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Published by Allen A. Espinosa

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Published by: Allen A. Espinosa on Jan 17, 2012
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Bordallo, M. C. A. (2010).
Real-life cases for teaching and learning environmental chemistry.
Unpublished manuscript. Page 52
Read “Endosulfan: To ban or not to ban?”,
Background and Problem2. Form a group and discuss the answers to the worksheet with yourgroupmates.3. Get ready to participate in a class debate.
“Waves as
tall as mountains battered the MV Princess of the Stars andwithin 15 horrifying minutes, the ferry carrying more than 700 peoplesank
(Inquirer Staff, 2008, para 2)
“There were many children trapped inside the boat. I could hear themwailing before the boat sank,” said Renato Lanorias, a crew member of 
the 23,824-ton ferry who survived tragedy. He could not forget thehundreds of bodies floating at sea and the cries for help from the victimsas the ship keeled over and went under. (Inquirer Staff, 2008, para 2.).It was one of the worst maritime accidents in the Philippines. The MVPrincess of the Stars sailed from Manila on June 20, 2008 on a 22-hour trip toCebu City with over 700 passengers on board. On June 21, at the height ofTyphoon Frank, it sank off the coast of Sibuyan Island in Romblon. (Fig. 1) Asidefrom the passengers, the ship was also carrying a cargo of 10,000 kilos (10metric tons) of the toxic pesticide, endosulfan.
Fig. 1. The ill-fated ferry MV Princess of the Stars Source: Fengshen strikes Philippines.(2009).
Bordallo, M. C. A. (2010).
Real-life cases for teaching and learning environmental chemistry.
Unpublished manuscript. Page 53
Search and rescue operations were temporarily halted on June 27following the discovery of the toxic cargo. Fishing was banned within a 5-kilometer radius from the wreck. The chemical was owned by Del MontePhilippines for its pineapple plantation in Cagayan de Oro City and is used toprevent the pink discoloration in pineapples caused by mites.Members of vario
us citizens’ groups
expressed outrage over the toxicshipment. They demanded the total ban on endosulfan in the Philippines,stressing that its continued use is like
a ticking “toxic time bomb."
“To reduce the unacceptable threat of endosulfan to
human health, wildlifeand the environment, we ask the government to ban endosulfan and revoke all
exemptions without delay,” Dr. Romy Quijano of the Pesticide Action Network
-Philippines (PAN) and the International POPs Elimination Network (IPEN) said.PAN and IPEN, along with other groups, have been campaigning for a global banon endosulfan for a long time.FPA officials said endosulfan is now used only in pineapple plantations inMindanao to kill insects, adding that it is not harmful as long as it is appliedproperly.
“The point is 20 countries all over the world also use endosulfan and it’s
being used with strict guidelines and here in this country, we
don’t allow the
farmers to use it. You have to be an accredited corporate institutional account (to
use it),” Department of Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap
said.On October 5, retrieval of all 402 barrels of endosulfan was successfullycompleted (Fig. 2). There was no apparent leakage into the waters.
Fig. 2. Drums containing endosulfan recovered from sunken ferry MV Princess of the Stars
Source: Salvors to finish endosulfan retrieval in 4 to 5 days. (2008, October 3).
abs- cbn.News.com.
Bordallo, M. C. A. (2010).
Real-life cases for teaching and learning environmental chemistry.
Unpublished manuscript. Page 54
 Endosulfan is a synthetic organochlorine insecticide that was firstintroduced in the 1950s. It is widely used in the United States, China and India. Itis a highly toxic substance and is widely considered to be a persistent organicpollutant (POP). It is so dangerous that it has been banned or severely restrictedin 56 countries including countries in the European Union. The United NationsEnvironment Programme is currently considering a proposal to include
endosulfan on the Stockholm Convention’s list of persistent organic pollutants
(POPs).An investigation in India concluded that the aerial spraying of endosulfanover a cashew plantation was responsible for the increased incidence ofreproductive, neurological and developmental diseases, including cancer, in thevillages within the plantation. It has been shown to accumulate in bodies oforganisms as a result of repeated exposures, even at small doses. Thisbioaccumulation could eventually lead to poisoning.Endosulfan is volatile and can be transported to long distances throughthe atmosphere. Residues of endosulfan have been found in air, soil and water,aquatic plants and animals, crocodile eggs and other organisms. Residues havealso been found in food. They were present in dairy foods, meat, chicken,vegetable oil, peanuts, seeds, fruit, honey, rice, and many different vegetables.In the Philippines, endosulfan was first used in the 1960s. It was bannedby the Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority (FPA) in 1993, but exemptions to the banwere given in 1995 to pineapple industry giants, Del Monte and Dole, to kill themites that caused the so-
called “pink disease” in pineapple plants.
Should endosulfan be totally banned (without exemptions) inthe Philippines?

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