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    Poor quality pesticides in developing countries.

    HEALTH FOR THE MILLIONS. 2001 Jan-Feb; 27(1):36.

    Around 30% of pesticides marketed in developing countries with an estimated market value of US $900 million annually do not meet internationally accepted quality standards. They are posing a serious threat to human health and the environment, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have warned. "These poor-quality pesticides frequently contain hazardous substances and impurities that have already been banned or severely restricted elsewhere," said Gero Vaagt, FAO Pesticide Management Group. Such pesticides, he added, often contribute to the accumulation of obsolete pesticide stocks in developing countries. The global market value for pesticides is estimated at US $32 billion in 2000, with the share of developing countries around US $3 billion. In developing countries, pesticides are mainly used for agriculture, but also for public health, such as insecticides for controlling insects spreading malaria. Possible causes of low quality of pesticides can include both poor production and formulation and the inadequate selection of chemicals. "In many pesticide products, for example, the active ingredient concentrations are outside internationally accepted tolerance limits," said Dr. David Heymann, executive director of WHO Communicable Diseases activities. "In addition, poor-quality pesticides may be contaminated with toxic substances or impurities." (full text)
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