Pesticide residues in the total environment: reliable detection and determination, mitigation, and legislative control and surveillance programmes

F. A. Gunther
1970 Pure and Applied Chemistry  
During the past few years much has been learned about modes of introduction of pesticide chemicals into all niches of the human environment, and their nature and distribution in various substrates. There can be no question that all widely used pesticides have become broadly dispersed from the points of initial pest-control application, yet it is only recently that widespread concern over the probable ecological sequelae and more immediate effects on man and his food supply has arisen. This
more » ... s arisen. This concern has now been abundantly justified, for many of our modern pesticide chemicals are longlived under almost all environmental conditions. Numerous massive efforts have been undertaken, or are being contemplated, in several countries hopefully to evaluate both qualitatively and quantitatively the probable significance of both short and long-term contamination of foods and feeds, soils, waters, aquatic habitats, forests, rangelands, fibre-producing plants, wildlife, rain, snow, air, and people. Analytical contributions are basic to these efforts, but their value is directly proportional to their reliability; either falsely negative or falsely positive residue characterizations and measurements could adversely influence important conclusions and decisions about this global problem and its future mitigation. Many legislative bodies around the world have recognized or are recognizing the absolute necessity to control both the nature and the amount of pesticide residues in our food and feeds in the interests of public health. Some of these bodies are also recognizing that the uncontrolled, widespread, and repeated uses of certain pesticide chemicals so essential to adequate agricultural production and to even partial suppression of invertebrate-borne diseases can have consequences on and in the environment far more serious than a momentary hazard from excessive residues in a particular crop or crop product.
doi:10.1351/pac197021030355 pmid:5458823 fatcat:wqwqxkf7pveo3oxtu2oz7uezwq