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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Pesticides and its associated risk on ecology and environment


Pesticides and its associated risk on ecology and environment:

A pesticide is any chemical or mixture of chemicals intended for preventing, destroying, repelling or mitigating any pest. They include herbicides, insecticides and fungicides as well. The advantageous part of a pesticide is they can kill potential disease-causing organisms and control insects, weeds, and other pests. It is used for agricultural purpose to a great extent. A lot of people are exposed to pesticides within their working environment. Farmers, pesticide applicators and workers in pesticides manufactures are most susceptible to pesticide poisoning. Farm women, who are exposed to some commonly used pesticides in farm work, are at a greater risk of developing allergic asthma, according to a new study.

Pesticides are used in modern farming on fruit and vegetables to increase yields and are thought to increase produce quality. However, pesticides are toxic chemicals designed to kill agricultural pests but can also cause problems with human health if exposed to in large amounts. Pesticides can cause harm to humans, animals or the environment because they are designed to kill or otherwise adversely affect living organisms.

Therefore, as per rule, Govt. agencies register or license pesticides for use in any country. Before a pesticide can be used Govt. agencies conducts ecological risk assessments to determine what risks are posed by a pesticide and whether changes to the use or proposed use of that pesticide are necessary to protect the environment. The Govt. agencies and laboratories are required to conduct and submit a wide range of environmental laboratory and field studies. These studies examine: (i) The ecological effects or toxicity of a pesticide and its breakdown products (degradation products) to various terrestrial and aquatic animals and plants; (ii) The chemical fate and transport of a pesticide (how it behaves and where it goes) in soil, air, and water resources.

Finally, Govt. agencies and laboratories integrate the toxicity information with the exposure data to determine the ecological risk from the use of the pesticide, or whether it is safe for the environment and wildlife.

To reduce the risk from pesticides eat organically and ecologically grown food, wash and peel vegetables and fruit, grow your own food, avoid fatty foods or trim fat from meat as persistent pesticides are stored in fatty tissue. Cook vegetables rather than eat them raw all the time, cook meat and chicken thoroughly, garden in a non-chemical way without pesticides.

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