This survey gives an overview of the effect and persistence of selected carbamate pesticides (fungicides, herbicides, and insecticides) and their metabolites in soil. No meaningful conclusions are possible on the impact of these pesticides on soil fertility due to inconsistency in the reports on their side-effects on important biochemical transformations in soil. There are instances, however, that certain carbamate pesticides, even at concentrations close to field application rates, effect consistently distinct stimulation or inhibition of selected microbial activities such as nitrogen fixation and nitrification. The current, often inadvertent, practice of using pesticide combinations, either in succession or simultaneously, merits caution in view of synergistic interaction between pesticides in the combinations increasing their toxicity and/or persistence. While many carbamate pesticides undergo fairly rapid degradation via predictable routes (hydrolysis and oxidation) in soil, the toxicological significance of possible polymerization reactions, soil-bound residues, and slow ring cleavage is not always clear. The need to initiate systematic and intensive studies, initially with laboratory models and later under actual field conditions, on the side-effects, metabolism, and transport of pesticides and their metabolites in the tropical environment is emphasized.