March 28th, 2016 | By Shahid Javed, Dr. Imran ul Haq, Rana M. Sabir Tariq and Muhammad Usman | No Comments
The term pesticides consistof many compound that are insecticides,fungicides, herbicides, nematicidesand plant growth regulators. Population is increasing day by day, for the fulfilment of food demand pesticides are used more and more for the purpose of food security. These pesticides contain toxic active ingredients that remain in the food after processing and had great influence on human life and environment.Along with the food we are taking daily dosage of pesticides in our daily diet with an unknown amount of poison. This is why the rate of physiological disorders has been increased.In general view, pesticide should be considered best if it affects the target organisms other than non-target organism like humans and other beneficial organisms.Unfortunately, in the present case most pesticides infect non-target organism.
STATUS OF PESTICIDE USE IN PAKISTAN
Pakistan is basically an agriculture country and most of the population depend on it.About 70% ofpopulation of our country directly or indirectly co-relate with agriculture for the purpose of food, feed and fiber. In our country, about 68%industries have concerned with agriculture.Pakistan has great potential to grow tropical and sub-tropical fieldcrops. Wheat, sugarcane, cotton and rice are the major cash crops that are grown on most areas of the country as compare to fruit and vegetables.
In Pakistan, 50 percent of the pesticides are highly dangerous to the crops. Presently, in our country the major insect-pest management done by chemicals which are highly dangerous to the living organism and belongs to category A and B given by world health organization (WHO).As pesticides gives quick control against plant pathogenic diseases and provides us maximum yield and plays an important in the economy of Pakistan. But these chemicals have many harmful effecst on human and aquatic life also. In Pakistan, pesticides use started after 1950 for the management of locust control firstly. In 1954, our government first time introduced formulated pesticides that have good and fast control against different pathological diseases. Before the introduction of formulated pesticides in country, people used different local cultural management practices to manage the plant diseases. But after the pesticides introduction, a new trend exposed for the management of diseases in the Pakistan agriculture. Up to 1980, import of pesticides was under control by the Department of Plant Protection, Pakistan and its distribution to the farmer done by the extension network. Imported pesticides are mostly used for foliar application on cotton, sugarcane, rice, tobacco and fruit crops. With the increase in import and consumption of pesticides in our regionpesticide industries were privatized in 1980 by the government and now many multinational and generic companies in association with local agents are working to meet the pesticide requirements of the country. According to recent data 2014-2015 by the economic survey of Pakistan, overall pesticides consumption in our region is 76,532 metric tons annually. Maximum pesticides are used on agricultural crops that is about 60% on cotton, 7 % on rice, 4 % on cereals, 2 % on sugarcane and 27 % other crops.
Pesticides enables us to get high food production and prevents our crops from insect-pest on one sides, at the same time we have sacrifice human health and food quality on the other hand. Due to excess use of pesticides in agriculture for the management the diseases and to obtain maximum yield to overcome the issue of food security, pesticides toxicity level also increase and its toxic residue causes a number of human diseases and disorders so we needs to develop other control measure. In 1962, Rachel Carson wrote a book with titled “Silent Springs” which aware the scientists about harmful aspect of this pesticide. It affected the wildlife, aquatic life, domestic animals and even humans. It is very threaten chemical which residue remains present in soil up to 40 year.
Chemical substances that may present on or in the food after applied to field crop and remains in after processing. The marginal residue levels (MRL) of these pesticides in foods are often adjusted by the Food Regulating Authority of the many countries of the world. It causes brainand skin problems due to pesticides residue in the food. Pesticides containing liquid, can cause diseases like headache, skin allergy and cancer.
Majority of the growers believe that pesticides
a) Improve productivity of the crop
b) Protect the crop from different agricultural pests and disorders and prevent from crop loss
c) Control insect vectors that cause diseases in crop
d) Increase the quality of food
However, their harms are far more than their benefits.
Pesticides Residue and their impact on Human life and Environment:
The adverse health effects of pesticides residue depending upon the pesticides residue concentration in food and per day water used by individual man. Pesticides residues affect the life and environment in the following ways.
a) Direct impact on humans health and cause different allergic and mutation disorders
b) Impact through food commodities (food poisoning and other stomach disorders)
c) Impact on environment (water, land and air pollution)
d) Effect on soil fertility on beneficial soil microorganisms health
e) Cause soil and air pollution
f) Killing of non-target pest
Pesticides impurities also effects human health and environment.They enter the human body through different ways: by dermal action, inhaling through lungs and the digestive system by ingestion. It may be acute or chronic in nature depending on the concentration and time of exposure. Chronic exposureinclude different form of cancer, reproductive disorders, neuro-behavioral disorders and allergic sensitisation reactions particularly on the skin. Insecticides have carcinogenic effects which causes cancer, birth defects, infertility, endocrine system failure, fetal complication to the child bearing women. In environment it results in water pollution, soil contamination, reduces nitrogen fixation, pollinator decline, threatens endangered species and reduces biodiversity.
Ingestion of pesticides through contaminated food supplies is a cause of concern for almost everyone. This was most serious at the time when persistent insecticides, (organ chlorines) were commonly used on crops. It is time to urge the scientists to pay heed towards the formulation of insecticides which have low residual pollutions, safety for non-targeted organisms and a less durational half-life.
Recently scientist is working on organic food production by the development resistance source and high yielded genotypes. These varieties reduce the pesticide consumption and promote human health.
Pesticides are mostly used for the management of plant diseases but its residue are very dangerous to the human and environment and cause different human disorders and diseases such as cancer, reproductive abnormalities and heart diseases.By making strong policies, resistance host development and quarantine measure we can overcome this issue and give healthy future to our children. The government of Pakistan should take this issue with more attention.
Published in: Volume 07 Issue 13
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