• IASbaba
  • August 20, 2022
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In News: The Supreme Court directed the Kasargod District Legal Services Authority in Kerala to inspect the medical and palliative care facilities provided to endosulfan victims.

  • The bench ordered the legal services authority to submit its report in six weeks.
  • The order came after victims, complained of the lack of health care infrastructure provided by the State despite the best efforts of the district administration.
  • The State Government has recently filed an affidavit informing the apex court about the disbursal of compensation to 98% of the victims.
  • In May, the apex court slammed the Kerala Government for doing “virtually nothing” for endosulfan pesticide exposure victims.
  • The court had said the State’s inaction was “appalling” and amounted to a breach of the apex court’s judgment in 2017, which had ordered the State to pay 5 lakh each to the victims in three months.
  • The court noted that “The right to health is an integral part of the right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution. Without health, the faculties of living have little meaning.”

What is Endosulfan?

  • Endosulfan is an organochlorine insecticide which was first introduced in the 1950s and is commonly known by its trade name Thiodan.
  • It is linked to a slew of grave medical conditions, such as neurotoxicity, physical deformities, poisoning and more.
  • It is sprayed on crops like cotton, cashew, fruits, tea, paddy, tobacco etc. for control of pests such as whiteflies, aphids, beetles, worms
  • Endosulfan is listed under both the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent and the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants.

What are the Impacts of Endosulfan?

  • Endosulfan in the environment gets accumulated in food chains leading to higher doses causing problems.
  • The endosulfan ingestion results in diseases ranging from physical deformities, cancer, birth disorders and damage to the brain and nervous system in humans and animals.


  • The Rotterdam Convention is the name of the Convention, which was adopted by the Conference of Plenipotentiaries in 1998 in Rotterdam (Netherlands).
  • It intends to promote shared responsibility with respect to the global trade of hazardous chemicals.
  • The convention’s secretariat is located in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • The Prior Informed Consent (PIC) procedure is implemented under the terms of the Convention, which establishes obligatory legal responsibilities.

What is the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) Procedure?

  • It is one of the key clauses of the 1998 Rotterdam Convention.
  • It says that parties must legally obtain and communicate the decision to receive future shipments of the substances listed in Annex III of the Convention before they can import them.
  • The importing parties must make sure that the exporting parties abide by any judgments made on their imports.


  • The convention has 163 parties, including 158 UN members, the Cook Islands, the State of Palestine, and the European Union.
  • The United States is one of the non-member states.
  • On May 24, 2005, India became a party to the Rotterdam Convention.
  • The Rotterdam Convention became effective in India on August 22, 2005.

The Rotterdam Convention’s covered provisions are as follows:

  • The convention includes industrial chemicals and insecticides that are outlawed or subject to rigorous regulations.
  • Any concern about industrial chemicals and pesticides encourages their inclusion on Annex III of the agreement.
  • Annex III lists 52 chemicals, 35, 16 industrial chemicals, and one chemical that falls into both the pesticide and industrial chemical categories.

The Stockholm Convention:

  • It is a global treaty to protect human health and the environment from Persistent Organic Pollutants.
  • It was opened for signature in 2001 in Stockholm (Sweden) and became effective in 2004.
  • POPs are listed in various Annexes to the Stockholm Convention after thorough scientific research, deliberations and negotiations among member countries.


  • Support the transition to safer alternatives.
  • Target additional POPs for action.
  • Cleanup old stockpiles and equipment containing POPs.
  • Work together for a POPs-free future.

India ratified the Stockholm Convention in 2006 as per Article 25(4), which enabled it to keep itself in a default “opt-out” position such that amendments in various Annexes of the convention cannot be enforced on it unless an instrument of ratification/ acceptance/ approval or accession is explicitly deposited with UN depositary.

  • The convention calls to ban nine of the dirty dozen chemicals (key POPs), limit the use of DDT to malaria control, and curtail inadvertent production of dioxins and furans.
  • The convention listed twelve distinct chemicals in three categories:
  • Eight pesticides (aldrin, chlordane, DDT, dieldrin, endrin, heptachlor, mirex and toxaphene)
  • Two industrial chemicals (poly chlorinated biphenyls and hexachlorobenzene)
  • Two unintended by-products of many industrial processes involving chlorine such as waste incineration, chemical and pesticide manufacturing and pulp and paper bleaching (poly chlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans, commonly referred to as dioxins and furans).

Source: The Hindu

Previous Year Question

Q.1) Triclosan considered harmful when exposed to high levels for a long time, is most likely present in which of the following? (2021)

  1. Food preservatives
  2. Fruit-ripening substances
  3. Reused plastic containers
  4. Toiletries


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