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LMIPPE February 2002

The people have been seeing this kind of strange diseases in their families only since the middle of nineteen seventies and early nineteen eighties. There was no such incidence of congenital anomalies among children born before the nineteen eighties.

14

Thanal

vomiting tendencies, sickness, dizziness, breathing difficulties etc were common to many of the exposed people. The school children were the worst affected, especially because they had to go to school, many a time through the shortcuts via the plantation area and soon after they

reached

school

had

to

be

taken

to

a

doctor.

But,

it

was

learnt

that

soon

after

the

aerial

spray

many

of

the

chronic

cases

underwent

a

resurgence

and

sometimes

these

then

had

to

be

treated

anew.

Skin

diseases,

descending

of

the

testis, swelling of the testis, disruptions in menstrual sudden changes in blood sugar levels, frequent fever

cycles, among

children,

asthma,

breathing

difficulties

increased

among

the

chronically Swelling of

ill people during lymph glands and

and after spraying season. scrotum was reported soon

after

spraying.

One

girl

in

Periya

Panchayath

reported

that

her periods from a lot

stop soon after the spraying and she of hormonal problems and weakness

suffers for the

ensuing 3-4 Evidently, it

months, after which her periods is clear that endosulfan spraying is

reoccur. linked to

the triggering doctors whom these findings.

of the chronic problems as well. The local our researchers interviewed also corroborate

The veterinary doctors diseases to cattle and

in to

many panchayaths domestic animals.

also report of In Padre and

Cheemeni plantation areas, serious diseases among the

the spraying cattle. Many

last year caused cows miscarried,

soon after the People reported

spray and some that this was very

had very violent deaths. common especially among

the cows, which graze in the plantation. sprayed plantations lost appetite even after and ultimately died.

Cows grazing in the spray period

Local people and panchayath representatives also revealed that the health effects were most prominent in villages which have the PCK plantations lying within it or borders it. Villages close by the plantation had markedly reduced incidence of diseases and villages which were distant from the plantations were not affected by these kind of health

problems.

This

again

supported

the hypothesis that

endosulfan is the primary causative similarity in complaints as stated by

factor.

Moreover,

the

the

families

in

various

villages –

up north

and down

south in

nature.

in Enmakaje and Bellur panchayaths Cheemeni area were largely similar in

It was also observed that most of the employees of the PCK and their families were also affected, though only comparable with the non-employees living in the same area. This must have been primarily because of aerial spraying, which did not discriminate between employees and non-

employees.

Adding to

some

of

the

workers

this observation was were suffering from

the fact that very serious

chronic illness, These workers

like throat cancer and chronic skin diseases. revealed that they were directly involved in

the spraying many a time as mixers or applicators. researchers also observed endosulfan spraying in saplings of cashew using hand-sprayers. The employees

The new also

reported that they gear during such Insecticides Act.

were not spraying

given any protective which is mandatory

clothing or under the

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