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Environmental and Health Effects of Pesticide Residues

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Sustainable Agriculture Reviews 48

Part of the book series: Sustainable Agriculture Reviews ((SARV,volume 48))


Now a days, agroecosystem is largely dependent on pesticides to meet the ever-increasing demand of food and fiber. Tons of synthetic pesticides are deposited to increase the yield. This scenario poses great threat to non-target organisms because 98% sprayed pesticides directly or indirectly affect them. Several studies estimated that 80% of sprayed pesticides directly contaminate the environment. This chapter reviewed the pesticides effects on environment, natural biodiversity, pollinators, food chains and outcome health issues. It was reviewed that soil and water qualities are deteriorated because of pesticide depositions. Due to microbial life threat, soil respiration is decreased by 35% and almost 90% water sources in agro-lands are polluted with pesticides. The aquatic and terrestrial food chains are being endangered because of bioaccumulation and biomagnification of loads of pesticides. Studies revealed that biodiversity and species are endangered because of pesticide exposures. During last few decades, 70% decline in insect biomass and 50% decline in farmland birds is reported in European nations. Similarly, 42% reduction in species richness was also noted in Europe, Australia and North America. Pesticides residues have injurious effects on bees which ultimately decrease their ecological service. United Nations warned that 40% of invertebrate pollinator, particularly bees and butterflies, are at risk to global extermination. Almost, 30% honey bee population decline in American and European countries is reported due to extreme use of pesticides. Through food chain contamination, adverse effects reach to human life. These ingestions have resulted serious carcinogenic, endocrine, neurological, reproductive and other ailments. Even, many casualties have been reported due to exposure to poisonous pesticides. Bundle of research indicated that cancer risk and mental health problems are enlarged by 25–30% after exposure to pesticides. Similarly, 50% elevated risk of leukaemia, lymphoma and brain cancer in children is linked with paternal exposure to pesticides. Now, it is time to find out some alternatives focusing the environmental protection and ultimately human health. Integrated pest management can be the one and only option to minimize the use of pesticides.

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Correspondence to Sajjad Ali .

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Ali, S., Ullah, M.I., Sajjad, A., Shakeel, Q., Hussain, A. (2021). Environmental and Health Effects of Pesticide Residues. In: Inamuddin, Ahamed, M.I., Lichtfouse, E. (eds) Sustainable Agriculture Reviews 48. Sustainable Agriculture Reviews, vol 48. Springer, Cham.

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