Struggle against pesticides | HT Tech

Struggle against pesticides

What's it about Hiroshima this year that's got so many events organised around toxics?

| Updated on: Aug 18 2004, 13:57 IST

What's it about Hiroshima this year that's got so many events organised around toxics?

In Kerala, a Quit India Endosulphan march was organised to coincide with the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings. It's a fascinating blend of activism, led by science and rooted in a strong political milieu. Its name clearly derives from the Quit India Movement, with much the same sentiments towards chemicals and their manufacturers.

The protesters want the pesticide, considered very toxic, to be banned. They also want compensation for the victims of the previous applications. It makes sense. What doesn't make sense is the strange, designer incinerator, the Naka Incinerator, that has come up, most ironically, in that very city. And, it's not just any incinerator.

Architect Tamiguchi has been hired to create a comprehensive waste dump that includes incineration. It'll be attractive but unfortunately, it will propagate a polluting technology.

What makes things worse is the site is a must-see for art-aficionados, because he is also the architect for the prestigious Museum of Modern Art building.

That the incinerator is in Hiroshima suggests that perhaps, amnesia about dangerous technologies may just be creeping in.

Sane policy

The banning of two commonly used household pesticides, Chlorpyrifos and Diazinon, in the USA since December 2001 has yielded positive results.

Almost all the mothers in the lower income bracket were found to have residues of these pesticides in their bodies, and would have transferred it to their babies.

The problem, however, still exists. The pesticides are not banned in farming, so they poison farm workers and enter the eco-system anyway. Will the US ban it or turn a blind eye?

(If you feel for Planet Earth, write to

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First Published Date: 18 Aug, 13:53 IST