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Endosulfan victims case:

GS Paper 3:

Topics Covered: Disaster and Disaster Management.


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.


What is endosulfan?

It is a widely-banned pesticide with hazardous effects on human genetic and endocrine systems.

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.


What is Kerala’s case?

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.



Prelims Link:

  1. Endosulfan.
  2. Pesticides.
  3. Endosulfan.
  4. Supreme Court verdict in Endosulfan case.

Mains Link:

Discuss about the effects of Endosulfan on human health and Environment.


Q.7) Consider the following statements:

  1. Endosulfan does not occur naturally in the environment.
  2. It is listed under the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both
  4. None of the above. 

Sources: the Hindu.