Endosulfan, a highly acute toxin and a suspected endocrine disruptor, was banned in 2005 under the Pesticides Act 1974, Malaysia.
In reality, a recent survey in a few places in Kedah showed that the banned pesticide was easily available from some shops selling agricultural chemicals.
Farmers purchase endosulfan as it is said to be very effective in getting rid of golden apple smnail (siput gondang emas) which feeds on padi and saplings.
Endosulfan takes on 10-15 minutes to kill the snails compared with up to 2 weeks with other pesticides.
The side impacts of using endosulfan: skin problems and weak joints after using it. Some fell sick after applying the chemicals in the field.
Endosulfan is also a xenostrogen, a synthetic substance that imitates or enhances the effect of estrogen, and it can act as an endocrine disruptor, causing reproductive and developmental damage in both animals and humans.
The National Wildlife Federation (USA) states that endosulfan is extemely toxic to wildlife and acutely toxic to bees. It is also toxic to birds and aquatic organisms.
How about buman body?
Human organ that can be affected by endosulfan include pineal, hypothalamus, pituitary,thyroid, parathyroids, thymus, andrenals, pancreas, ovary and testes.
(Source: “Is our rice safe from banned endosulfan?”, Utusan Konsumer Guide, July-August 2010).