A pesticide is a substance or a mixture of substances used for killing pests: organisms dangerous to cultivated plants or to animals.
The term applies to various pesticides such as insecticide, fungicide, herbicide and nematocide.
Applications of pesticides to crops and animals may leave residues in or on food when it is consumed, and those specified derivatives are considered to be of toxicological significance. Pesticides which are used for preventing or destroying pest is having more negative impact on our ecological system when compared to its desired action.
Pesticides are carried by wind to other areas and make them contaminate.
Pesticides are also causing water pollution and some pesticides are persistent organic pollutants which contribute to soil contamination. Pesticide residue refers to the pesticides that may remain on or in food after they are applied to food crops.
The maximum allowable levels of these residues in foods are often stipulated by regulatory bodies in many countries.
Exposure of the general population to these residues most commonly occurs through consumption of treated food sources, or being in close contact to areas treated with pesticides such as farms or lawns. Defined by the World Health Organization (WTO) as, "Any substance or mixture of substances in food for man or animals resulting from the use of a pesticide and includes any specified derivatives, such as degradation and conversion products, metabolites, reaction products, and impurities that are considered to be of toxicological significance."Many of chemical residues, especially derivatives of chlorinated pesticides, exhibit bioaccumulation which could build up to harmful levels in the body as well as in the environment.
Persistent chemicals can be magnified through the food chain and have been detected in products ranging from meat, poultry, and fish, to vegetable oils, nuts, and various fruits and vegetables. The publication in 1962 of the famous Silent Spring by the biologist Rachel Carson made popular the risks associated to DDT (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane).
This was followed by the cancelation of this pesticide for agricultural uses by US authorities.
Other prominent examples of pesticide cancelation include EDB (ethylene dibromide) in 1983 and methyl bromide in 2005.
It is well known now that a significant fraction of pesticides are carcinogenic; for instance, 18% of all insecticides and 90% of all fungicides were found to be carcinogenic (NAS, 1987 `Regulating pesticides in food'.
Washington DC, National Academy of Sciences.). It is also well known that pesticide residues remain for long periods of time, and that they are especially toxic to the young.
Also, pesticides kill domestic animals, fishes and bees.
Moreover, their use results in the development and evolution of pesticide resistance in insects, weeds and plant pathogens.
Nevertheless hundreds of pesticides are used worldwide, and some pesticides are used in some countries but not in others.
For instance, the main pesticide which is used in corn production in the US is atrazine, but this pesticide has been banned in the EU because of its toxicity since 2004. This book is highlighting pesticides residue in our food, food safety, its impact on our health, health risk, pesticides residue in fruits, vegetables, milk & its products and honey bees and finally its removal. Hope this book contributes in raising awareness about the use of pesticides and the risk associated with its use leading finally to the rational use of pesticides having its benefits without compromising our health.
The publication was made possible due to the efforts and the expertise of the contributing authors.
They are gratefully acknowledged.
- Format: Hardback
- Pages: 275 pages
- Publisher: Arcler Education Inc
- Publication Date: 01/11/2017
- Category: Pollution & threats to the environment
- ISBN: 9781773611686