The introduction of synthetic pesticides had an enormous impact on agriculture and human health. Dramatic increases in agricultural production, the so-called green revolution, in the past decades were achieved by the use of synthetic pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides. Insecticides and fungicides have been used and are being used to reduce post harvest losses of crops. Synthetic compounds that have been used for farming and food production have contributed to agriculture’s success and affected. The use of pesticides in agriculture has undoubtedly led to increases in crop yield and reductions in crop loss due to pests such as insects, weeds, and plant diseases. According to one estimate, 40% of the world’s food supply would be at risk without pesticides, and economic benefits from the use of pesticides in developed countries range from $3.50 to $5.00 per every dollar spent on pesticides.
The use of pesticides in contemporary agriculture also presents unique risks to human health and to the environment. Agricultural workers involved in the mixing, loading, or application of pesticides and those working in fields treated with pesticides face health risks that could result from excess exposure to the pesticides. Numerous cases of worker illness and injuries from pesticide exposure have been reported. In the last few decades, attention has switched to the possible hazards to human health of pesticide residues in foods. Contamination of surface and groundwater by pesticides is recognized as a serious problem for agriculture.
Last modified: Thursday, 23 February 2012, 11:47 AM