India may have to ban toxic pesticide Endosulfan

India may have to ban toxic pesticide Endosulfan

The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants recommended to list it in the Annex A of the convention.The list of chemicals under the convention are banned for production and use because of the threat they pose to living beings, particularly environment, said Kei Ohno, an official of the Convention, today.

In its meeting last week, the Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee (POPRC), a subsidiary body of to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, adopted a decision to include Endosulfan for consideration to list it in the Annex A, she said.

A chemical can be listed in the Stockholm Convention as a persistent organic pollutant when it shows that it persists in the environment, bio-accumulates in organisms (increases in concentration up the food chain), travels through environment over long distances from the region of its release.

India is a member of POPRC along with 30 other countries. The committee found that the continued use of Endsulfan would lead to significant adverse human health and environmental effects warranting global action on a war footing.

India, China, Israel, Brazil and South Korea are among the leading producers of Endosulfan in the world with an annual production estimated  between 18,000 and 20,000 tonnes per year.

"Its use as a plant protection product is the most relevant emission source for Endosulfin," according to the risk management study of this chemical.
Already some 60 countries have banned the use of this deadly pesticide after they found viable alternatives.

In India and other countries, however, there is a large industry producing Endosulfan causing massive contamination of the soil.

India which participated in the meeting last week agreed to review the recommendation before it comes into force sometime next year.

"For the first time, Stockholm convention parties will investigate interactions between chemicals that are of global concern," said Donald Cooper, Executive Secretary of the Convention.

In addition to Endosulfan, the POPRC reviewed and adopted the risk profile on Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD), another harmful chemical, for inclusion in Annex A.
HBCD is used in textile coatings and in high impact polystyrene for electrical and electronic equipment.

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