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Chemical Pesticides

  • By: Kathryn J. Hughes
  • In: Green Health: An A-to-Z Guide
  • Edited by: Oladele Ogunseitan
  • Subject:Environmental Technology, Policy & Management, Geography of Health

Pesticides are agents used to prevent, destroy, or control populations of animals, plants, insects, and microbial pests and pathogens including fungi. Chemical pesticides are often classified by structure or usage, with usage categories including insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, and fumigants. Some major chemical classes include the organochlorine, organophosphate, and carbamate insecticides and the inorganic, triazine, phenoxyacid, and thiocarbamate herbicides. While there are benefits of pesticide use, such as increased crop yields and improved control of vector-borne illnesses, there are also concerns about potential harms to human health and the environment. Over time, there has been a general trend toward use of less toxic and more specific-acting pesticides, which confer lower risk of unintended harms to humans and other species. Most recently, a new category of ...

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