Pesticides Chemical Hazards and Risk Assessment





Pesticides Chemical Hazards and Risk Assessment

Section One

Much as they have been a major breakthrough, a number of pesticides do not exhibit biodegrading properties and therefore bear the possibility of gaining access to a food chain in the eco system through bioaccumulation and eventually affect human health. Humans may be environmentally exposed to pesticides through agricultural practices such as cropping, the direct consumption through food, or through inhalation. However, if pesticides were done away with, this would translate to a fall in the crop yield as well as an increase in global food prices by seventy five percent. In India for example, the government has registered a total of 145 pesticides and their crop production has risen to 80,000 metric tones. However, statistics indicate that fifty percent for food the commodity in India is contaminated by residues from pesticides. Toxicity residues in this case are measured using indices which act as receptors.

Pesticides pose adverse health effects once they access the human body which include persistent and acute infection of the nervous system, damage to the lungs and reproductive organs, cancer, birth defects, and dysfunction of the endocrine and immune system just to name a few. It has also been established that small amounts of pesticides can at the extreme lead to death, disrupt hormones, especially those related to reproductive functions in humans (Kraybill, 45). These pesticide effects on human health therefore warrant a better understanding of the exposure patterns, the human population underlying variability, and the linkage between toxicology data. An understanding of these variables will ultimately lead methods of preventing humans from coming into contact with harmful pesticides.

Additionally, improving and integrating epidemiological studies will pave the way for quality judgment of pesticide exposure to humans and the risks involved. In addition, there is need to enlighten farmers on the implications of using pesticides, bio pesticides, biotechnology, agriculture, management of the eco system, and the human and environmental effects of this chemicals.

Section Two

Question one

Pesticides in the current society are found in numerous public places such as office buildings, grocery stores, and even in houses. Therefore, coming across them is seemingly impossible and people engage in all kinds of endeavors to eliminate insects, weeds, and fungus using pesticides. The consequences involved with the adverse effects of pesticides range from lung damage from inhaling the chemicals, damage to the nervous system, certain cancers, disruption of the endocrine and immune system, as well as disrupting hormonal processes especially reproduction processes in humans, thus compromising one’s ability to bear children (United States Environmental Protection Agency Communications, Education, and Public Affairs, 54). Additionally, certain pesticides contain sufficient poisonous residues to cause death in humans.

Question two

In accordance with the World Health Organization, up to twenty five million people worldwide have to bear the consequences of pesticide effects. An estimated twenty thousand people in the United States every year report new cases of cancer. This can be attributed to pesticide residues in their food. Once residues of pesticides are ingested, the body lacks the capability of metabolizing them and is therefore stored in various tissues. In addition, these residues are hard to excrete and therefore remain in the body causing damage.

Question three

Due to the devastating effects of pesticides on human health, significant remedial actions have been established to relieve mankind from the effects of these chemicals. Methods to educate the major source of pesticides in this case farms, have been established as means of conserving the ecosystem and teaching farmers on the implications of improper use of pesticides (National Institutes of Health State-of-the-Science Conference, 67). This remedial action has proven to be effective with the increased awareness among farmers and their willingness to conform to healthy living measures.

In addition, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), there have been measures established to better understand the health effects by the pesticide chemicals. These measures have been effective through improved breakthrough evaluation methods and thus appropriate treatment whenever necessary.

Question four  

Pesticides bear both chronic and acute threats to the human health. Studies have established the linkage between pesticides and numerous chromic and acute illnesses. These include increased cancerous risks, birth defects, brain damage, disorders of the reproductive system, liver and the kidney.

Question five

Pesticides pose both systemic and target organ threats from their adverse effects on humans. At certain cases, residues from pesticides once in the body can lead affecting the entire body especially in cases where the body has contracted a particular cancer strain. On the other hand pesticides can also affect target organs in the human body. Good examples are damage to the nervous system; disruption of the endocrine and immune system, as well as disrupting hormonal processes especially reproduction processes (Centers for Disease Control, 42).

Question six

The more likely chemical exposures that may interact with pesticides include xenobiotic which is a chemical found in the human body

Question seven.  

Xenobiotic is responsible for metabolizing genes in the human body. If pesticide residues manage to access the body and interact with this chemical compound, the effect is the alteration of the genetic makeup of the affected individual. In this case, this can lead to birth defects incase of a pregnant woman, breast cancer in case of women, and complications in reproductive functions.

Section Three

The use of pesticides has resulted in both acute and chronic ecological damage through direct injury to humans and a variety of animals, or indirect injury such as suppressed reproductive functions. The risk assessment if this threat therefore involves four steps including hazard identification, characterizing the hazard, assessing the exposure, and characterizing the risk. These standards vary depending on the country as to whether there is encouragement of hazardous material export. Occupational Safety and Health Agency (OSHA) suggests that some residues from pesticides with organocholorine like DDT have traced to humans and the entire worldwide environment (Kraybill, 64). Interactions between different pesticide types have received significant attention.

Role of exposure and toxicity assessment among susceptibility mechanisms especially among children health has been greatly prioritized. The assessment and prediction of ecological impacts caused by pesticides has alerted health organizations to adverse effects of environment alterations. In this case, the assumptions I made when arriving at this risk assessment include ecosystem components cannot undergo any change without impacting humans directly or indirectly. In this case, humans are to benefit from all risks and uses involved with pesticides. This is meant to ensure critical system preservation as well as the environment.

Section four

In our daily lives, pesticides are pervasive and thus trying to evade them is not the easiest thing to do (Centers for Disease Control, 23). However, in case of risks involved with pesticides, I would first of all identify the various means through which I may be exposed and establish the most prevalent areas prone to pesticide use. My findings suggest that humans are environmentally exposed to pesticides through agricultural practices such as cropping, the direct consumption through food, or through inhalation.

In this case I would attempt to endeavor in avoiding areas prone to pesticide use to large extents, which includes farming areas. This in my opinion would be a good measure to refrain from inhaling the pesticides into my system. In addition, I would attempt to engage in healthy living implying that I would be careful on the kind of food I ingest. This means thoroughly cleaning my food to ensuring it has come from a reliable source. I would also engage in community practice as an attempt to raise awareness on the importance of good health and the adverse effects of pesticides. Raised awareness among the society in my opinion will prompt improved methods of pesticide use.

Section Five


Pesticides may have played an important role in increasing the yield of global foods, eliminating pests and diseases. However, research studies suggest that pesticides have had harmful effects to humans by compromising their health, especially sensitive individuals such as unborn children, people with existing illnesses, the elderly, and women to some extent. In this case, pesticides can be attributed to a wide variety of chronic and acute illnesses including brain injury, birth defects, and risks of cancer, disorders in reproduction, and liver and kidney damage. In our daily lives, pesticides are pervasive- from cosmetic and cleaning products, to outdoor wood structures and pest treatment (National Institutes of Health State-of-the-Science Conference, 32).

In addition, pesticides have also been traced in breast milk and this goes to show the risk factors involved with these chemicals. Therefore, there is dire need for health organizations to establish ways of recognizing and preventing health related problems associated with pesticide use. It is a necessary evil in our lives and needs to be controlled.


Works Cited

Centers for Disease Control (CDC).”Management and Control of Pesticides.” Mmwr. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 35.20 (2006): 317-26. Print.

Kraybill, H F. “Biological Effects of Pesticides in Mammalian Systems.” Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 160 2005: 1-422. Print.

National Institutes of Health State-of-the-Science Conference: “Enhancing the Use and Quality of Pesticides.” (2010). Print.

United States Environmental Protection Agency Communications, Education, and Public Affairs. “Looking Ahead at Environmental Education: Only Through Education Can We Build a Sustainable Future.” Epa Journal. (2005). Print.

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