BL3205 Biological Risk Management

Pesticide POPs (Persistent Organic Pollutants) And IPM alternatives

.  Carbon-based compounds or mixtures that are Toxic Resistant to normal processes that break down contaminants in the body Not readily excreted and accumulate in body fat Can evaporate and travel great distances .POPs are….

12 toxic organochlorines Even at low levels these chemicals present a a hazard because they build up in the body fat of organisms and become increasingly concentrated as they move through the food web  12 POPs have been identified as particularly dangerous (these are all organochlorine compounds):  Aldrin. DDT. heptachlor. mirex. hexachlorobenzene. dieldrin. dioxins and furans . toxaphene. endrin. chlordane. PCBs.

extinction of native lake trout in the Great Lakes weakened immune systems of marine mammals  . including severe nervous system and liver damage  They are also endocrine disrupters which can interfere with the body’s hormonal system  Reproductive failure and stunted penises found in Florida’s alligators result from exposure to these chemicals  Also linked to decline of otters in Europe.Health effects of POPs Acute exposure to organochlorines in tropical agriculture has caused large numbers of deaths and injuries.

Pre-natal exposures  Endocrine disruptors can alter development during pre-natal life and undermine the ability to learn. neurological and behavioural abnormalities and reproductive disorders in people  Threaten the health.  Linked to immune dysfunction. and to reproduce. behaviour and intelligence of the next generation . to fight off disease.

Use as insecticides 9 of these 12 chemicals are chemicals that came into widespread use after Word War II as pesticides  Legal and illegal use continues in developing countries  Public health officials still rely on DDT to control malaria-carrying mosquitoes (the only legal use of this pesticide. but illegal use on agricultural crops continues)  Mirex still used against leaf-cutter ants  Chordane and heptachlor still used against termites  .

and pose a hazard to the development of children .g. aquatic organisms and beneficial insects than the older persistent pesticides that they replaced  Organophosphates particularly have made agricultural workers ill . wildlife. organophosphates and carbamate insecticides) are more acutely toxic to people.Problems of substitution  Many pesticides used today (e.

A pesticide treadmill? Farmers have found that application of pesticides can increase their pest problems and forced them to use more pesticides!  This is because agricultural ecosystems are disrupted: beneficial insects are eliminated  Regular use of pesticides also encourages the evoloution of superbugs that resist the action of pesticides. and new pests have emerged after the use of pesticides  .

eastern Europe) people can steal from large stockpiles of obsolete pesticide and repackage them . DDT In some parts of the world (Africa. banned agricultural pesticides like chlordane.Illegal pesticide use      Almost all industrialised countries have banned POPs pesticides as have many developing countries – but this does not mean they are not used In India. heptachlor and DDT can be found on sale in local markets Governments lack resources and infrastructure to enforce legislation Some POPs pesticides still produced legally for specific restricted uses such as disease vector control e.g.

also elimination of breeding sites (e.g. principally for controlling malaria and other tropical diseases  In Tanzania – use of bed nets treated with synthetic pyrethroids  Phillipines – Malaria Control Service replaced DDT with alternative insecticides used in rotation proved equally effective  Case detections and treatment an important weapon. bans on plastic bags!)  .DDT and disease control alternatives Currently use in a number of countries.

ranging from cultural to chemical controls.Integrated pest management We need solutions appropriate for the site. and the local culture and economy  Diverse methods. relying more on information and management  The ultimate goal is to use ecologically based IPM .  The introduction of IPM has been fostered by Farmer Field Schools  .a systems approach to pest management that is based on an understanding of pest ecology. the agricultural system.

timed planting to reduce pests  Mechanical and physical controls – pest barriers and insect traps  Biological controls – direct introduction of natural enemies (insect predators.Integrated Pest Management Techniques  Cultural controls – use of crop rotation and crop mixtures. Also indirect encouragement of already present enemies . parasites. diseases pathogens).

release of sterilised insects to limit reproduction.)  Biorational methods – deployment of pheremones to attract pests (decoys) or to disrupt mating. manipulation of the atmosphere in closed storage areas to kill pests  Chemical controls – the use of less toxic pesticides as a last resort .IPM (cont.

bollworms and other pests  Earlier harvest reduced rain damage and gave farmers time to plough under the stalks to combat boll weevils and pink bollworm  Reintroduction of beneficial insects and crop rotation further enhanced IPM  .Cotton Farmers in Peru’s Canete valley An explosion of resistant pests in the 1950s threatened cotton production  The government banned the use of synthetic pesticides and worked with farmers to introduce an IPM strategy  Used short-season cotton varieties that matured before the onslaught of boll weevils.

Cotton growing in USA Yields in California declined by 20% in 1995 despite increased pesticide applications  A project was set up called Biological Agricultural Systems in Cotton  Growers stopped applying pesticides early in the season to foster naturally occurring beneficial insects and motes. which serves as a trap crop (decoy crop) for the lygus bug as well as providing food for beneficial insects  . also released additional predatory mites and lacewings  Growers planted cotton near alfalfa.

 Further information: WWF/Pesticide Action Network North America (1999) Successful. Safe and Sustainable Alternatives to Persistent Organic Pollutants .

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