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What Is Endosulfan?

What Is Endosulfan?

The Supreme Court has slammed the Kerala government for State’s inaction in providing relief to the Endosulfan pesticide exposure victims.

  • This also amounts to a breach of the apex court’s 2017 judgment, which had ordered the State to pay ₹5 lakh each to the victims in three months.
  • From the mid-70s, Kerala villages used aerial spraying of endosulfan on 4,600-ha. cashew nut plantation. Locals reportedly experienced illnesses, palsies and deformities.


  • It is a widely-banned pesticide with hazardous effects on human genetic and endocrine systems.
  • It does not occur naturally in the environment.
  • It is listed under the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent.
  • Use of endosulfan is banned by Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants.
  • The Supreme Court in India has banned the manufacture, sale, use, and export of endosulfan throughout the country, citing its harmful health effects in 2011.


  • Sprayed on crops like cotton, cashew, fruits, tea, paddy, tobacco etc. for control of pests in agriculture such as whiteflies, aphids, beetles, worms etc.

Effects on humans:

  • This pesticide is a known carcinogen, neurotoxin and genotoxin (damages DNA).
  • Endosulfan blocks the inhibitory receptors of the CNS, disrupts the ionic channels and destroys the integrity of the nerve cells.

Environmental effects:

  • Endosulfan in the environment gets accumulated in food chains leading to higher doses causing problems.
  • If Endosulfan is released to water, it is expected to absorb to the sediment and may bioconcentrate in aquatic organisms.