Endosulfan causes male infertility, says IISc scientist

Dr SatheesN.B. Nair

Mysuru (ISJ) ? The toxic pesticide Endosulfan causes male infertility, said Dr. Sathees C. Raghavan, Associate Professor at the premier Indian Institute of Science, IISc, Bangalore. IISc had carried out a comprehensive study of the epidemiological impact of endosulfan on the population in northern Kerala,and animal tests have shown 33 % of male had infertility-related issues due to endosulfan.

?There is an increased level of diseases in the region. But I won?t be able to say, everything is due to endosulfan,? said Sathees on the sidelines of the ongoing Indian Science Congress in Mysuru. ?From our studies, the main effect of endosulfan seems to be male infertility. We have clear evidence to that.?

The complete findings of the study are expected to be announced shortly, said Sathees. He however said, it will be ?path-breaking?.

Dr. Sathees also confirmed, endosulfan causes DNA break-up, which in turn results in cancer and many other genetic diseases.

EndosulfanThe agrichemical has been used in agriculture around the world to control insect pests including whiteflies, aphids, leafhoppers, Colorado potato beetles and cabbage worms. Due to its unique mode of action, it is useful in resistance management; however, as it is not specific, it can negatively impact populations of beneficial insects.

Endosulfan became a highly controversial agrichemical due to its acute toxicity, potential for bioaccumulation, and role as anendocrine disruptor. A global ban on the manufacture and use of endosulfan was negotiated under the Stockholm Convention in April 2011 because of its threats to human health and the environment.

A number of deaths have occurred in Kerala and some other parts of the country, due to excessive use of Endosulfan. From the mid-70s, this insecticide was used for aerial spraying on cashew nut plantation in northern Kerala. Many people in the region subsequently experienced illnesses, palsies and deformities to new-born children.�

India has agreed to phase out use of Endosulfan by 2017 and all existing stock of the pesticide in the country that is past its expiry date.

Image courtesy: Molecule design of Endosulphan - Wikipedia

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