancement of menarche by one year are really important issues. He is one of the few people willing to go on record against what he calls ‘one of the biggest scientific frauds’ he has seen. According to PCK, there were 292 houses inside the plantation and 2026 household outside the plantation. The prevalence of diseases in Karadka, Mooliyar and Periya is lower than in unsprayed area. According to rough estimate, some 50 to 100 centers need to be set up in the affected areas. By 2001, the issue became big enough for the Kerala government to ban endosulfan. By this token, there are hundreds of chemicals that we use daily that show similar inconclusive signs of carcinogenicity. Our preliminary inquiry in this matter is showed that no significant differences in health problems were reported by the subjects in the two areas”. Study of occupational health of workers in Gwalior Rayon’s viscose rayon plant at Nagda in Madhyapradesh – Published in EPW and PUCL. The pesticide was banned by the state govt after its widespread use in Kasargod harmed many. While the focus earlier was on Padre village, the health impacts are evident in people of nearly 11 panchayats in the district. 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