PESTICIDES Introduction: These are different forms ofchemicals that are used in agriculture to kill pests and protect crops. Many peoplecall them poisons. Others call pesticides agrochemicals, crop or plantprotection products.
The primary aim of pesticides is to control diseases,insects and weeds in agricultural crops. But these pesticides are also harmfulto humans. Types of Pesticides: Many different types of pesticidesare used on farms. They are grouped (classified) according to their “use” or pests they intend to kill. There are thefollowing types of pesticides: Ø Herbicides – are meant to kill weedsØ Insecticides – are meant to killinsectsØ Fungicides- are meant to kill fungiØ Rodenticides- are meant to kill rats,mice and other pest species of rodents.Thesedifferent pesticides are applied in agricultural activities such as weedkilling, cropprotection, stock protection, soil fumigation, stock disinfection etc. Forms of Pesticides:of pesticidesØ Liquids:Usually mixed with water and then sprayedØ Solids:Usually they are pastes, pellets, dust andpowder and may be applied directlyas solids.
They may also be turned into otherformsØ Gases:Usually they are tinyparticles. Agricultural Pesticides:There are different pests thatdestroy crops in agriculture such as:Ø Weeds or unwanted plantsØ InsectsØ RodentsØ FungiEffects of pesticides: Use, overuse and misuse of pesticideshave effects on humans and the environment. Their effects on humans are eitheracute or chronic effects causing some of the following:Ø Damage to the nervesØ Damage to the lungsØ CancerØ SterilityØ Birth defectsØ Allergic reactionsØ Fatal poisoningIn short, they cause injuries, illhealth, death and environmental degradation. It therefore becomes necessary tounderstand how pesticides enter the human body. How pesticides enter: . Pesticides enterhuman bodies through four main ways.
Most people call this the chemical routeof entry.The four routes of entry are: Through the skin – It is called absorption ordermal. The pesticides enter the body through the pores used for releasingsweat from the body.
It usually happens when a worker mixes or sprayspesticides or becomes exposed without wearing suitable personal protectiveclothing Through the mouth by swallowing – It is calledingestion or oral. This normally happenswhen eating food and drinks on thefield or dust swallowed with saliva or smoking cigarettes.Sometimes chemical containers areused to carry drinking water. By breathing in fumes or vapours – Most peoplecalls it inhalation.
The pesticides arebreathed in as dust, fumes, vapors’or gasses especially if not wearing suitable personal protective equipmentThrough the eyes- This is calledocular. In mixing or spraying work activities without suitableprotective clothing, splashes ofdust or vapours may enter through the eyes.