Archives of Toxicology

, Volume 91, Issue 2, pp 549–599 | Cite as

Pesticides: an update of human exposure and toxicity

  • Sara Mostafalou
  • Mohammad AbdollahiEmail author
Review Article


Pesticides are a family of compounds which have brought many benefits to mankind in the agricultural, industrial, and health areas, but their toxicities in both humans and animals have always been a concern. Regardless of acute poisonings which are common for some classes of pesticides like organophosphoruses, the association of chronic and sub-lethal exposure to pesticides with a prevalence of some persistent diseases is going to be a phenomenon to which global attention has been attracted. In this review, incidence of various malignant, neurodegenerative, respiratory, reproductive, developmental, and metabolic diseases in relation to different routes of human exposure to pesticides such as occupational, environmental, residential, parental, maternal, and paternal has been systematically criticized in different categories of pesticide toxicities like carcinogenicity, neurotoxicity, pulmonotoxicity, reproductive toxicity, developmental toxicity, and metabolic toxicity. A huge body of evidence exists on the possible role of pesticide exposures in the elevated incidence of human diseases such as cancers, Alzheimer, Parkinson, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, asthma, bronchitis, infertility, birth defects, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism, diabetes, and obesity. Most of the disorders are induced by insecticides and herbicides most notably organophosphorus, organochlorines, phenoxyacetic acids, and triazine compounds.


Pesticide Toxicity Chronic disease Review 



This invited paper is the outcome of an in-house financially non-supported study. The authors wish to thank Iran National Science Foundation (INSF).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, School of PharmacyArdabil University of Medical SciencesArdabilIran
  2. 2.Department of Toxicology and Pharmacology, Faculty of Pharmacy, and Pharmaceutical Sciences Research CenterTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  3. 3.Endocrinology and Metabolism Research Center, Endocrinology and Metabolism Clinical Sciences InstituteTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  4. 4.Toxicology Interest Group, Universal Scientific Education and Research NetworkTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran

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