What are pesticide made of?
A pesticide formulation is a mixture of active and other (also called inert) ingredients, as well as metabolites, contaminants and impurities.
Active ingredients are the biologically and chemically active substances--usually the only component identified in the pesticide labels--that prevent, kill, or repel pests.
Contaminants and impurities are responsible for product hazards, which have not been purposely added but are a result of the production process. Metabolites are breakdown products that are often more hazardous than the parent pesticide. It is formed when the pesticide mizes with air, water, soil or living organisms.
Those preferred to, as other ingredients are the substances aded to adi in the application of the active ingredient or to facilitate its effectiveness. These are also misleading referred to as inert ingredients, which are often considered as manufacturer's trade secrets and thus, unidentified.
There is a significant lack of toxicological information about inert ingredients. Of the 1,820 inerts currently in use, the toxicity of approximately 1,350 remains unknown. However, the Journal f Pesticides Reform reports that despite minimal testing, many so-called inerts arfe actually hazardous.
According to reports, 72 percent of pesticide products available to consumers contain over 95 percent inert ingredients and fewer than 10 percent of products list any inert ingredients on their labels. Moreover, more than 200 chemicals used as inertsare actually indentified air and water pollutants, and some 400 inert chemicals are actually used as active ingredients in other pesticide products.
ARE THERE SAFE OR ENVIRONMENT-FRIENDLY PESTICIDES?
As far as synthetic chemical pesticides are concerned, it is difficult to say. Pesticides have a history of being phased out use after several years on the market, confirming that pesticides are being sold without prior adequate testing for theor potential impacts on health.
Banned pesticides today were once declared safe for use.
And while new pesticides released in the market today may be less persistent in the environment, the shorter half-life becomes ineffective in the face of too frequent pesticide application, particularly in plantation.
Half-life, according to a experts, is the time (days, weeks or years) required for half of the pesticide present after an application to breakdown into degradation products. The rate of pesticide breakthrough depends on temperature, soil acidity, micro-organisms in the soil, exposure to light, water and oxygen. Many of the breakthrough products themselves are toxic and may have different half lives as well.
The Pesticide Action Network, on the other hand, said that "even when pesticides are applied according to label directions by professional, well-trained applicatiors with proper oversight of authorities, these synthetic chemical products still carry out their mission. They are toxic. They do what toxins do. Synthetic chemical pesticides are designed to cause injury and death. That's just what toxins do."
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