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‘Pesticide suicides reduce endosulfan ban after 2011’ | India News

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MUMBAI: The 2011 endosulfan ban in India may have contributed to nearly 30,000 fewer suicides from pesticide ingestion, a recent analysis suggests.
The researchers calculated what suicide rates might have been in 2011-14 based on trends from previous years, and then compared those projections to actual figures for that period. They found 20,146 fewer men and 8,418 fewer pesticide suicides than expected.
However, much of the decline was offset by a parallel increase in suicides by hanging and other methods of poisoning, the study found, resulting in a much smaller drop in overall cases. Among men, 92% of the decrease in pesticide suicides was offset by an increase in other methods, especially hanging.
“The findings suggest that banning (the pesticides) helps reduce suicides, but other methods need to be addressed as well,” said Vikas Arya, a researcher at the Translational Health Research Institute in Australia and lead author of the study.
The upward trend of hanging predates the 2011 ban and is unlikely to replace the ingestion of pesticides, Arya said. He and other researchers say urbanization and media coverage may be contributing to the rise in hangings.
The underreporting of suicides, especially in rural areas, may also be distorting the picture. A recent analysis by Arya and others found that age-adjusted suicide rates from the National Crime Registry Office were 37% lower than estimates from the Global Burden of Disease Study.
Asian countries like Sri Lanka have seen a significant decline in suicide rates after banning pesticides. A new modeling study funded by the World Health Organization (WHO) for 14 countries, including China and India, found that banning highly hazardous pesticides is a cost-effective method of reducing suicide.
The analysis, released Thursday, found that enactment of national bans on such pesticides in all 14 countries could result in 28,000 fewer suicides each year at an annual cost of $ 0.007 per capita. This decrease equates to a potential 6.5% reduction in suicide deaths among these 14 countries by 2030, according to the study.
“The more significant pesticide suicides are in any country, the more profitable it will be,” said WHO study co-author Michael Eddleston, director of the Center for Pesticide Suicide Prevention at the University of Edinburgh, adding that this would work. for “Low Intent” Pesticide Suicides.
Another analysis by Eddleston and others this year also found a decline in pesticide suicides in India following the 2011 endosulfan ban, with sharp drops in Kerala, where more than 10 pesticides have been banned in recent years. The study found no impact on agricultural production.
The size of the national decline was surprising, Eddleston said, given that the ban was on a single pesticide and not one commonly used in suicides. “The recent bans should have a bigger impact,” he said. India banned 18 highly toxic pesticides in 2018.
However, much of the decline was offset by a parallel increase in suicides by hanging and other methods of poisoning.

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