Pesticides can be described as “substances used to control organism which may adversely affect public health or organisms that attack food and other materials essential to mankind” example of such organism are rodents, insects, nematodes and fungi. In modern agriculture, herbicides are also now commonly used, these are chemicals used to eliminate unwanted plants in planted fields or on road verges.
In general, when these chemicals are properly used, the bad effect on human food supply and wild life are non-existent or minimal.
All pesticides are dangerous to man and animal in some degree and care handling them especially by spray – man and people living in sprayed houses.
Pesticides include insecticides, rodenticides, fungicides, herbicides and fumigants over 5 – 5 billion pounds are sold around the world each year.
Herbicides are sold in the target quantities followed by the insecticides and fungicides (Klaassen, 1996). Theses compounds are manufactured for the sold purpose of destroying pests of man and animals, selective toxicity of pesticides is extremely desirable, however all can produce at least some toxicity in human beings and non-target organisms.
Pesticides are used where other control mechanisms do not keep pests below an acceptable level. Pesticide use has however led to a number of new problems biological control agents may also be eliminated, or the pests may become resistant to the pesticide excessive or overly liberal use of pesticides may also harm human health and the environment. Lack of knowledge risk avoiding behaviour and aggressive sales techniques often results in a misuse and over use of pesticides.
To data the use of pesticides remain the most effective method of controlling pests “pesticides has been simply defined as a drugs capable of destroying pests”.
The use of insecticides in agriculture grew tremendously since the last world war; and has reached a plateau the agricultural industry is the main user of insecticides other industries also use large amounts of insecticides are also used in and around the home in substantial quantities. Low levels of pesticides in food are often exposed to people. These cause incidents of acute poisoning from insecticides and have resulted from eating food that was grossly contaminated during storage or shipping. Insecticides commonly used in homes and garden have caused accidental poisoning in young children.
It is estimated that there are about three million species of insects far more than the combined number of animal and plant species most of this tremendous numbers of insects are either helpful or at least innocuous to humans.
The chemicals control of pests has met with many successes, including in agricultural productivity. Despite this, chemical control has not been a wholly positive venture. Most of the pesticides developed are too far reaching in their effects, destroying the beneficial insects along with the pests.
Insects also show a remarkable agility in adapting to the new environment by developing resistance to certain chemicals. This necessitates increasing doses and constantly changing formulating in the environment, pesticides present hazards to many other organisms; including man. According to the research topic on the area of study, this encouraged the researcher to conduct this study in order to provide based line information and to stimulate further related studies on the impact of pesticides on the health of rural dwellers; the life of people living in Asutan, Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area.
Statement of the Problem
The problems stated here is that improper handling of pesticides can cause serious damage to the life of people living in my area of study which is Asutan Ekpe. The impact of pesticides in this community has lead to the environmental problems. Which has grossly affect the health activities and life of the inhabitant of this area.
Generally pesticides has a deterious effects by inhalation, ingestion, penetration through the skin, symptoms arising from pesticides include: headache, weakness, vomiting, diarrhea and loss of appetite, accumulation of DDT can occur in the fat tissues, of man and will eventually damage the tissues, prolonged inhalation or ingestion of pesticides will result to stomach cramps, trembling and poor muscle co-ordination and twitching. Other manifestations of acute poisoning from pesticides are shallow breathing, convulsion and lastly death.
Due to the above health problems faced by the people living in my community I decided to conduct this study in order to provide an –over-view on the impact of pesticides on the health of Asutan peoples and ways of reducing them.