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SAICM Highly Hazardous Pesticides Video

We use a wide variety of chemical compounds to prevent living organisms from damaging crops and spreading diseases like malaria. These compounds are collectively termed pesticides. These days the majority of pesticides have low to moderate acute toxicity. But despite their many positive developments, there remain a small but significant group of Highly Hazardous Pesticides that cause illness and environmental damage.

Not only because they are very toxic, but also because they remain active for a long time after being released. These conditions are aggravated by a process called biomagnification where the concentration of toxic compounds in living organisms increases along the food chain.

As we improved our understanding of chemicals risk, governments around the world started to ban highly hazardous pesticides.  Today the market offers safer alternatives that yield similar benefits at much lower risk. So, replacing them has become relatively easy. But despite all that, a wide array of dangerous compounds remains in use in many regions of the global South. And agricultural workers usually suffer the most. These women and men are often unaware of associated health risks or lack the appropriate protective gear to avoid exposure to pesticides.

It is SAICM’s mission to raises awareness about the hazards of highly hazardous pesticides, identify risks for people, companies, and countries, and strengthen national regulatory capacities. SAICM also promotes agroecological alternatives to prevent injury and environmental damage from highly hazardous pesticides. The urgent transition to safer alternatives requires pesticide users, businesses, and governments to make informed decisions and call for change. SAICM supports them wherever needed.