Helping women with chronic illnesses

Endosulfan Pesticide Banned in New Zealand: Endometriosis, Infertility, Breast Cancer & Pesticides…

Do you have endometriosis, infertility, or breast cancer? Then this post may be of interest to you.

I am currently reading a book called Silent Spring (for information regarding this book, please see the environmental section of the right sidebar of this blog).

It talks about a number of things including pesticides. I am about 2/3 of the way finished with this book and I look forward to telling you more about it in a future post.

Interestingly, I just last night received a Google alert for endometriosis regarding a pesticide called endosulfan that has been banned in New Zealand.

Here is the Google alert I got that was flagged for the key word “endometriosis”:

The New Zealand Herald: Cancer group delighted with ban

The reason this is particularly interesting to me is that the Silent Spring book I’m currently reading was written decades ago and covers the dangerous effects of pesticides, insecticides, and herbicides.


It is alarming that the warning bells of Silent Spring were not heeded and that chemical companies’ profits appear to have won out over public health, the well being of the planet itself, and common sense. Rachel Carson’s prescient story of the profound impact of such toxins is mind-boggling to me.

Endosulfan has been banned in many countries as per the preceding wikipedia link.

Per the wikipedia entry on endosulfan, it is registered for agricultural use in the United States.

Here is an excerpt from the endosulfan wikipedia entry:

Health effects

Endosulfan is one of the more toxic pesticides on the market today, responsible for many fatal pesticide poisoning incidents around the world [see the wikipedia entry for footnotes]. Endosulfan is also a xenoestrogen — a synthetic substance that imitates or enhances the effect of estrogen — 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.

For more information on endocrine disruptors, see the “Our Stolen Future” website.

This book is next on my reading list and I plan to review it in the future.

After numerous quotes from and references to this book on this blog, I am finally going to read it in its entirety! (See book info in right sidebar of this blog).

First, I need to finish reading “Silent Spring”!

Related articles:

There are numerous articles that have talked about some of the topics mentioned in this post. For more info from past posts, please use the search engine located in the top left corner of this homepage. Type in your search word and then just click search to be routed to previous articles.

This article was posted by Jeanne via “Jeanne’s Endo Blog” at

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Reading: Endosulfan Pesticide Banned in New Zealand: Endometriosis, Infertility, Breast Cancer & Pesticides…


1 Yaya { 12.18.08 at 12:10 am }

I’m definitely gonna read this book. Thanks for the head up about it.

PS Did you get it from the library? I looked in the library system and didn’t see it….

2 Jeanne { 12.18.08 at 5:12 am }


This book is AMAZING!

I will not lie to you. It is NOT an easy read. It is taking me quite awhile to get through it simply because there are lots of pesticide names and chemical names in it that slow me down.

It’s so worth it, though, to me… to put in the effort to get past the jargon to what really matters.

I have been reading this book for awhile. It’s just not a quick read. The info I am getting out of it, though, is so worth it to me!

It boggles my mind. This book was published in the 1960s! It is astoundingly relevant for such an old book!!

This author wrote about pesticides so many years ago, in such great detail. It saddens me and sickens me that more has not been done to heed her warnings!

The companies that make these chemicals are very powerful. That is the biggest problem with the pesticides… from what I can tell.

Remember how the hazards of smoking cigarettes were considered “in dispute” or “controversial” for decades because the tobacco companies had so much power? That is what this reminds me of.

They actually had a section in the book about how a propaganda film was created about fire ants…to scare farmers into using the pesticide targeting the insects. (I’m paraphasing here. The bottom line is that greedy corporations are behind the whole pesticide mess and this was one example cited in the book).

Anyway, it is just mind-blowing stuff!!

Like I said, it’s not a quick read or an easy read. To me, though, it’s very worth it.

Especially now (about 2/3 through the book) that the impact of pesticides on fertility is really getting spelled out.

It’s just amazing (!!) that these chemicals are even legal (by “these chemicals” I refer to FAR more than just the endosulfan). Endosulfan is really bad stuff. There are just PLENTY more where that came from, I’m afraid!

Anyway, I was fortunate enough to find it at the library. As I said, this book is old. So maybe that is why you had trouble finding it.

I have already renewed mine and I need to blog a little less and read Silent Spring a little more if I’m going to get it back on time!

The terminology has really slowed me down but it is such an awesome book. It just takes me longer to read than the average book.

This book is considered a classic and it paved the way for the environmental movement as we know it today.

It’s hard to comprehend how this woman wrote such a detailed, painstaking book about pesticides back in the late 1950s and early 1960s. (I guess it took her 4 years to write it).

It is absolutely amazing to me on so many levels.

When the crop dusters spray in my rural area, it freaks me out. This generally happens when it’s very hot outside but since we are near farmland, I close up all the windows in the whole house – in an effort to keep the pesticides from entering through the windows.

Obviously this may be a fairly futile attempt to avoid the pesticides but it can’t hurt!

It really bothers me! We have a totally organic lawn. We use no weed killers at all. When we moved here, the adjacent farmland was maintained with “traditional” methods and NO pesticides.

That has changed. The crop dusting planes fly right over our house and it makes me sick to my stomach… especially now that I am getting a HUGE education from this outstanding book.

With my multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), the last thing I need is pesticide exposure!

I’m not going to lie to you. It’s no easy read.

The fascinating part I’m reading now gets into how mammalian fertility has been PROFOUNDLY impacted by pesticides.

It’s no wonder infertility is such a problem!!! This book spells it all out in jarring detail.

It’s very sad to me that pesticide manufacturers continue to make and market products that are toxic AND that aren’t even effective long-term at the insect control and pesticide control for which they are marketed!!!

In fact, many times the problems are WORSENED by the chemicals in the long run — which often prompts more spraying with more/stronger toxic chemicals. It’s totally illogical! Wildlife has suffered enormously and people have DIED from pesticide exposure!

The practices uncovered by this book are sinful. It infuriates me to think of all of the suffering that could have been prevented if people/companies/governments had listened to Rachel Carson’s prescient warnings.

Let’s just say this book is VERY important — but you should be preapared that it is not an uplifting book.

It’s real. It’s brutally honest. Sometimes it’s downright scary. Easy reading it is not.

What really got my attention was that when I wrote this post, I saw that the US (unlike other countries that have already banned it) STILL uses endosulfan!

I will be posting in the near future about this issue since my neck of the woods is in one the worst areas for endosulfan spraying, per the map on the wikipedia endosulfan entry! It’s downright scary.

I’m sorry to be such a downer but there’s really no way to lighten up this topic. Silent Spring is hitting home for me some sad truths that make me angry, sad, frustrated, and feel helpless.

If you read the book, you’ll see what I mean.

I am looking forward to seeing how the book ends and moving on to my next book “Our Stolen Future”. It covers endocrine disruptors, among other things, and gets into fertility.

The subtitle of OSF is “Are We Threatening Our Fertility, Intelligence and Survival? – A Scientific Detective Story”…

I have been wanting to read these 2 books forever.

Deep down, I think I knew I had to really be ready to read what they say. It’s heavy stuff!


3 Dr. S. Banerji { 12.18.08 at 11:27 am }

Endosulfan can and should be used safely and judiciously. It has a broad spectrum of activity, with a favorable profile for pollinators, egg parasites and predators. Off-target residues can be re-mediated chemically or through microbes. Neo-nicotinoid patent holders are the only ones to gain by bans of a useful and economic generic.

4 Jeanne { 12.18.08 at 4:27 pm }

Dr. S. Banerji,

Thank you for your feedback.

According to the wikipedia entry regarding endosulfan:

“It is 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 was to be banned after September 2008). It is still used extensively in many countries including India and Australia. It is made by Bayer CropScience, Makhteshim-Agan, and government-of-India-owned 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”.

The wikipedia entry goes on to say this:

Health effects-

“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”.

In light of the fact that multiple countries have banned endosulfan and in light of the fact that it is an endocrine disruptor and a neurotoxic organochlorine insecticide, this chemical is dangerous for someone like me.

It just so happens that a map of the area where I live shows that it is heavily sprayed with endosulfan.

This alarms me in light of the fact that I have multiple chronic illnesses which include, but are not limited to, multiple chemical sensitivity and endometriosis.

I appreciate your comments and thank you for stopping by.


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