Hazardous pesticides

Published: Sunday 15 February 1998

-- The bulk of pesticides used in India are organochlorines which have an immense capacity to persist in the environment and accumulate within living bodies. Pesticides like dichlorodiphenyl trichloroethane (DDT), hexa-chloro cyclohexane (HCH), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and hexachlorobenzene (HCB) enter the body through intake of grains, vegetables, fruits, edible oils, dairy products and meats. All pesticides have a waiting period -- the minimum interval between the last application on a crop and harvesting. Since laws prohibiting the farmer to harvest before the waiting period are not stringent in India, pesticide residues in food items is high.

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