Thursday, July 23, 2009

Drawing attention to endosulfan

The fair trade underwear company Pants to Poverty is organizing protests to warn about the use of a chemical in cotton processing. Pants to Poverty is organizing the protest in 16 different countries, and is getting help from celebrities from the UK and Bollywood.

From the Ethiopian Review, we read more about the chemical that is getting the attention.

They are calling for a ban on the use of the harmful pesticide endosulfan, used in underwear production.

It can cause cancer, birth defects, respiratory problems and sterility among cotton farmers and their families.

Pants To Poverty, a Fairtrade underwear company, says toxic cotton pants containing traces of the chemical are being sold on the UK high street.

Just one pair of non-organic cotton pants can use 10ml of the chemical – enough to kill a person if directly exposed.

Ben Ramsden, founder of Pants To Poverty said: "Using pants as our metaphor, this campaign explains both the good and the bad about the cotton industry and points towards a brighter future."

Laboratory tests on 1,000 pairs of pants from UK shops showed one in 50 tested positive for the dangerous pesticide.

It has been banned in 62 countries due to its high toxicity, but its use is still permitted in India and other developing nations.

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