Chemical Insecticides And Environment Pdf

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Insecticides in Agriculture and Environment

This chapter provides an overview of ethical issues related to the development of industrial chemicals. While they do contribute to advancements in agriculture, medicine, transportation, hygiene, and human leisure, these chemicals can concomitantly pose serious threats to human and environmental health. The chapter examines the public health cost-benefit of environmental chemicals and the regulatory frameworks for human health protection in various countries, focusing on evidence-based decision-making, risk analysis, a precautionary approach, and international consensus.

Specific ethical concerns discussed relate to the impacts and lasting effects of pesticides, the influence of economic stability and profit derived from industrial chemicals, conflicts between public health priorities and environmental protections, and inequities and injustices in the distribution of risks and burdens associated with industrial chemicals. Keywords: industrial chemicals , pesticides , public health , environmental health , risk analysis , precautionary principle , post-anthropocentric ethics , inequities , public health ethics.

Chemical development and material science have revolutionized agriculture, medicine, commerce, transportation, hygiene, and nearly every other aspect of human life. They have advanced research and innovation, contributed to economic growth, and allowed longer high-quality lives for many individuals. However, there is increasing evidence that many industrial chemicals, including those found in consumer products, may adversely impact public health and environmental health.

For example, coal burning, waste incineration, pesticide applications, and chlorine bleaching of paper and pulp create byproducts, known as dioxins, that continuously enter ecosystems, bioaccumulate in food chains, and negatively impact health by increasing risks related to cancer, thyroid disorders, immune deficiencies, cardiovascular events, diabetes, reproductive issues, and developmental disorders Steenland et al.

When chemicals are used in industrial processes or consumer products, they do not always remain in the intended location or substrate, leading to unintended exposures and the potential for adverse effects on public health. Limiting our exposure to industrial chemicals can be challenging, because they are ubiquitous within our environment. These substances are found not just in the air we breathe and the water we drink, but also in our food, drugs, cosmetics, detergents, personal care products, building materials, and solvents—to name but a few examples.

This chapter will consider ethical concerns related to public health and the development and use of industrial chemicals; it examines various regulatory approaches, p.

Also, the chapter will assess specific ethics issues, including food production and pesticides, the influence of economic stability and profit derived from industrial chemicals, conflicts between public health priorities and environmental protections, and health inequities related to the use of industrial chemicals. Accurately determining the extent to which a chemical poses a health risk to human populations is complicated.

Typically, the health risk associated with a chemical derives from a combination of its potential to do harm the hazard and the likelihood of and amount of it reaching a biological target the exposure. Hazards derive from the ability of a chemical to have a specific adverse effect, depicted with dose-response curves. In most cases, the response is proportional to the dose: higher doses produce greater toxicity than lower doses.

Adverse effects are then dependent on the amount of chemical exposure, but they are also influenced by exposure route, duration, timing, and individual susceptibilities e. Based on a combined understanding of hazard and exposure, scientists have also developed the concept of a threshold for toxicological concern using linear extrapolation, below which there would be no appreciable risk to human health Kroes, Kleiner, and Renwick, Using this threshold, risk assessors and risk managers can incorporate safety factors to set reference doses RfDs i.

While traditional risk assessment methods have proven appropriate for most chemicals with adequate toxicological information, the assumptions of dose-response proportionality and thresholds for response have both come under increased debate in the scientific community for some specific applications Vandenberg et al.

Endocrine-disrupting chemicals—commonly found in plasticizers and pesticides e. This is of great concern because RfDs based on high-level testing would not necessarily be protective for low-dose exposures. Further, evidence from cancer studies indicates that carcinogens may not have a threshold level within the environmentally relevant range Asante-Duah, , because even a minute amount of these substances in the body can increase the risk of cancer or mutations that lead to cancer.

Known carcinogens include alcoholic beverage consumption, wood dust, benzene, formaldehyde, nickel compounds, solar radiation, and trichloroethylene found in industrial solvents. Similar to carcinogens, it has also been postulated that there is no safe threshold for certain neurotoxicants. Exposure to neurotoxicants causes neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders and subclinical brain dysfunction; this may include p.

As an example, it is now widely recognized that lead can cause adverse neurologic effects at exposure levels that only a decade ago were thought to be safe Caito and Aschner, Indeed, current research suggests that there may not be a threshold for lead under which adverse effects are not seen. Similarly, as we develop better tools to measure low-level exposures and subtle effects of arsenic, scientists are similarly beginning to question whether there is any safe level of arsenic exposure Wasserman et al.

The use of industrial chemicals has also substantially modified the environmental ecosystem. One of the most problematic issues is the bioaccumulation of chemicals in the environment, especially persistent organic pollutants POPs. POPs can be found in many synthetic compounds created for pest control e. Because of their durable chemical structures, POPs do not readily degrade within organisms or in the environment and may bioaccumulate in the fatty tissue of humans and wildlife.

As a result, they may have harmful impacts on human health and population health. Exposure to POPs has been associated with significant health issues, including certain cancers, reductions in immune response, impaired reproduction, and severe developmental malformations UNEP, Further, because POPs are distributed globally, no single government acting alone can protect its citizens or its environment from the risks related to POPs Adeola, ; Carpenter, To protect public and environmental health, the US government has enacted numerous laws to govern the production, use, sale, exposure, and disposal of potentially hazardous chemicals.

Specific federal laws exist for 1 food and drugs, 2 pesticides, and 3 toxic chemicals. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act FFDCA and other laws provide the Food and Drug Administration FDA with broad authority to regulate many food products, dietary supplements, food additives, infant formula, prescription and nonprescription drugs, vaccines, medical devices, cosmetics, veterinary feed and drugs, and tobacco products. Complimentary to the FDA efforts, the Environmental Protection Agency EPA sets tolerance levels for pesticides in food or as residue on food for human consumption as well as in animal feed 21 U.

In FIFRA was significantly revised and strengthened to place the primary burden of proof for safety on pesticide p. Animal studies seek to determine the dose at which the chemical has NOAEL; post-market reviews may change or revoke registration if adverse effects are discovered.

As part of the premarket registration, the EPA determines allowable uses and dosages based on mechanistic and animal studies submitted by companies, and the application of safety factors to ensure public health protection for vulnerable populations. The Food Quality Protection Act added more significant protections for infants and children by lowering acceptable levels of toxic chemicals in food residue codified at 21 U. States may also enact additional laws should they opt for stricter controls than those provided federally.

Apart from food, drugs, cosmetics, and pesticides, nearly all other chemicals are regulated under the Toxic Substances Control Act TSCA , first passed in and amended in 15 U. New toxic chemicals must be registered and may require testing if exposure poses danger or raises concerns.

The regulations explicitly require the protection of vulnerable populations e. The present TSCA inventory includes more than 83, chemicals, but an early evaluation by EPA estimates only 35, in current active usage.

Other countries have adopted more precautionary approaches to the regulation of chemicals. Regardless of whether one adheres to some form of the precautionary approach, determining an acceptable level of risk remains the key issue in chemical regulation regardless of jurisdiction. It is logical that countries will adopt different regulatory models tailored to their different needs, priorities, and values within a given jurisdiction.

However, chemicals do not adhere or conform to these geographical parameters, and they often have far-reaching consequences, extending internationally and ultimately affecting the balance of the ecosystem worldwide.

International consensus, such as the treaty process, has p. Public health promotion often encompasses values related to the health and well-being of populations. Typical examples of public health initiatives include disease control, promotion of healthy lifestyles, providing safe food and water, and the creation of accessible health care systems.

Although the use of industrial chemicals has helped in many of these endeavors, they also do sometimes hinder these public health initiatives because of conflicting goals or values. In this next section, we will exemplify how public health goals may be helped or hindered in agricultural development, industrial viability, and profit, as well as in terms of environmental justice. Although developed countries often have a substantial amount of food production, many resource-limited nations have little to no food security, which exacerbates rates of mortality and morbidity.

Although there is a strong moral imperative to use pesticides that promote food security on a global scale to ensure basic nourishment, the use of pesticides has concomitantly created many unintended effects on the environment.

This section explores the agricultural methods that have historically had various effects on public health. Industrialization contributed to a revolution in agriculture models, as the mechanized power and technological innovations of tractors, seed drills, cultivators, and reapers enabled large-scale planting and harvesting. To achieve large-scale efficiency and profits, industrial farming turned to monoculture, producing large crops of one fruit or vegetable or grain.

However, reducing the biodiversity of crops also limited their natural resistance, providing the opportunity for weeds, insects, and bacteria to blight entire crops. To counter this problem and ensure high yields, the agriculture industry turned to the development and increased use of pesticides Davis, In the early twentieth century, various types of arsenate e. These chemicals resulted in soil contamination, reduced foliage, and a harmful residue on plants, fruits, and vegetables, which contaminated soil and water on an international scale Nordstrom, ; Bencko and Yan Li Foong, Progress in finding a replacement for arsenic lagged until the development of DDT.

Unfortunately, some insects have developed resistance to DDT over time. In her influential book Silent Spring , Rachel Carson documented the significant negative long-term effects of pesticides focusing mainly on DDT on wildlife and humans.

Although there was little scientific consensus about the detrimental effects of pesticides at that time, Carson argued that environmental health was imperiled by the use of toxic chemicals driven by corporate greed and corruption. Subsequently, many countries banned DDT in the s, and in , as mentioned earlier, the United Nations ratified an international treaty at the Stockholm Convention limiting the use of POPs.

Nonetheless, the use of various chemicals in industrial agriculture has had a devastating effect on the environment. The ongoing growth of industrial farming continues to erode natural ecosystems, disturbing homeostasis and creating a detrimental amount of nitrogen and phosphorus namely through algal bloom , which at high levels creates pollutants in water and air, resulting in a detrimental effect on public health to present and future generations Tilman et al.

Those shortages not only cause starvation but also weaken the human immune system, thereby rendering populations more susceptible to disease. Agricultural and biotechnological innovation have significantly contributed to increased availability of calories per capita FAO, In an effort to increase food production, advances in biotechnology have produced genetically modified organisms GMOs , some of which include the transfer of insect-resistant genes into plants.

Although the BT toxins were at first deemed to be effective at pest resistance, various insect species have since become resistant to them and other pesticides.

Indeed, pesticide resistance is becoming widespread in insects, fungi, mites, weeds, and rodents Resnik, The development of pesticide resistance may undermine the gains in food supply that were partly achieved through pesticide use and may further increase food insecurity in an ever-growing world population. Pesticide resistance in certain pests e. Intergenerational ethics suggests that future people have the same intrinsic moral value as those currently living, since the only difference is one of temporality Nolt, From this perspective, present-day populations have a responsibility to sustain resources for future generations.

One could argue, however, that humans are capable of developing technology that will address human and environmental health issues arising in the future, so that science and technological innovation will ultimately prevail.

This logic p. It also begs the question: How much foresight and value should we assign to the well-being of future generations in our current policymaking and decisions regarding industrial chemicals and public health? While regulation is often necessary to protect human and environmental health against toxic or hazardous chemicals as in the case of DDT and POPs , overregulation may stifle scientific and industrial development Resnik, Industrial wealth and economic growth are often seen as a trade-off to environmental considerations Wubben, One may find it ethically sound to prioritize environmentally friendly practices, as they often have a positive effect on environmental protection and sustainability, which are often linked to public health promotion.

However, others may prioritize industrial profits that promote economic growth and may result in higher-paying jobs as well as a higher standard of living. Various studies have concluded that economic wealth is an important determinant of public health Lange and Vollmer, Others argue that attention to environmental values may not always support increased profits and so must be seen as having independent and intrinsic value Figge and Hahn, Balancing environmental regulation and economic development requires careful consideration of sometimes competing values.

Tort law provides potential legal avenues for addressing environmental harm. However, injury compensation requires substantial evidence to prove that a specific chemical caused disease or harm Cranor, b. When an individual or group seeks legal recourse for harm caused by a chemical, all relevant prior studies completed by the industry must be revealed during the early stages of the legal process.

Since many toxic chemicals are put on the market with little study of the effects of long-term or repeated exposure, the evidence required to seek a remedy or compensation is virtually nonexistent.

7 Types of pesticides and how they enter animals and plants

Skip to main content Skip to table of contents. Advertisement Hide. This service is more advanced with JavaScript available. Insecticides in Agriculture and Environment Retrospects and Prospects. Authors view affiliations A. Perry I.

February 1, The impacts of pesticides on wildlife are extensive, and expose animals in urban, suburban, and rural areas to unnecessary risks. Beyond Pesticides defines "wildlife" as any organism that is not domesticated or used in a lab. This includes, but is not limited to, bees, birds, small mammals, fish, other aquatic organisms, and the biota within soil. Wildlife can be impacted by pesticides through their direct or indirect application, such as pesticide drift, secondary poisoning, runoff into local water bodies, or groundwater contamination.

In recent years, people have been exposed to several types of substances with broad spectrum due to the rapidly evolving technology. One of these chemical substance groups are pesticides. Pesticides have been an essential part of agriculture to protect crops and livestock from pest infestations and yield reduction for many decades. Despite their usefulness, pesticides could pose potential risks to food safety, the environment, and all living things. Concern about the environmental impact of repeated pesticide use has prompted research into the environmental fate of these agents, which can emigrate from treated fields to air, other land, and water bodies.

Impacts of Pesticides on Wildlife

The term pesticide covers a wide range of compounds including insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, rodenticides, molluscicides, nematicides, plant growth regulators and others. Among these, organochlorine OC insecticides, used successfully in controlling a number of diseases, such as malaria and typhus, were banned or restricted after the s in most of the technologically advanced countries. The introduction of other synthetic insecticides — organophosphate OP insecticides in the s, carbamates in s and pyrethroids in s and the introduction of herbicides and fungicides in the s—s contributed greatly to pest control and agricultural output.

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This chapter provides an overview of ethical issues related to the development of industrial chemicals. While they do contribute to advancements in agriculture, medicine, transportation, hygiene, and human leisure, these chemicals can concomitantly pose serious threats to human and environmental health. The chapter examines the public health cost-benefit of environmental chemicals and the regulatory frameworks for human health protection in various countries, focusing on evidence-based decision-making, risk analysis, a precautionary approach, and international consensus.

Pesticides, Environmental Pollution, and Health

The impact of pesticides consists of the effects of pesticides on non-target species. Pesticides are chemical preparations used to kill fungal or animal pests. Other problems emerge from poor production, transport and storage practices.

Download PDF Flyer. DOI: Recommend this Book to your Library. Pesticide control involves killing pest organisms or otherwise preventing them from destructive behavior. In recent years, the bacterial genes coding for insecticidal proteins have been incorporated into various crops that dealt with the mortality of the pests feeding on them.

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Countless chemicals are environmentally stable, prone to bioaccumulation, and toxic [6]. Because some pesticides can persist in the environment.


Industrial Chemicals, Pesticides, Public Health, and Ethics

Edited by Anna C. Mastroianni, Jeffrey P. Kahn, and Nancy E. Kass

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4 Comments

  1. Tobamondau1981 23.05.2021 at 12:32

    Pesticides benefit the crops; however, they also impose a serious negative impact on the environment. Excessive use of pesticides may lead to the destruction of biodiversity. Pollution as a result to overuse of pesticides and the long term impact of pesticides on the environment are also discussed in the chapter.

  2. Bob F. 24.05.2021 at 13:18

    Pesticides can be grouped according to the types of pests which they kill: Insecticides - insects Herbicides - plants Rodenticides - rodents rats and mice Bactericides - bacteria Fungicides - fungi Larvicides - larvae Fig.

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