This article helps us understand farming practices which are Chemical Pesticides oriented only leads to harmful and chronic disorders in humans. We need to stop them and use as much organic pesticides to a sustainable future.
HYDERABAD: No Indian salad is complete without the ubiquitous kheera, tomato, cabbage and green chilli. And now agricultural scientists have cautioned that these essential ingredients of salad are laced with harmful pesticide residues, which are radioactive in nature. The next time you order salad at a restaurant, make sure that the vegetables are thoroughly washed before they are sliced and served.
Some of the kheera samples analysed as part of the all-India network project on pesticide residues by scientists from the city-based Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University contained high dose of dangerous chemical substances. Similar studies conducted earlier in Telangana revealed radioactive pesticide residues on tomato, chilli and cabbage too. Researchers blame indiscriminate use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers for the contamination.
Two harmful radioactive substances, flubendiamide and deltamethrin, are present in several vegetable samples including kheera (cucumber), tomato, green chili and cabbage. These substances are known to cause skin ailments, vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, irrigation, low blood pressure and shock in case of severe exposure.
They are known to create problems in pregnant women.
According to experts, certain chemical pesticides and fertilizers contain radioactive substances that continue to stay on vegetables and fruits even after the harvest. The city agricultural scientists found the presence of flubendiamide and deltamethrin, which are radioactive in nature, on kheera. These harmful chemicals enter humans and animals when vegetables or fruits laced with them are consumed.
A portion of these chemicals stay in the body and when the quantity reaches a certain level, they begin to show harmful effects, warn experts. Incidentally, flubendiamide and deltamethrin are prohibited in several countries while they are indiscriminately used in agricultural and horticultural fields in Telangana and other parts of the country.
Chemicals to control pests affect the nervous system
The results of the study were published in the latest issue of the scientific journal, Food Additives and Contaminants. The samples of kheera (cucumis sativus) were collected from Telangana and other states. They were analysed for persistence, dissipation and risk assessment of flubendiamide and deltamethrin. These chemicals are sprayed to control insects. Ironically, the chemicals act on the nervous system of insects. They are detrimental to humans too.
The team noticed residues of flubendiamide and deltamethrin on kheera (cucumber) resulting from applications of a combination formulation (flubendiamide 90% and deltamethrin 60%). It also studied how long the residue would last on the vegetables when farmers use recommended dose and extra dose of pesticides.
However, when compared with the maximum residue level allowed for these substances in developed countries, including European Union(0.2 mg per kg), the recommended dose for vegetables in Telangana is several times higher.