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An Epidemiological Study on the Health Effects of Endosulfan Spraying on Cashew Plantations in Kasaragod District, Kerala, India

Author(s): Asha Embrandiri | Rajeev P. Singh | Hakimi M. Ibrahim | Anisa B. Khan

Journal: Asian Journal of Epidemiology
ISSN 1992-1462

Volume: 5;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 22;
Date: 2012;
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Keywords: Endosulfan | morbidity | prevalence | mental retardation | congenital abnormalities

The study involved investigations of prevalence rates of health problems of residents in some affected regions of Kasaragod district, Kerala, India seven years after the official banning of the use of Endosulfan by the Plantation Corporation of Kerala (PCK) on their Cashew plantations. Thousand respondents were selected using simple random survey. It was observed that 0-30 year age group had recorded the highest cases of mental retardation with 74.5% male and 74.1% female. Also in the 0-14 years age group 46% males and 42.5% females had Congenital anomalies whereas in the 15-30 years age group 30.4% males and 31.7% female cases were recorded. As with the case of cancer, only 39.2% had mostly lung, throat or prostate cancers, whereas, 35.4% females had breast, ovarian or blood cancer. In the 0-14 years age group there were only 2 male and 3 female having cancer. Generally the prevalence of disease was highest in Males in Enmakaje Panchayat (0.31 for 0-14 years) but lowest in Muliyar and Periya (0.1) above the age of 46 years. Whereas, in females, it was highest among 15-30 years age group in Cheemeni (0.38) and also lowest (0.11 ) for women over age 46 years. Although, it had been several years after the ban on the use of Endosulfan in the plantation and residues are no more present, there is still a likelihood of the children being born with deformities similar to the effects of pesticide poisoning.
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