LMIPPE February 2002
psychiatric problems as just a mental health problem, but also as a nervous system problem which can be caused by
suicides and suicidal tendencies may be caused by prolonged exposure to
neurotoxins. has revealed
Dr. Mohankumar in that there are 38
his study cases of
have been reported from other villages Kumbadaje, Muliyar, Bellur also.
The deaths due to Rheumatism, Paralysis and arthritis are also on the increase. Data from death records of Enmakaje Panchayath reveal a nearly five fold ( 488%)
increase of deaths complaints, arthritis,
etc in the
last 12 years. These are also weakening of the CNS as well.
While discussing congenital anomalies it is important to note that many of the conventional understanding of toxicity and effects being related to exposure levels and
questioned and have been meaningless with newer findings
A study “ A case-control study of pesticides and foetal death due to congenital anomalies” reported recently in the journal Epidemiology (12:148-156) by Bell EM, Hertz-Picciotto and JJ Beaumont have revealed that there is “ a strong association between exposure to commercially applied agricultural pesticides during a crucial period in foetal development and the likelihood of foetal death due to congenital defects” The study revealed that foetal death is more likely among mothers who are living within a 9-square mile area in which commercial pesticide spraying takes place during pregnancy. It was also discovered that risk of foetal death is greater for exposures in week 3-8 compared to week 1-20. This 3-8 weeks period is considered as the most vulnerable period in human development (the period of “organogenesis”)
The exposure of organochlorine pesticides which are endocrine disruptors can cause a variety of health ailments which may not be directly linked to the causal substance. The endocrine disruption during early development stages, even at insignificant levels can trigger malfunctioning of thyroid gland and leading to failure in brain development and complex development disorders in the foetus. In “Our Stolen Future”, Theo Colborn et al concludes a chapter- Altered Destiny saying “As we wrestle with the question how much chemical contaminants are contributing to the trends and societal patterns we see – in breast cancer, prostrate cancer, infertility, and learning disabilities – it is important to keep one thing
in mind. Scientists keep finding significant, often permanent The danger we face is not simply death and disease.
effects at surprisingly low doses. By disrupting hormones and
development, these synthetic chemicals may be changing who we become. altering our destinies.”
They may be
A deeper and better understanding of the issue at Kasaragod is called for and one needs to explore whether the problems like congenital anomalies found in Kasaragod are just the direct effects on the CNS and the endocrine systems or whether they are related to such complex problems as developmental stage exposures.