BRIC-inStem develops Kisan Kavach to protect farmers from lethal effects of pesticides

Farmers from India and developing countries are exposed to toxic pesticides that can enter the body through the skin and the nose while spraying in the field, especially since no protective gear is worn during the process. Most pesticides/insecticides are neurotoxins. Thus, getting exposed to them causes toxic and lethal effects. Millions of farmers suffer from pesticide toxicity, even if they cover their mouth and nose with cloth while spraying. Despite a pressing need, no technology exists to chemically deactivate pesticides before they enter into the body to protect farmers from pesticide exposure. Dr Praveen Vemula lab has developed an anti-pesticide fabric capable of deactivating pesticides upon contact. This would prevent the myriad ill-effects of pesticide exposure on farmers’ health such as vomiting, breathing disorders, tremors, vision loss, muscle pain and weakness, loss of endurance and in some instances – death. These findings are reported in a research article in the latest edition of the journal Nature Communications. In the pre-clinical studies conducted on rats, the researchers tested the protection their anti-pesticide fabric could confer. The material of Kisan Kavach® successfully prevented neuronal damage, loss of muscle function or endurance, and death. More importantly, it could detoxify the majority of commonly used pesticides in India, including the notorious organophosphates. The bulk manufacturing of Kisan Kavach® suits has been taken up by the start-up Sepio Health that could be launched in the market in the near future. Link to article:Mohan, M. K., Thorat, K., Puthiyapurayil, T. P., Sunnapu, O., Chandrashekharappa, S., Ravula, V., … & Vemula, P. K. (2024). Oxime-functionalized anti-insecticide fabric reduces insecticide exposure through dermal and nasal routes, and prevents insecticide-induced neuromuscular-dysfunction and mortality. Nature Communications15(1), 4844.DOI: 10.1038/s41467-024-49167-3    
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