Health and food safety: the pesticides issue

The modern agriculture introduced besides new techniques, equipments and a higher number of agronomical researches, a diversity of new products, as pesticides and fertilizers. It also brought up changes in labor hours and working conditions, as well as risks linked to the new activities, that later reflected in health, especially for rural workers. World Health Organization believes that per year between 3 and 5 millions of people are intoxicated world wide and pesticide residue in food continues to preoccupy consumers that need more information about this theme. This article aims on gathering information about the theme and to support discussion among different social actors, also showing the Brazilian experience in health surveillance in its pathway to reach food security. Researches in Brazil and elsewhere were raised reporting occupational exposure and problems related to human and environmental health and data related to food analyses. Actions are suggested to minimize pesticide effect, for example the improvement on fiscalization over sales and use of these chemical products, changes in labels and safety equipments. The authors expect that the article may collaborate to preventive actions.

Pesticides; Intoxication; Food; Environmental health

ABRASCO - Associação Brasileira de Saúde Coletiva Av. Brasil, 4036 - sala 700 Manguinhos, 21040-361 Rio de Janeiro RJ - Brazil, Tel.: +55 21 3882-9153 / 3882-9151 - Rio de Janeiro - RJ - Brazil