Endosulfan – The Controversial Insecticide

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What is Endosulfan?

Endosulfan is an agrichemical which is organochlorine insecticide and acaricide. It is a contact poison to many insects. It is a highly controversial insecticide because of its acute toxicity as biochemical accumulator and endocrine disruptor. As a result of its toxicity it is banned already in several countries.

Endosulfan is available in the market with the following names – Endocide, Thiodan, Beosit, Cyclodan, Malix, Thimul, Thifor. It is manufactured in the India in Hindustan Insecticides Limited, Bayer Crop Science.

Uses of Endosulfan:

Endosulfan has been used in the agriculture as a pesticide to control pests like aphids, beetles and some worms. It is useful in resistance management and less toxic to bees.

Effects of Endosulfan Poisoning

Effects of Endosulfan Poisoning

Adverse Effects of Endosulfan to our Health:

Endosulfan is a toxic pesticide. It mimics the action of estrogen and enhances its effect and act as endocrine disruptor. Thus it causes reproductive and developmental damage in both animals and human beings. It is also considered as a carcinogenic agent. It is a neurotoxic agent and effects insects and mammals. It acts as an anti-androgen in animals.

Mechanism of Action of Endosulfan:

Endosulfan is a GABA gated chloride channel antagonist. It also acts on calcium and magnesium channels. It is a Ca2+, Mg2+ ATPase inhibitor which are involved in the transmission of the nerve impulse.

Symptoms of the Endosulfan Poisoning:

  • Hyperactivity
  • Tremors
  • Convulsions
  • Lack of coordination
  • Staggering
  • Difficulty in Breathing
  • Nausea and Vomitting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Rashes
  • Skin irritation
  • Finally unconsciousness

This has caused death in some patients and sub lethal poisoning has resulted in brain damage in most of the cases. Due to all these adverse effects to humans as well as environments, meeting has been conducted at Stockholm Convention in Geneva to ban the manufacture and use of Endosulfan.

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