The overuse of pesticides expedites to human health hazards, environmental syndromes and Economic losses to country, Pesticides, chemicals that smash pests, insects, fungi, rodents and nematodes, are characterized; insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, weedicides, acaricides, rodenticides, nematicides and fumigants. Agricultural, medical, veterinary and household insects are being conscientiously superintended by use of numerous insecticides among these fungicides are marked to manage the fungal infections, while weeds and herbs are being controlled meticulously by the applications of herbicides and weedicides. Acaricides are held against mites, while rodenticides are frequently practiced against rodents and other vertebrate pests. In addition Nematicides are used to cope with nematodes. As a final point stored grain pests and soil borne pests are fared by the fumigants.
As a matter of fact, invention of DDT was improvised and enduring elucidation to pest problematic hurdle. Pesticides are estimated as a measure to protect the masses from hunger and starvation by economizing a lot of remunerative products. However, later it became perspicuous that there are grievous environmental and public health effects with overuse of pesticides. Inquisition in Pakistan depicts that agriculturalists were endorsed to apply pesticides in 1954 afterward Locust outbreak, when Government of Pakistan imported 254 metric tons of pesticides. The statics of pesticides sanforization has been critically ameliorated since past few decades just after the import and production were shifted from public to private sector in 1980. Myriad percentage of pesticides is being practiced in Cotton growing zones, which are accounted for approximately 75%. The most threatening pest of Cotton is White fly through which Cotton Leaf Curl Virus (CLCV) is being abominated to healthy plants and fields. During the Cotton season of 1993, CLCV was responsible for three million bales of Cotton. Therefore considerable quantity of pesticides is used to address this insect pest. Unfortunately, White fly has been adorned as resistant by dint of excessive custom of pesticides (Insecticides).
Similarly, contemporary calculation and statics of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) World Factbook has reflected about 40% of Pakistan’s total population or nearly 80 million men and women are associated with agriculture while Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) has reported as many as 10,000 Pakistani farmers are poisoned annually by indiscriminate use of pesticides, and that is just in rural cotton growing areas. With so many people, which have joined the agriculture industry and farming, endanger of subjection to toxics has enormously aggregated. Moreover, a survey assessment of farmers and pesticides retailer has been conducted by Global Greengrants Fund, grantee with an amount of 5,000$ in 2009, has depicted that wheat and rice are leading and staple crops in Pakistan, but to grow them an average of 29 million kilograms of pesticides are imported every year, which is 14 times greater than used in neighboring India. Their statics found that high rates of illiteracy and ignorance among Pakistani farmers aggravate the problem. Farmers often ban on the pesticide producers, retailers and sellers to inform them of any menace and enlighten them on proper use. In fact of that reliance, they are also often oblivious of alternatives to pesticide use. Unfortunately, countless families are unconscious about the dangerous outcomes of inappropriate storage and pre-requisite of wearing protective masks and clothing when spraying and mixing. The report of National Agriculture Research Centre (NARC), Islamabad has marked the trend of consumption of pesticides in Pakistan which have been increased dramatically from 665 tons in 1980 to
maximum consumption of over 173556 tons in 2006 with total expenditures of over 12039 million Rupees.
Henceforth, Groundwater pollution due to pesticides has been entitled as a global problem in recent time span. According to the USGS, at least 143 different pesticides and 21 transformation products have been reported in ground water which is including with pesticides from every major chemical sect. Pesticide residues contamination has been found in water from different sites of Pakistan in the near past. The study took place in 2004 to undermine the residues in Rawal Lake where pesticide’s concentrations were reported 35-86 times higher than EU standards of drinking water. Contamination in Sumandri, Karachi, Lahore, Multan and Mardan was 70%, 13%, 67% and 100% correspondingly. Monocortophos, Endrin, DDT, DDE, cypermethrin, Endosulfan, Chropyriphos and residues of other harmful chemicals were also testified. Obsolete pesticides (A source of environmental pollution), some of them are adumbrated in detrimental group “Dirty Dozen” that are prohibited and banned by Stockholm Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs). Therefore, 22 pesticides had been prohibited by Government of Pakistan between the era of 1989 and 1993. Unfortunately due to lack of enforcement of law, many of the pesticides which were forbidden are still available to acquisition in Pakistan. The health hazards of these pesticides are usually even more severe.
In addition, there is now overwhelming evidence that some of the chemicals do pose a potential risk to human and his/her ecosystem and environment with the addition of unwanted side effects. At the Global level about 1 million deaths and chronic diseases are materialized by dint of pesticides poisoning per annum. Furthermore, a series of outbreaks have marked in Pakistan, among these first outbreak was reported in 1963 due to mercury poisoning which had put adverse impact upon 34 people’s life, while next outbreak of pesticides was happened in 1972 in Multan, when eight workers died due to inappropriate clothing while unloading a consignment of Phorate under extreme summer condition. Effects of unwarranted practice of pesticides result in; Cancer, Skin and eye irritation, Reproductive health issues, especially in women, who can lead to sterility and miscarriage, Disruption in the nervous system, Vomiting, Light handedness & headaches.
Furthermore, remnants of pesticides have been peeped in the bloodstream of prominent class of cancer infectious. In “The Facts About Organic Foods; Having More Vitamins and Minerals Protects You From Chronic Disease”. James Cleeton claims that “women with breast cancer are five to nine times more likely to have pesticide residues in their blood than those who do not. The apparent link between hormone dependent cancers, such as those of the breast and prostate, may be via endocrine disrupting chemicals such as 2,4D and Atrazine (both herbicides).” Policy and strategy for rational use of pesticides in shares that excessive use of chemicals Wild Honey Bees colonies have been dead up to 87%, and remaining 13% is also found in extinction. The loss in terms of money and economics are 5661 tons and 56.6 million rupees respectively. Pollination of different cash crops are also drastically affected e.g. a 10% loss in sunflower production resulting in 6.55 million rupees loss per annum.
Approbations: There is a need of the hour to convey the message and realize about prevention of adverse health effects and promotion of health is profitable investments for employers, and employees as a support to a sustainable development of economics. To sum up, based on our limited knowledge of absolute and/or inferential information, the domain of pesticides illustrates a certain ambiguity in situations in which people are undergoing life-long exposure. There is thus
every reason to develop health education packages based on knowledge, aptitude and practices and to disseminate them within the community in order to minimize human exposure to pesticides. It is crystal clear to reduce the unwarranted application and aggrandized amount of pesticides in Pakistan. Schooling is one of the most vital and fundamental way to curb the monster. Thus, Pakistani government and other stakeholders should step forward to use their research and potential, in order to raise mindfulness among the workers those are being indulged with or near pesticides.
Dr. H. M. Aatif, Zohaib ul Hassan, Naveed Hassan