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HindustanTimes Thu,24 Jul 2014

Pesticide in blood of every fourth person of Punjab's cotton belt: study

Vishav Bharti   Chandigarh, November 12, 2013
First Published: 19:04 IST(12/11/2013) | Last Updated: 20:23 IST(12/11/2013)

Pesticide residues are present in blood and urine of every fourth person of Punjab's cotton belt, a Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) study has found.

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The study has established that around 23% of the people living in rural areas of the state's cotton belt have residues of pesticide in their blood.

The study titled 'Reducing pesticide toxicity in the exposed population of Punjab' and funded by Indian Council of Medical Research was conducted by School of Public Health of the PGIMER, Chandigarh and Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins, US.

For the study, blood and urine samples of around139 people from eight villages of Bathinda district were collected. Sample analysis established that 33 people (23.74% of the total sample) had pesticide in their urine and blood.

"Pesticide residues of ethion, chlorpyrifos, endosalfan sulphate, and parathion were detected in the samples of the study population. Environmental samples such as soil, feed, vegetables etc also revealed presence of the above mentioned pesticides," the study observed.

 

While discussing the effect of these pesticides, the study found that signs and symptoms to chronic pesticide exposure include fatigue, sleeping disturbances, depression, dizziness, hypertension, anxiety, convulsions besides many others. These are more or less equally prevalent among the study participants.

Despite pesticides presence, the amount is quite low, the study established. Also it failed to provide any link between the presence of pesticides residues and major diseases like cancer etc.

Out of 139 persons, 68 were pesticide sprayers while remaining 71 were non sprayers. There was no significant difference in pattern of diseases and quantity of pesticides found in the samples.
"These results may be better explained by the fact that both the sprayers and non-sprayers are more or less exposed equally due to widespread environmental contamination. The non sprayers also seen to be exposed to the similar environmental conditions- same field environment, same polluted water and same contaminated food," the study observed.

The study concluded that there is widespread environmental pollution
due to pesticide exposure among both sprayers and non sprayers, which requires public health interventions, including creating awareness among farmers and strict enforcement of regulatory control measures.

 

Fast Facts

*Every year Punjab uses 6900 tone pesticides

* Punjab is the largest consumer of pesticides in the country

*India ranks 10th in the world in pesticide consumption

* India ranks 12th in the world in pesticide production

* Total 400 pesticide formulators are spread all over country


Pesticide in blood of every fourth person of Punjab's cotton belt: study
Vishav Bharti
vishav.bharti@hindustantimes.com
Chandigarh: Pesticide residues are present in blood and urine of every fourth person of Punjab's cotton belt, a Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) study has found.
The study has established that around 23% of the people living in rural areas of the state's cotton belt have residues of pesticide in their blood.

The study titled 'Reducing pesticide toxicity in the exposed population of Punjab' and funded by Indian Council of Medical Research was conducted by School of Public Health of the PGIMER, Chandigarh and Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins, US.

For the study, blood and urine samples of around139 people from eight villages of Bathinda district were collected. Sample analysis established that 33 people (23.74% of the total sample) had pesticide in their urine and blood.

"Pesticide residues of ethion, chlorpyrifos, endosalfan sulphate, and parathion were detected in the samples of the study population. Environmental samples such as soil, feed, vegetables etc also revealed presence of the above mentioned pesticides," the study observed.

 

While discussing the effect of these pesticides, the study found that signs and symptoms to chronic pesticide exposure include fatigue, sleeping disturbances, depression, dizziness, hypertension, anxiety, convulsions besides many others. These are more or less equally prevalent among the study participants.

However, despite pesticides presence, the amount is found to be quite low. Also it failed to provide any link between the presence of pesticides residues and major diseases like cancer etc.

Out of 139 persons, 68 were pesticide sprayers while remaining 71 were non sprayers. There was no significant difference in pattern of diseases and quantity of pesticides found in the samples.
"These results may be better explained by the fact that both the sprayers and non-sprayers are more or less exposed equally due to widespread environmental contamination. The non sprayers also seen to be exposed to the similar environmental conditions- same field environment, same polluted water and same contaminated food," the study observed.

The study concluded that there is widespread environmental pollution due to pesticide exposure among both sprayers and non sprayers, which requires public health interventions, including creating awareness among farmers and strict enforcement of regulatory control measures.

 

Fast Facts

*Every year Punjab uses 6900 tone pesticides

* Punjab is the largest consumer of pesticides in the country

*India ranks 10th in the world in pesticide consumption

* India ranks 12th in the world in pesticide production

* Total 400 pesticide formulators are spread all over country

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