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Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2009 May;16(3):295-301. doi: 10.1007/s11356-008-0042-z. Epub 2008 Sep 4.

Endosulfan in China 1-gridded usage inventories.

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International Joint Research Center for Persistent Toxic Substances, Dalian Maritime University, 1 Linghai Road, Dalian, 116026, People's Republic of China.



Endosulfan, an organochlorine pesticide (OCP), is genotoxic in mammalian cells and generally considered to be toxic and classified by the World Health Organization and the US Environmental Protection Agency as priority pollutants and a nominator for inclusion in a future iteration of the persistent organic pollutants treaty. Endosulfan is a currently used pesticide and still being used worldwide. The general trend of total global endosulfan use has increased continuously since the first year when this pesticide was applied. It is critical to create national endosulfan usage/emission inventories for China to carry out source-receptor relation analysis, risk assessment, and other research related to endosulfan in this country. Chinese inventories have been published for some OCPs, such as technical HCH and lindane, DDT, and chlordane; for endosulfan, however, there has not been any usage inventory available on any scales (national or provincial), although endosulfan has been widely used since 1994 in this country. This is the first part of the work. The goal of this paper is to quantify the historical production and usage of endosulfan in China and to compile gridded historical usage inventories of endosulfan for this country. Based on these usage inventories, emission and residue inventories will be created, which is the goal of the second part of the work.


Due to the lack of national production and usage information of endosulfan in China, a method to estimate the use of endosulfan was developed. First, information of crops on which endosulfan is applied and average endosulfan use and annual application frequencies of endosulfan on these crops were collected. Secondly, usage of endosulfan on each crop was estimated using the national cropland area for each province from Chinese government reports. Finally, with the help of GIS (geographic information system), the usage data of this insecticide was allocated to a grid system, with a 1/4 degrees longitude by 1/6 degrees latitude resolution, with a size for each grid cell of approximately 25 km by 25 km.


The use of endosulfan in agriculture in China started on cotton in 1994, and on wheat, tea, tobacco, apples, and other fruits in 1998. Endosulfan usage on cotton, wheat, tea, tobacco, and apples in China has been estimated to be approximately 25,700 t between 1994 and 2004. The province with the highest usage of endosulfan is Henan Province, with a total usage reaching 4,000 t, followed by the uses in Xinjiang Autonomous Region (3,200 t), Shandong Province (3,000 t), Hebei Province (2,100 t), and Anhui Province (1,900 t). Gridded usage inventories of endosulfan at a 1/4 degrees longitude by 1/6 degrees latitude resolution have been created, which indicate that the intensive endosulfan use was in the south of Hebei Province, west of Shandong Province, east of Henan Province, north of Anhui Province, east of Jiangsu Province, and some areas in Yunnan Province and Xinjiang Autonomous Region. General agreement has been found between the usage data from our estimation and the small amount of usage data published in China.


This is the first national gridded endosulfan usage inventory produced for China. The annual applications of endosulfan from 1994 to 2004 in China were estimated based on the total areas of major crops, on which endosulfan was applied, and spatial distribution of the application was generated at provincial and prefecture levels. With the help of GIS, endosulfan usage based on prefecture was transferred to a 1/4 degrees longitude by 1/6 degrees latitude gridding system. The satisfaction of the inventories was supported by the consistence between the estimation of the annual usage and the reported annual production of endosulfan.


This gridded endosulfan usage inventory created in this study will be improved upon availability of new information of endosulfan. The usage inventories can be used to create gridded emission and residue inventories for this insecticide. It is believed that this work will pave the way for further endosulfan studies in China and beyond.

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