Anitha S. Pillai*


Since second half of the last century or so, industrialization and massive agriculture development, paralleled with increased health care have changed human life in various ways. Average life expectancy has increased due to lower infant mortality and better control of epidemics and infectious diseases. Coincidently, the increased industrialization and agriculture development were the major causes of the hazards of chemical pollution and the indiscriminate use of persistent pesticides. Pesticides are designed and manufactured to kill pests, but pesticides also harm or kill humans and aquatic and terrestrial animals. Manufacturing of chemicals are a major source of contamination and hazards. The use of high technology has been usually associated with high risk and a lower level of safety. The use and misuse of high technology has brought the subject of safety fore-front. It is concerned primarily with the harmful effects of chemicals that are encountered by humans either directly or indirectly because they are in the atmosphere or come in contact during occupational or recreational activities or by ingestion as food additives or food residues. In order to increase crop yield, there has been many fold increase in the use of pesticides and fertilizers in the agriculture. Chemicals are inseparable from our daily life, so the best way to increase safety is to learn and apply the lessons from the chemical related accidents that have already occurred.

Keywords: Industrialization and agriculture, chemicals, pesticides, risk, safety and lessons.

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