Public health impact of pesticides used in agriculture
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The use of a wide range of chemicals to destroy pests and weeds is an important aspect of agricultural practice in both developed and developing countries, contributing to increase crop yield and reduced post-harvest losses. However, the increasing use of such pesticides has let to widespread concern about their potential ill-effects on human health. The situation is particularly worrying in view of the lack of reliable data on the long-term consequences of exposure to pesticidesThis publication reviews current knowledge on the health effects of pesticides and on the level of exposure of various population groups. It concludes that a major effort is needed to reduce the number of cases of pesticide poisoning, currently estimated to total several million per year. Successful action in this regard will require collaborative efforts by governments, industry, nongovernmental organizations and research institutions to obtain the required background data, enact appropriate legislation, promote awareness of hazards, and ensure adequate training and supervision of agricultural workers
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