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      Pesticide-Handling Practices in Agriculture in El Salvador: An Example from 42 Patient Farmers with Chronic Kidney Disease in the Bajo Lempa Region

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          Environmental and Economic Costs of Pesticide Use

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            Pesticide use in developing countries.

            Chemical pesticides have been a boon to equatorial, developing nations in their efforts to eradicate insect-borne, endemic diseases, to produce adequate food and to protect forests, plantations and fibre (wood, cotton, clothing, etc.). Controversy exists over the global dependence on such agents, given their excessive use/misuse, their volatility, long-distance transport and eventual environmental contamination in colder climates. Many developing countries are in transitional phases with migration of the agricultural workforce to urban centres in search of better-paying jobs, leaving fewer people responsible for raising traditional foods for themselves and for the new, industrialized workforce. Capable of growing two or three crops per year, these same countries are becoming "breadbaskets" for the world, exporting nontraditional agricultural produce to regions having colder climates and shorter growing seasons, thereby earning much needed international trade credits. To attain these goals, there has been increased reliance on chemical pesticides. Many older, nonpatented, more toxic, environmentally persistent and inexpensive chemicals are used extensively in developing nations, creating serious acute health problems and local and global environmental contamination. There is growing public concern in these countries that no one is aware of the extent of pesticide residue contamination on local, fresh produce purchased daily or of potential, long-term, adverse health effects on consumers. Few developing nations have a clearly expressed "philosophy" concerning pesticides. There is a lack of rigorous legislation and regulations to control pesticides as well as training programs for personnel to inspect and monitor use and to initiate training programs for pesticide consumers.
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              Understanding the human health effects of chemical mixtures.

              Most research on the effects of chemicals on biologic systems is conducted on one chemical at a time. However, in the real world people are exposed to mixtures, not single chemicals. Although various substances may have totally independent actions, in many cases two substances may act at the same site in ways that can be either additive or nonadditive. Many even more complex interactions may occur if two chemicals act at different but related targets. In the extreme case there may be synergistic effects, in which case the effects of two substances together are greater than the sum of either effect alone. In reality, most persons are exposed to many chemicals, not just one or two, and therefore the effects of a chemical mixture are extremely complex and may differ for each mixture depending on the chemical composition. This complexity is a major reason why mixtures have not been well studied. In this review we attempt to illustrate some of the principles and approaches that can be used to study effects of mixtures. By the nature of the state of the science, this discussion is more a presentation of what we do not know than of what we do know about mixtures. We approach the study of mixtures at three levels, using specific examples. First, we discuss several human diseases in relation to a variety of environmental agents believed to influence the development and progression of the disease. We present results of selected cellular and animal studies in which simple mixtures have been investigated. Finally, we discuss some of the effects of mixtures at a molecular level.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Occupational Diseases and Environmental Medicine
                ODEM
                Scientific Research Publishing, Inc,
                2333-3561
                2333-357X
                2014
                2014
                : 02
                : 03
                : 56-70
                Article
                10.4236/odem.2014.23007
                © 2014

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