12 January 2017 Current Affairs: The Supreme Court has described side effects of Endosulfan, a highly toxic agrochemical (pesticide) as devastating. It has directed Kerala government to release entire Rs. 500 crore compensation to over 5,000 victims in three months who have suffered from various deformities and health complications due to use of Endosulfan in the state.
It also asked the state to consider setting up a centre to provide lifelong medical treatment to all the victims.
The major numbers of victims were reported to be affected in Kasargode (Kerala) after Endosulfan was aerially sprayed by state owned company on cashew plantations adjoining habitats where the victims are located. The apex court in 2011 had passed order to ban the production, distribution and use of endosulfan.
Endosulfan is a most toxic pesticides having hazardous effects on human genetic and endocrine systems. The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants in 2011 added it in list of banned substances and phasing it out as an agrichemical. It is banned in over 80 nations due to its ‘high toxicity.
It is sprayed as pesticide on crops like cotton, fruits, tea, paddy, cashew, tobacco etc. for control of pests in agriculture such as whiteflies, aphids, beetles, worms etc.
Hazardous effects: In case of humans it causes delayed reproductive development, autism, bioaccumulation, endocrine disruption (stunting of hormones), long-range contamination, neurotoxicity, long-range contamination and sensory Loss. It blocks the inhibitory receptors of the Central Nervous System, disrupts the ionic channels and destroys the integrity of the nerve cells. The spraying of endsosulfan also destroys biodiversity of the area.