Use of Pesticides by Digital Techniques


Use of pesticides by digital techniques: a pesticide is a chemical or biological agent (such as a virusbacterium, antimicrobial, or disinfectant) that deters, incapacitates, kills, or otherwise discourages pests. Target pests can include insects, plant pathogens, weeds, molluscsbirdsmammalsfishnematodes(roundworms), and microbes that destroy property, cause nuisance, or spread disease, or are disease vectors. Although pesticides have benefits, some also have drawbacks, such as potential toxicity to humans and other species. According to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, 9 of the 12 most dangerous and persistent organic chemicals are organic chlorine pesticides.

Spraying Pesticides on a field
Spraying Pesticides on a field

Pesticides are those substances that are meant to control pests or weeds. The term pesticide includes all of the following: herbicide, insecticideinsect growth regulatornematicide, termiticide, molluscicidepiscicideaviciderodenticide, predacide, bactericideinsect repellentanimal repellentantimicrobialfungicidedisinfectant (antimicrobial), and sanitizer. The most common of these are herbicides which account for approximately 80% of all pesticide use. Most pesticides are intended to serve as plant protection products (also known as crop protection products), which in general, protect plants from weeds, fungi, or insects.


The Food and Agriculture Organization  has defined pesticide as:

any substance or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, or controlling any pest, including vectors of human or animal disease, unwanted species of plants or animals, causing harm during or otherwise interfering with the production, processing, storage, transport, or marketing of food, agricultural commodities, wood and wood products or animal feedstuffs, or substances that may be administered to animals for the control of insects, arachnids, or other pests in or on their bodies. The term includes substances intended for use as a plant growth regulator, defoliant, desiccant, or agent for thinning fruit or preventing the premature fall of fruit. Also used as substances applied to crops either before or after harvest to protect the commodity from deterioration during storage and transport.

Pesticides can be classified  by target organism (e.g., herbicidesinsecticidesfungicidesrodenticides, and pediculicides chemical structure (e.g., organic, inorganic, synthetic, or biological (biopesticide),  and physical state (e.g. gaseous (fumigant)). Biopesticides include microbial pesticides and biochemical pesticides. Plant-derived pesticides, or “botanicals”, have been developing quickly. These include the pyrethroidsrotenoids,nicotinoids, and a fourth group that includes strychnine and scilliroside.

Many pesticides can be grouped into chemical families. Prominent insecticide families include organochlorines,organophosphates, and carbamatesOrganochlorine hydrocarbons (e.g., DDT) could be separated into dichlorodiphenylethanes, cyclodiene compounds, and other related compounds. They operate by disrupting the sodium/potassium balance of the nerve fiber, forcing the nerve to transmit continuously. Their toxicities vary greatly, but they have been phased to bioaccumulate Organophosphate and carbamates largely replaced organochlorines. Both operate through inhibiting the enzyme acetylcholinesterase, allowing acetylcholine to transfer nerve impulses indefinitely and causing a variety of symptoms such as weakness or paralysis. Organophosphates are quite toxic to vertebrates, and have in some cases been replaced by less toxic carbamates.

Thiocarbamate and dithiocarbamates are subclasses of carbamates. Prominent families of herbicides include phenoxy and benzoic acid herbicides (e.g.2,4-D), triazines (e.g., atrazine), ureas (e.g., diuron), and Chloroacetanilides (e.g., alachlor). Phenoxy compounds tend to selectively kill broad-leaf weeds rather than grasses. The phenoxy and benzoic acid herbicides function similar to plant growth hormones, and grow cells without normal cell division, crushing the plant’s nutrient transport system. Triazines interfere with photosynthesis. Many commonly used pesticides are not included in these families, including glyphosate.

Pesticides can be classified based upon their biological mechanism function or application method. Most pesticides work by poisoning pests. A systemic pesticide moves inside a plant following absorption by the plant. With insecticides and most fungicides, this movement is usually upward (through the xylem) and outward. Increased efficiency may be a result. Systemic insecticides, which poison pollen and nectar in the flowers may kill bees and other needed pollinators In 2009, the development of a new class of fungicides called paldoxins was announced. These work by taking advantage of natural defense chemicals released by plants called phytoalexins, which fungi then detoxify using enzymes. The paldoxins inhibit the fungi’s detoxification enzymes. They are believed to be safer and greener.

How much amounts are used

In 2006 and 2007, the world used approximately 2.4 megatonnes (5.3×109 lb) of pesticides, with herbicides constituting the biggest part of the world pesticide use at 40%, followed by insecticides (17%) and fungicides (10%). In 2006 and 2007 the U.S. used approximately 0.5 megaton’s (1.1×109 lb) of pesticides, accounting for 22% of the world total, including 857 million pounds (389 kt) of conventional pesticides, which are used in the agricultural sector (80% of conventional pesticide use) as well as the industrial, commercial, governmental and home & garden sectors. Pesticides are also found in majority of U.S. households with 78 million out of the 105.5 million households indicating that they use some form of pesticide.  As of 2007, there were more than 1,055 active ingredients registered as pesticides, which yield over 20,000 pesticide products that are marketed in the United States.

The US used some 1 kg (2.2 pounds) per hectare of arable land compared with: 4.7 kg in China, 1.3 kg in the UK, 0.1 kg in Cameroon, 5.9 kg in Japan and 2.5 kg in Italy. Insecticide use in the US has declined by more than half since 1980, (.6%/yr) mostly due to the near phase-out of organophosphates. In corn fields, the decline was even steeper, due to the switchover to transgenic Bt corn.

For the global market of crop protection products, market analysts forecast revenues of over 52 billion US$ in 2019


Use of pesticides by digital techniques: Pesticides are used to control organisms that are considered to be harmful.  For example, they are used to kill mosquitoes that can transmit potentially deadly diseases like West Nile virusyellow fever, and malaria. They can also kill beeswasps or ants that can cause allergic reactions. Insecticides can protect animals from illnesses that can be caused by parasites such as fleas.  Pesticides can prevent sickness in humans that could be caused by moldy food or diseased produce. Herbicides can be used to clear roadside weeds, trees and brush. They can also kill invasive weeds that may cause environmental damage. Herbicides are commonly applied in ponds and lakes to control algae and plants such as water grasses that can interfere with activities like swimming and fishing and cause the water to look or smell unpleasant.  Uncontrolled pests such as termites and mold can damage structures such as houses.  Pesticides are used in grocery stores and food storage facilities to manage rodents and insects that infest food such as grain. Each use of a pesticide carries some associated risk. Proper pesticide use decreases these associated risks to a level deemed acceptable by pesticide regulatory agencies such as the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) of Canada.

DDT, sprayed on the walls of houses, is an organochlorine that has been used to fight malaria since the 1950s. Recent policy statements by the World Health Organization have given stronger support to this approach.  However, DDT and other organ chlorine pesticides have been banned in most countries worldwide because of their persistence in the environment and human toxicity. DDT use is not always effective, as resistance to DDT was identified in Africa as early as 1955, and by 1972 nineteen species of mosquito worldwide were resistant to DDT.

Types of Pesticides

Use of pesticides by digital techniques:Pesticides are often referred to according to the type of pest they control. Pesticides can also be considered as either biodegradable pesticides, which will be broken down by microbes and other living beings into harmless compounds, or persistent pesticides, which may take months or years before they are broken down: it was the persistence of DDT, for example, which led to its accumulation in the food chain and its killing of birds of prey at the top of the food chain. Another way to think about pesticides is to consider those that are chemical pesticides or are derived from a common source or production methods.

Some examples of chemically-related pesticides are:

Neonicotinoid Pesticides

Neonicotinoids are a class of neuro-active insecticides chemically similar to nicotine. Imidacloprid, of the neonicotanoid family, is the most widely used insecticide in the world. In the late 1990s neonicotinoids came under increasing scrutiny over their environmental impact and were linked in a range of studies to adverse ecological effects, including honey-bee colony collapse disorder (CCD) and loss of birds due to a reduction in insect populations. In 2013, the European Union and a few non EU countries restricted the use of certain neonicotinoids.

Organophosphate pesticides
Organophosphates affect the nervous system by disrupting cetylacholinesterase activity, the enzyme that regulates acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter. Most organophosphates are insecticides. They were developed during the early 19th century, but their effects on insects, which are similar to their effects on humans, were discovered in 1932. Some are very poisonous. However, they usually are not persistent in the environment.

Carbamate pesticides
Carbamate pesticides affect the nervous system by disrupting an enzyme that regulates acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter. The enzyme effects are usually reversible. There are several subgroups within the carbamates. Organochlorine insecticides
They were commonly used in the past, but many have been removed from the market due to their health and environmental effects and their persistence (e.g., DDT, chlordane, and toxaphene).

Pyrethroid Pesticides

They were developed as a synthetic version of the naturally occurring pesticide pyrethrin, which is found in chrysanthemums. They have been modified to increase their stability in the environment. Some synthetic pyrethroids are toxic to the nervous system.

Sulfonylurea Herbicides

The following sulfonylureas have been commercialized for weed control: amidosulfuron, azimsulfuron, bensulfuron-methyl, chlorimuron-ethyl, ethoxysulfuron, flazasulfuron, flupyrsulfuron-methyl-sodium, halosulfuron-methyl, imazosulfuron, nicosulfuron, oxasulfuron, primisulfuron-methyl, pyrazosulfuron-ethyl, rimsulfuron, sulfometuron-methyl Sulfosulfuron, terbacil, bispyribac-sodium, cyclosulfamuron, and pyrithiobac-sodium.  Nicosulfuron,  triflusulfuron methyl,  and chlorsulfuron are broad-spectrum herbicides that kill plants weeds or pests by inhibiting the enzyme acetolactate synthase. In the 1960s, more than 1 kg/ha (0.89 lb/acre) crop protection chemical was typically applied, while sulfonylureates allow as little as 1% as much material to achieve the same effect.


Main article: Biopesticide

Biopesticides are certain types of pesticides derived from such natural materials as animals, plants, bacteria, and certain minerals. For example, canola oil and baking soda have pesticidal applications and are considered biopesticides. Biopesticides fall into three major classes:

Microbial pesticides which consist of bacteria, entomopathogenic fungi  or viruses  (and sometimes includes the metabolites that bacteria or fungi produce). Entomopathogenicnematodes are also often classed as microbial pesticides, even though they are multi-cellular.

Biochemical pesticides or herbal pesticides  are naturally occurring substances that control (or monitor in the case of pheromones) pests and microbial diseases.

Plant-incorporated protectants (PIPs) have genetic material from other species incorporated into their genetic material (i.e. GM crops). Their use is controversial, especially in many European countries.

Further types of pesticides

The term pesticide also include these substances:

Defoliants : Cause leaves or other foliage to drop from a plant, usually to facilitate harvest.
Desiccants : Promote drying of living tissues, such as unwanted plant tops.
Insect growth regulators : Disrupt the molting, maturity from pupal stage to adult, or other life processes of insects.
Plant growth regulators : Substances (excluding fertilizers or other plant nutrients) that alter the expected growth, flowering, or reproduction rate of plants.


Pesticides can save farmers’ money by preventing crop losses to insects and other pests; Use of pesticides by digital techniques:in the U.S., farmers get an estimated fourfold return on money they spend on pesticides. One study found that not using pesticides reduced crop yields by about 10%.  Another study, conducted in 1999, found that a ban on pesticides in the United States may result in a rise of food prices, loss of jobs, and an increase in world hunger.

There are two levels of benefits for pesticide use, primary and secondary. Primary benefits are direct gains from the use of pesticides and secondary benefits are effects that are more long-term.

  • Controlling pestsand plant disease vectors
  • Improved crop/livestock yields
  • Improved crop/livestock quality
  • Invasive speciescontrolled
  • Controlling human/livestock disease vectorsand nuisance organisms
  • Human lives saved and suffering reduced
  • Animal lives saved and suffering reduced
  • Diseases contained geographically
  • Controlling organisms that harm other human activities and structures
  • Drivers view unobstructed
  • Tree/brush/leaf hazards prevented
  • Wooden structures protected

Cost of Pesticides:

On the cost side of pesticide use there can be costs to the environment, costs to human health, well as costs of the development and research of new pesticides

Health effects:

A sign warning about potential pesticide exposure.

Main articles: Health effects of pesticides and Pesticide poisoning

Pesticides may cause acute and delayed health effects in people who are exposed. Use of pesticides by digital techniques: Pesticide exposure can cause a variety of adverse health effects, ranging from simple irritation of the skin and eyes to more severe effects such as affecting the nervous system, mimicking hormones causing reproductive problems, and also causing cancer. A 2007 systematic review found that “most studies on non-Hodgkin lymphoma and leukemia showed positive associations with pesticide exposure” and thus concluded that cosmetic use of pesticides should be decreased.[31] There is substantial evidence of associations between organophosphate insecticide exposures and neurobehavioral alterations.  Limited evidence also exists for other negative outcomes from pesticide exposure including neurological, birth defects, and fetal death.

The World Health Organization and the UN Environment Programme estimate that each year, 3 million workers in agriculture in the developing world experience severe poisoning from pesticides, about 18,000 of whom die, Owing to inadequate regulation and safety precautions, 99% of pesticide related deaths occur in developing countries that account for only 25% of pesticide usage. According to one study, as many as 25 million workers in developing countries may suffer mild pesticide poisoning yearly. There are several careers aside from agriculture that may also put individuals at risk of health effects from pesticide exposure including pet groomers, groundskeepers, and fumigators.

One study found pesticide self-poisoning the method of choice in one third of suicides worldwide, and recommended, among other things, more restrictions on the types of pesticides that are most harmful to humans.

A 2014 epidemiological review found associations between autism and exposure to certain pesticides, but noted that the available evidence was insufficient to conclude that the relationship was causal.

2.Environmental effect

Environmental effects of pesticides

Pesticide use raises a number of environmental concerns. Over 98% of sprayed insecticides and 95% of herbicides reach a destination other than their target species, including non-target species, air, water and soil.] Pesticide drift occurs when pesticides suspended in the air as particles are carried by wind to other areas, potentially contaminating them. Pesticides are one of the causes of water pollution, and some pesticides are persistent organic pollutants and contribute to soil contamination.

In addition, pesticide use reduces biodiversity, contributes to pollinator decline, destroys habitat (especially for birds), and threatens endangered species.
Pests can develop a resistance to the pesticide (pesticide resistance), necessitating a new pesticide. Alternatively a greater dose of the pesticide can be used to counteract the resistance, although this will cause a worsening of the ambient pollution problem.

Since chlorinated hydrocarbon pesticides dissolve in fats and are not excreted, organisms tend to retain them almost indefinitely. Biological magnification is the process whereby these chlorinated hydrocarbons (pesticides) are more concentrated at each level of the food chain. Among marine animals, pesticide concentrations are higher in carnivorous fishes, and even more so in the fish-eating birds and mammals at the top of the ecological pyramid.  Global distillation is the process whereby pesticides are transported from warmer to colder regions of the Earth, in particular the Poles and mountain tops. Pesticides that evaporate into the atmosphere at relatively high temperature can be carried considerable distances (thousands of kilometers) by the wind to an area of lower temperature, where they condense and are carried back to the ground in rain or snow.

In order to reduce negative impacts, it is desirable that pesticides be degradable or at least quickly deactivated in the environment. Such loss of activity or toxicity of pesticides is due to both innate chemical properties of the compounds and environmental processes or conditions.  For example, the presence of halogens within a chemical structure often slows down degradation in an aerobic environment.  Adsorption to soil may retard pesticide movement, but also may reduce bioavailability to microbial degraders.

3.Economics Effects:
Human health and environmental cost from pesticides in the United States is estimated at $9.6 billion offset by about $40 billion in increased agricultural production:
Additional costs include the registration process and the cost of purchasing pesticides. The registration process can take several years to complete (there are 70 different types of field test) and can cost $50–70 million for a single pesticide.  Annually the United States spends $10 billion on pesticides.

Harm Annual US cost
Public health $1.1 billion
Pesticide resistance in pest $1.5 billion
Crop losses caused by pesticides $1.4 billion
Bird losses due to pesticides $2.2 billion
Groundwater contamination $2.0 billion
Other costs $1.4 billion
Total costs $9.6 billion


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