Dangerous pesticide stocks removed
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CTA. 1997. Dangerous pesticide stocks removed. Spore 72. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/48909
Internet URL: http://spore.cta.int/images/stories/pdf/old/spore72.pdf
Obsolete pesticide stocks pose a serious threat to public health and the environment as storage conditions rarely meet international standards. In many countries, pesticide containers are kept in the open where containers deteriorate and leak their...
Obsolete pesticide stocks pose a serious threat to public health and the environment as storage conditions rarely meet international standards. In many countries, pesticide containers are kept in the open where containers deteriorate and leak their contents, which contaminate soil, surface water and groundwater. Many of the chemicals are so toxic that a few grams could poison thousands of people or contaminate a large area, and as most stores are in urban areas, the danger this poses is considerable. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), donor countries, aid agencies, agrochemical companies and recipient governments are all responsible for the steady accumulation of obsolete pesticides in developing countries. FAO estimates that there are more than 100,000 tonnes of these substances in developing countries: 20,000 tons in Africa alone. Some stocks are over 30 years old and, due to the absence of environmentally sound disposal facilities, stocks are constantly increasing. FAO has recently disposed of some 370 tonnes of unused pesticides in Zambia and Seychelles as part of its on-going programme to help developing countries clean up obsolete pesticides. Storage sites were cleaned and highly dangerous and persistent chemicals, including DDT, Lindane, Dieldrin, Atrazine, Diazinon, Captan, Malathion and Hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) were shipped to Europe for incineration. FAO received financial assistance from the Dutch Government and the German Technical Cooperation Agency (GTZ) for the operation, which cost US$1.3 million. The cost of disposing of obsolete pesticides stocks in Africa alone are estimated to exceed US$100 million. FAO is currently seeking financial support from agro-industry companies for pilot disposal operations in the Gambia (20 tonnes), Senegal (300 tonnes) and Botswana (200 tonnes). None of the developing countries has facilities for the safe and environmentally sound disposal of pesticides, which requires high-temperature incineration. The long-term solution to the problem lies in preventing the accumulation of these obsolete materials; stocks should be kept as low as possible and pesticide use should be drastically reduced. FAO has prepared Guidelines on The prevention and accumulation of obsolete pesticides; Pesticide storage; Stock control and Disposal of bulk quantities of obsolete pesticides which are available in Arabic, English, French and Spanish. Further information is available on the FAO Webpage: http://www.FAO.Org/Waicent/FAOINFO/AGRICUL/AGP/AGPP/PESTID/default.htm Alemayehu Wodageneh FAO Viale delle Terme di Caracalla 00100 Rome ITALY Email: Alemayehu.Wodageneh@FAO.Org