Councils Using Banned Endosulfan on Playing Fields

The Green Party has named and shamed 18 councils in New Zealand that spray Endosulfan on playing fields. The list includes

6 City Councils

  • Dunedin
  • Hamilton
  • Manukau
  • Napier
  • Nelson
  • Wellington

12 District Councils

  • Hauraki
  • Manawatu
  • Masterton
  • Matamata
  • Piako
  • New Plymouth
  • Palmerston North
  • Rodney
  • Rotorua
  • Stratford
  • Western Bay of Plenty
  • Westland
  • Whangarei.

The Greens health spokeswoman, Sue Kedgley said:

“To my knowledge New Zealand is the only country in the world that sprays Endosulfan on sports fields. Endosulfan can remain in the soil for up to six years and any skin, mouth or hand contact with the soil could cause harm,”

Endosulfan is a highly toxic insecticide which affects people’s hormonal system, and is linked to breast cancer, endometriosis, male breast enlargement and delayed sexual maturity. It can cause birth defects, and is linked to epilepsy, autism, cerebral palsy, lowered IQ, and Parkinson’s disease.

“The councils are using Endosulfan to kill earthworms. Worm casts allegedly cause balls to bounce and reduce the effectiveness of drainage under playing fields,” Ms Kedgley says.

“But there is absolutely no need for children to be put at risk by the use of this toxic chemical, when the problem can be safely treated by simply altering the ph of the soil with acidifying fertilisers, and creating an environment the earthworms don’t like. It is completely unnecessary – Auckland City Council stopped using Endosulfan in the mid 1990s as a result of community pressure and they have managed without it for more than a decade.”

The Green Party is calling for an end to the use of Endosulfan in New Zealand as part of its toxics policy, released today.”


Wikipedia description of Endosulfan

“A neurotoxic organochlorine insecticide of the cyclodiene family of pesticides. It is an endocrine disruptor, and it is highly acutely toxic. It is banned in the European Union, Cambodia, and several other countries, while its use is restricted in other countries, including the Philippines (where it will be banned after September 2008).

It is still used extensively in many countries including India, New Zealand and the United States.

It is made by Bayer CropScience, MakhteshimAgan, and Hindustan Insecticides Limited among others, and sold under the tradenames Thionex, Thiodan, Phaser, and Benzoepin. Because of its high toxicity and high potential for bioaccumulation and environmental contamination, a global ban on the use and manufacture of endosulfan is being considered under the Stockholm Convention………

Endosulfan is one of the more toxic pesticides on the market today, responsible for many fatal pesticide poisoning incidents around the world. Endosulfan is also a xenoestrogen—a synthetic substance that imitates or enhances the effect of estrogens—and it can act as an endocrine disruptor, causing reproductive and developmental damage in both animals and humans. Whether endosulfan can cause cancer is debated.”

Symptoms of Endosulfin poisoning include
  • Hypersensitivity to stimulation
  • Sensation of prickling, tingling or creeping on skin.
  • Headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, in-coordination, tremor, mental confusion, hyper- excitable state.
  • In severe cases: convulsions, seizures, coma and respiratory depression.

Farm workers are often exposed to Endosulfan during the course of their work.

Air monitoring studies have been carried out that demonstrate that people living, working, and going to school near fields where it is used can be exposed by breathing contaminated air. Endosulfan can also be absorbed through the skin.

Other information:
Compensation for Endosulfan victims