Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Health problems associated with Pesticides

"Late in the afternoon of April 1, 1990, a three-year-old girl playing in front of her trailer home in California's San Joaquin Valley suddenly lost control of her body and began foaming at the mouth. By the time the girl arrived at the local emergency room, she was near death. She recovered eventually. A report filed with the California Department of Pesticide Regulation concluded the child had been poisoned by aldicarb, a highly toxic insecticide that works the same way on people as it does on bugs -- like nerve gas. ‘Somebody had parked a tractor with pesticide material on it right in front of the play area,' said Michael O'Malley, the author of the report and a physician at the University of California, Davis."
-- Matt Crenson, Associated Press, December 9, 1997

What is mean by Pesticides ?

Pesticides can be defined as substances or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling or mitigating any pest.

It can be categorized into four:



insecticides and


Health problems associated with Pesticides

Pesticides are specifically formulated to be toxic to living organisms, and as such, are usually hazardous to humans. Most pesticides used today are acutely toxic to humans.

Use of pesticides in the agriculture sector poses a serious environmental and public health problem. The study on relationship between the extent of pesticide-used and signs and symptoms of illnesses due to exposure shows that these are significantly associated. Chronic health effects have also been reported from pesticides.Common Health problems associated with Pesticides are


Birth Defects

Neurological Effects


Hormone Disruptions.

You may think that pesticides are hazardous to Farmers only ?

No….. Never think like that ……….

Surveys carried out by institutions spread throughout the country indicate that 50-70% of vegetables are contaminated with insecticide residues. A study conducted by Delhi-based NGO reveals that the amount of pesticides used in eatables in India is as much as 750 times the European standards. The survey collected sample data from various wholesale and retail shops in Delhi, Banglore and Kolkata.

"Out of five internationally-banned pesticides, four were found to be common in vegetables sold in the Indian markets. Banned pesticides were found in bitter gourd and spinach,'' said Sisir Ghosh, head of Consumer-Voice. The banned chemicals included chlordane, a potent central nervous system toxin, endrin, which can cause headache nausea and dizziness, and heptachor that can damage the liver and decrease fertility.

There is need for creating more awareness among the farmers and authorities in enforcing and ensuring limited use of pesticides.

Replying to questions during question hour, agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar on March 12, 2011 admitted in the Rajya Sabha that 67 pesticides banned or restricted in a number of countries are being freely used in India.

Asked why these pesticides were being allowed in India, he said that only some countries have banned their use, while others such as Brazil and Australia continue to use them. “We take all precautions in allowing use of these pesticides. Certain countries have banned them, but certain countries have allowed their use. We have taken the opinion of the scientific community and considered the interest of the farming community in allowing their use.” “We have considered the interest of the farming community”


Foot note:-

The Kerala government has already decided to withdraw licenses to sell red and yellow categories of pesticides in Kasaragod district and it is considering a ban on red (extremely toxic) and yellow (highly toxic) categories of pesticides in phases against the background of mounting protests against pesticides in the State, especially in Kasaragod and Idukki districts.

WAIT & SEE ……( if u can ).

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