Understanding Pesticide Burden

learn how pesticides impact our lives




Facts about Pesticides

Pesticides are chemical substances designed to kill, reduce or repel insects, weeds, rodents, fungi, and other organisms that can threaten public health and national economies. However, use of  these chemical agents can also harm humans, other organisms and the environment. Most pesticides are chemical substances which may be extracted from plants or may be ‘synthetic’.  Most pesticide preparation include carrier substances in addition to the active ingredients and also solvents and compounds that improve absorption, etc. these 'inert ingredients' are not usually included in any discussion of the effects on health although they frequently comprise a large part of a commercial pesticide product, and their adverse effects may exceed those of the active ingredients. The adverse effects of pesticides on health may be also caused by impurities.

Pesticides damage our health

Use of chemical pesticides can harm humans, other organisms and the environment. Key risks are cancer, birth defects, and damage to the nervous system and the functioning of the endocrine system. A pesticide products typically contain several potentially dangerous ingredients (including so-called “inerts” not listed on the label).

We are all exposed to a cocktail of pesticides in our air, water, food and on the surfaces we touch. The combination of these chemicals can be more toxic than any one of them acting alone. Many pesticides are endocrine disruptors and even extremely low doses can interfere with the delicate human hormone system and cause life changing damage. Scientists report disturbing reproductive health trends around the world. We are experiencing a cancer epidemic, and evidence is growing ever stronger that pesticide exposure is a key contributor to this disturbing trend.


Pesticides and Ecosystems

When chemicals that are designed to kill are introduced into delicately balanced ecosystems, they can set damage in motion that reverberates through the food web for years.

Water, soil and air are contaminated...

Honeybee populations are plummeting nationwide...

Male frogs exposed to atrazine become females...

Pesticides are implicated in dramatic bat die-offs...

Pesticides wreak havoc on the environment, threatening biodiversity and weakening the natural systems upon which human survival depends. It disrupts the delicate balance of ecosystems, creating unintended deleterious impacts. PAN works hard to promote agricultural systems that protect and strengthen, rather than contaminate, our natural ecosystems.