Highly toxic but gives an even bounce of the ball

Endosulfan, one of the more toxic chemicals in the world, and banned in over 50 countries, still has a couple of havens where it is still respected and welcomed.  One is on our tomatoes and other food crops. And the other is on our children’s sports fields.

Sue Kedgley has today released the results of survey of New Zealand councils that use Endosulfan on public sports fields, and there are a quite a few. For instance in the Manukau City Council’s purview there is

  • Lloyd Elsmore top flat winter soccer and summer cricket area
  • Omana Park
  • Rogers Park
  • James Watson #1
  • Mountfort Park Cricket Oval and soccer area
  • Papatoetoe Rec Ground winter soccer fields and the cricket #1 overlay
  • Murdock Park # 1&2
  • Mangere Domain # 1&2

In all cases the chemical is being used to kill these things:


The council, which sprays each hectare with three litres of endosulfan during the winter, notes:

the benefits for summer users are a smoother surface (due to a reduced number of castings) creating a consistent ball roll in the case of cricket.

Is that really so scary and threatening to our nation’s cricket players that we need to hit the worms with a highly toxic chemical that Sue Kedgley notes;

affects people’s hormonal system, and is linked to breast cancer, endometriosis, male breast enlargement and delayed sexual maturity. It can cause birth defects, and is linked to epilepsy, autism, cerebral palsy, lowered IQ, and Parkinson’s disease.

It has even worse affects on the worms. She also says:

To my knowledge New Zealand is the only country in the world that sprays Endosulfan on sports fields. Endosulfan can remain in the soil for up to six years and any skin, mouth or hand contact with the soil could cause harm.

The Greens’ just released toxics policy is here.

Photo credit: pfly

4 Comments Posted

  1. It is hard for me to see people risk the health of their children and other beings for a “nice” yard. I have spent a lot of time in Belarus and it is nice to see the “yards” full of strawberries, potatoes or something else that will offer sustenance. Let the worms live!

  2. So sorry to hear of Katya’s brain tumour. Our household’s thoughts are with you both. We will be holding you both in our thoughts especially on October 17th. Thank you for all you are doing and have done for the Green cause.

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