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General

  • Endosulfan, commonly known by its trade name Thiodan, is an insecticide. It was first introduced in the 1950s. Endosulfan is a broad spectrum contact insecticide that controls sucking, chewing, and boring insects.
  • Endosulfan is a chlorinated hydrocarbon insecticide and acaricide of the cyclodiene subgroup which acts as a poison to a wide variety of insects and mites on contact. Although it may also be used as a wood preservative, it is used primarily on a wide variety of food crops including tea, coffee, fruits, and vegetables, as well as on rice, cereals, maize, sorghum, or other grains.

Process

  • The main method of production involves the Diels-Alder addition of hexachlorocyclopentadiene and cis-butene-1,4-diol in xylene. This step is followed by a hydrolysis of the adduct to the cis-diol or dialcohol (Melnikov 1971). The endosulfan end product is then obtained by treating this bicyclic dialcohol with thionyl chloride (SOCl2) .

Uses

  • In the United States, endosulfan is mainly applied to tobacco and fruit crops. In the state of California, however, spraying of lettuce, tomatoes, and artichokes accounts for half of the total use. The six major crops protected by endosulfan in California, according to 1977 figures, are tomatoes, cotton, lettuce, strawberries, pears, and grapes in decreasing order of amount of endosulfan used for each crop.
  • Endosulfan is a contact insecticide, useful for the control of pests in fruits, vegetables and ornamental plants. It gives good results in the control of various beetles, caterpillars and aphids on fruits and crops

Market

  • Pesticide industry in India is the fourth largest in the world and second largest in the Asia-Pacific region, only next to China. Estimates of its total market value vary between rupees 3800 and rupees 4100 crore. Moreover India is the largest manufacturer of Endosulfan in the world. Three major companies produce Endosulfan in India-Excel Industries, Hindustan Insecticide Limited and EID Parry. OF these Excel is the market leader as far as Endosulfan is concerned.
  • The Australian Maximum Residue Limit (MRL) for endosulfan in cattle fat is 0.2 mg/kg. The United States MRL is the same as Australia's, but several other export markets for Australian beef, and particularly those in north Asia, have set their MRL at the Codex Alimentarius Commission level of 0.1 mg/kg.

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