• Chemical leak in Delhi – PAN India urge to establish pesticide free buffer zones around schools

    Chemical leak in Delhi - PAN India urge to establish pesticide free buffer zones around schools Press Release | 10th May, 2017 Toxic chemical leak in Delhi had left children breathless and in agony Chemical leak near two schools in New Delhi reminds us of the urgent need to create chemical-free buffer zones around education institutions. This chemical leak incident that happened very close to two schools in the Tughlakabad area in Delhi, in the morning of 6th May 2017, had left children breathless and in agony. According to reports, school going children inhaled a toxic chemical 2-Chloro-5-chloromethylpyridine, leaking from a truck parked in a container depot located near two schools in southeast Delhi’s Tughlaqabad area. More than 400 girls were immediately impacted and were hospitalised. Students of Government Girls Senior Secondary School (GGSSS) and  Rani Jhansi School were taken to nearby hospitals as they complained of severe eye irritation and breathlessness. According to news reports, students complained of vomiting, coughing, and feeling uneasy and eye irritation.   School students under treatment in a hospital, Delhi. Source: PTI Photo As reported, at least 487 school students and teachers and residents of a colony in Tughlaqabad fell sick on Saturday after inhaling fumes emanating from a liquid (2-Chloro-5-chloromethylpyridine). The National Disaster Response Force had reported that the truck contained 80 cans of  2-Chloro-5-chloromethylpyridine. The truck was parked in the Tughlaqabad depot waiting customs clearance. Reports say the chemical container was imported from China and was to be taken to Sonepat in Haryana. Chemical leaked in Delhi is used for manufacture of insecticides and pesticides 2-Chloro-5-chloromethylpyridine is used in the production of an insecticide imidacloroprid, which has been found to be extremely toxic to non-target insects and bees. According to Pubchem, an open chemistry database of US National Library of Medicine, 2-Chloro-5-chloromethylpyridine is a dangerous chemical having the potential to cause severe skin burns and eye damage. Apparently, some quick action from school authorities, and NDRF, has contained the situation, and has saved children from serious impacts. However, medical parameters of the affected children need to be monitored for a longer period, to rule out chronic impacts. Incidentally, this happened in the heart of the Indian capital. One can only imagine what if the same leak happened near rural schools, or locations, which are far away from hospitals and rapid action teams. Is India ready to protect its children from chemical accidents, incidents and neglect of safety by the transporters, storage operators and chemical or pesticide users? India did not learn much from the Bhopal disaster in 1984. Apart from the discussion whether the Delhi gas leak is a unfortunate incident or an accident, school going children are exposed to similar hazards on a daily basis in most rural areas across India, as pesticide sprays, often more dangerous than 2-Chloro-5-chloromethylpyridine. Children in schools located near agricultural fields, and plantations, inhale drift from pesticide sprays. Scientific research has established long back that children whose breath is faster than adults are likely to be impacted more severely. Children impacted by toxic chemicals is an indication of negligence and failure of regulatory regime Pesticide Action Network (PAN) India director C. Jayakumar said, “it is so sad that children had become victims of hazardous substances which are inputs in the manufacture of agrochemicals. Even after several incidents right from the Bhopal gas tragedy, our authorities have not  realized the seriousness of the problem and are not taking measures to keep away hazardous chemicals from the vicinity of even education institutions in view of  public health and safety”. Adding further, he said, “in India, we have successfully established tobacco and alcohol free zones around schools but failed to bring in such restrictions for more dangerous substances such as chemicals and pesticides.” Pesticides free buffer zones around education institutions needed Dr. Narasimha Reddy Donthi of PAN India pointed to the urgent need of establishing buffer-zones of at least a kilometre around education institutions and child care centres. Hazardous chemicals, pesticides and or raw materials used to produce such dangerous chemicals should not be stored, manufactured or used in any form near this safe zone. Dileep Kumar A. D., Programme Coordinator of PAN India, said “carelessness of manufacturers, importers, transporters and users of hazardous chemicals and pesticides, and inaction of concerned authorities today compromises the safety of children. The future of nation is in the hands of children and therefore they should get a toxic free life and poison free environment to grow”. PAN India urges the Central and State Governments to come up with stringent measures to keep away hazardous chemicals and pesticides from the vicinity of education institutions, to ensure safety of children. Considering public health and safety, authorities must come up with policies towards the establishment of pesticide-free buffer zones at least around schools while efforts should be taken to phase out production and use of agrochemicals. Take action - Support call for pesticide free buffer zones around schools Learn more about Protect Our Children from Toxic Pesticides campaign               Protect Our Children From Toxic Pesticides Support our call for pesticide-free buffer zones around schools.               Recent Posts Farming Community in Yavatmal came up with a Declaration to stop pesticide Menace on the World Soil Day and No Pesticide Use Week Draft Pesticide Management Bill-2017 not comprehensive enough to address issues on pesticides in India END CORPORATE GREED! RIGHTS NOW! Untold Realities of Pesticide Poisonings in Yavatmal District in Maharashtra Chemical leak in Delhi – PAN India urge to establish pesticide free buffer zones around schools TagsAgroecology AnupamVarma Commitee Report Banned Pesticides BAN Pesticides BRS COPs 2017 Climate Change Corporate Accountability Corporate Libility Delhi gas leack Draft Banning of Pesticides Order 2016 Fact Finding Mission Food Sovereignty Glyphosate Herbicide HHP HHPs Indian Tea India Pesticide Ban India Pesticide Risk Inhalational Poisonings Maharashtra Association of Pesticide Poisonned Persons No pesticide Use Day Paraquat Paraquat Retailing India Paraquat Use is India Pesticide Management Bill-2017 Pesticide Poisoning in Yavatmal Pesticide Regulation Phasing out HHPs Plantation Pesticide PMB-2017 Roundup Tea Plantations UN HRC Special Rapporteur on the right to food World Soil Day Yavatmal Declaration Yavatmal poisoning


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  • PAN India welcomes Pesticide ban order; demands extension to include all 66 banned/restricted elsewhere

    The decision to ban 18 pesticides in India brings hope, but it should be extended to include all the pesticides banned/restricted elsewhere and still used in India Press Release | 10th January 2017 Pesticide Action Network (PAN) India welcomes the decision by Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare, Government of India, to ban manufacture, import, formulate, transport, sell and use of 18 of the 66 pesticides which are still registered for domestic use in India but banned or restricted in one or more other countries due to health and environmental concern. The decision to ban the 18 pesticides came following the ban recommendation given in the report submitted by the expert review committee constituted under the chairmanship of Dr. Anupam Varma and by considering the observation from Registration committee of the Central Insecticide board and Registration committee. The Anupam Varma committee was constituted in 2013 to review the use of neonicotinoid pesticides in India, but in the same year the mandate of the expert committee was extended to include the 66 pesticides banned or restricted in other countries but continued to be registered for use in India. The expert committee submitted its review report by the end of 2015. The Central Government, after considering the recommendations of the said Expert Committee and after consultation with the Registration Committee satisfied that the use of 18 pesticides are likely to involve risk to human beings and animals as to render it expedient or necessary to take immediate action. Though it is considered as a good move from the central agriculture department to ban the 18 pesticides, exclusion of the remaining 48 pesticides, in the list of 66 pesticides is need to be relooked urgently. PAN India director C. Jayakumar, while responding to the notification on draft Banning of Pesticides Order, 2016 issued by Ministry of agriculture on 15thDecember 2016 [Notification S.O.4212 (E) dated 15thDecember 2016 (F.No.13035/31/2013-PP-I)], says ‘it is unfair and a failure of governance that Indian government allows the use of hazardous pesticides that are either banned or restricted in other countries over health and environmental impacts’. He pointed that while the decision to ban 18 of the 66 pesticides is an appreciable move from the government, allowing the use of remaining 48 pesticides cannot be justified as there is more than enough information available on their hazardous nature and harms it can cause to people and the country. It may be because of the pressure from the industry that the government is unable to take a decision to ban the entire 66 pesticides. ‘In effect, the government is actually promoting the use of such hazardous pesticides and thereby continuing to put farming communities and consumers in India to innumerable health and environmental risks’, he added. Mr. Jayakumar also pointed out that it is unfortunate that the list of 18 pesticides does not include paraquat dichloride, a highly hazardous herbicide already banned in the South Indian State of Kerala; and is used in remaining part of India. Paraquat is a candidate for the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) list of Rotterdam Convention. The use of paraquat is banned or disallowed in at least 32 countries including members of European Union due to its adverse health effects. In Switzerland, the home country of Syngenta, the main producer of paraquat, it is banned since 1989 due to its high acute toxicity for humans. Dr Narasimha Reddy of PAN India says government should release the report submitted by the AnupamVarma Committee for public scrutiny. Glyphosate, a widely used herbicide is not there in the list of 18 pesticides; the World Health organisation recently classified it as a carcinogenic chemical. Dr. Reddy stressed that the government should come up and show its commitment to the people of India by immediately banning all the pesticides that are already banned or restricted in other countries and continue to register in India and safeguard communities from the hazardous effects of such pesticides. Also the government should initiate a process to review all other pesticides registered for use in India for its health and environmental toxicity and come up with firm actions to protect human health and environment. Attachments: minutes of 361st special meeting of registration committee - 22nd December 2015 pesticide banning order - 2016 notification     Recent Posts Farming Community in Yavatmal came up with a Declaration to stop pesticide Menace on the World Soil Day and No Pesticide Use Week Draft Pesticide Management Bill-2017 not comprehensive enough to address issues on pesticides in India END CORPORATE GREED! RIGHTS NOW! Untold Realities of Pesticide Poisonings in Yavatmal District in Maharashtra Chemical leak in Delhi – PAN India urge to establish pesticide free buffer zones around schools TagsAgroecology AnupamVarma Commitee Report Banned Pesticides BAN Pesticides BRS COPs 2017 Climate Change Corporate Accountability Corporate Libility Delhi gas leack Draft Banning of Pesticides Order 2016 Fact Finding Mission Food Sovereignty Glyphosate Herbicide HHP HHPs Indian Tea India Pesticide Ban India Pesticide Risk Inhalational Poisonings Maharashtra Association of Pesticide Poisonned Persons No pesticide Use Day Paraquat Paraquat Retailing India Paraquat Use is India Pesticide Management Bill-2017 Pesticide Poisoning in Yavatmal Pesticide Regulation Phasing out HHPs Plantation Pesticide PMB-2017 Roundup Tea Plantations UN HRC Special Rapporteur on the right to food World Soil Day Yavatmal Declaration Yavatmal poisoning


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