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India still has banned pesticides

21st September 2010

The use of banned pesticides like DDT and lindane, while low in most of the developed world, is still quite high in India, according to a recent Canadian study.

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By taking samples of the air around Delhi and comparing it to the air around other world agricultural centres, researchers were able to show that the use of DDT in India is widespread.

For the study, the researchers made use of portable sampling devices and placed them in dozens of locations on all seven continents of the world over a four-year period.

The list of locations included 17 places in Canada and the US, 13 locations in Europe, and more than a dozen others in Australia, the Middle East, Africa, India and East Asia.

The devices were treated with a chemical resin that could detect the presence of various banned pesticides, including DDT, chlordanes, and endosulphans.

In addition, the devices measured the distribution of the various pesticides in the global atmosphere, as well as seasonal trends of pesticide pollution at the various sites.

The researchers also made statistical analyses of the various pollutants.

Despite the high rates of pesticide use in India, the researchers found that pesticide worldwide bans seemed to be having an effect on much of the world.

At one of the test sites in Australia, concentration of hexachlorocyclohexane (lindane) was 0.3 nanograms.

In Delhi, the air content of the same banned pesticide was 800 nanograms.

Lindane has been banned in 52 countries, and restricted in 33 others, due to the fact that it bioaccumulates in food chains, and harms the nervous system by acting directly upon one of the brain’s most important neurotransmitters.

Like most pesticides, lindane is also highly toxic to honeybees.

Debi Sharma, a senior scientist at the Indian Institute of Horticultural Research in Bangalore, said that people knew DDT was banned in India.

 

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Article Information

Title: India still has banned pesticides
Author: Luisetta Mudie
Article Id: 16141
Date Added: 21st Sep 2010

Sources

SciDev.Net

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