Pesticides use and health in Nigeria
This review addresses pertinent environment-health issues related to the use of (synthetic) chemical pesticides, in agriculture and general household in Nigeria. It examines factors responsible for the well-cited data that 99% of the deaths associated with pesticides occur in developing countries like Nigeria, where only 25% of the world's production of pesticides is used. Such factors identified include: poor pesticide education leading to extensive misuse; issues with correct, effective, and safe applications of pesticides; the use of the cheaper but deadliest types of pesticides (in terms of persistence and toxicity); poor legislation and lack of enforcement of available legislation; lack of adequate information, knowledge, and awareness of the inherent dangers of pesticides; lack of training on correct handling of pesticides at home; absence of monitoring for pesticides residues on locally-consumed products, unlike the situation for products meant for export; and inadequacies in medical recognition and responses to pesticide poisoning. Other problems and issues associated with the use of pesticides were also examined. These include disruption of Ecological Balance and Collapse of Biodiversity; Unsustainable Chemical reliance; Pesticide Resistance; and economic issues. Solutions to ameliorate the situation were suggested. These include more public education, more intensive promotion of the Integrated Pest Management Scheme, green technology, and adoption of food irradiation by gamma rays to extend shelf
lives of agricultural products.
Key words: Pesticides. Health Impacts.