Threat from pesticides

 
Published: Monday 15 December 1997

indians have the highest levels of pesticide residues in their bodies, says a study conducted at the King George Medical College, Lucknow. Devika Nag, head of the department of neurology who led the study, warned that there was an urgent need for public awareness campaigns to promote the use of safer pesticides. She added that unacceptable levels of human-made chemicals, especially pesticides, in the environment are enhancing and seriously affecting the central nervous system which controls the functioning of the brain.

Pesticides such as ddt and fenthion have been used indiscriminately in homes and farms. Extremely high levels of pesticide residues, mainly ddt , were found in drinking water and dairy products such as milk, butter, cheese and even baby foods, Nag indicated while delivering an oration at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences.

The residues are stored in tiny fat globules in the bodies of humans and animals. The study found that Indians have the highest concentrations of these, while the Japanese recorded the lowest levels.

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