Most people are not aware of the thousands of pesticides and their formulations that are in use today, some of them in huge volumes and on huge acreages worldwide. They comprise acaricides, algicides, antifoulants, avicides, bactericides, herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, molluscicides, nematicides, piscicides, rodenticides, virucides, and the related plant and insect growth regulators; chemosterilants; bird, mammal and insect repellents, insect pheromones and other attractants. Product formulations may contain more than one active ingredient, as well as synergists, “safeners”, and other ingredients formerly known as “inerts”.
Our particular concern about pesticides is that they have been designed to disrupt biological systems, causing death to target organisms, such as insects or plants. Some actually work by acting on the endocrine systems of insects. The problem is that the biochemistry of most living things is similar enough that humans, wildlife and plants can also be adversely affected by pesticides.
In the past, much of the human and wildlife health-related research on pesticides has dealt with more or less immediate toxicity at relatively high doses, or has been concerned only with the primary mode of action of a single active ingredient in the pesticide product. In recent years, these concerns have broadened to include other possible actions of the ingredients, and testing at exposure levels more relevant to what may be in the environment.
TEDX is following the literature that explores the adverse effects of pesticides, as well as the adverse health effects of their metabolites and formulations. Effects may happen at extremely low doses; they may affect multiple signaling systems that control function and development; they may be subtle, long-term and/or delayed; and through parental exposure they may even affect subsequent generations.
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Glossary of Terms
Attractant – attracts an organism, such as an insect
Acaricide – used to kill mites
Active ingredient –in a pesticide, the ingredient that kills or controls the pest.
Algicide – used to kill algae
Antifoulant – used to prevent barnacles and other invertebrates from colonizing ship hulls, etc.
Avicide – used to kill birds
Bactericide – used to kill bacteria
Chemosterilant – causes reproductive sterility in an organism
Growth regulator – acts as a plant or insect hormone that regulates growth
Herbicide – used to kill plants
Inert – in pesticides, a chemical whose primary function is other than that of an active ingredient
Insecticide – used to kill insects
Fungicide – used to kill fungi and mold
Molluscicide – used to kill mollusks (snails, slugs, mussels, etc.)
Nematicide – used to kill nematode worms
Pheromone – signals other organisms of the same species and affects their behavior
Piscicide – used to kill fish
Repellent – repels an organism, such as an insect
Rodenticide – used to kill rodents (rats and mice, etc.)
Safener – reduces the effects of a pesticide on non-target organisms
Synergist – makes the active ingredient more effective than it would be by itself
Virucide – used to kill viruses
Click here to link to a more complete glossary of terms.