3. Chemistry, agriculture and the environment.
Publ. of The Royal Society of Chemistry; Thomas Graham House, Science
Park, Cambridge CB4 4WF; ISBN 0-85186-228-4, 1991, 527 pp.
The aims of 'Chemistry, Agriculture and the Environment' are to highlight the essential role of chemistry in evaluating the usage of chemicals in agriculture and their effects on the environment.
The advent of chemical fertilizers leading to improved crop yields and the use of pesticides to protect and control agricultural products was heralded as a major breakthrough in the decades following the war. The problems associated with these developments then became apparent. The impact on the environment was seen to be widespread and led to a very close control in the use of these chemicals, within certain instances the complete banning of their use.
This book reviews the current status of the inter-dependence of the chemistry and ecotoxicity of agrochemicals and related substances. The book brings together the related chemistry and other sciences which are necessary in the multi-disciplinary approach required in minimizing the risk of the use of these chemicals. It explains the problems and their implication for the environment and for human and animal health, and how these problems may be alleviated or overcome.
The emphasis is on a critical assessment with a recognition of the advantages and disadvantages involved. This will help to elucidate the general debate concerning the use of chemicals in agriculture with a true recognition of the difficulties associated with the environment.
The text does provide a very useful insight into many of these problems and in so doing gives a very valuable overview of this very difficult but important interface.
The editors have attempted to minimize overlap between chapters.
However, in dealing with such important topics as: pollution of the biosphere from gaseous emissions; water, nitrates and pesticides; soil pollution from substances as diverse as silage, animal slurries, pesticides; effects on non-target species; and control measures, some overlap is inevitable. Such repetition should enhance the contents of the book in view of the various and diverse experiences expressed by the authors from such countries as Eastern and Western Europe, the United States of America, Costa Rica, India, China, Israel, Nigeria, etc.
Assessment of risk to the environment from the use of agrochemicals is the outcome of a series of processes involving risk identification, estimation, evaluation, and subsequent effective management. It is a matter to be considered seriously by all those having responsibility for producing or handling these chemicals, ranging from those synthesizing agrochemicals to those applying such chemicals to soil or crops; in addition such applicators must also be aware of the potential harmful effects from natural products such as manure, silage, and from straw burning.
Use must be made of the information available in this book, particularly on the underlying chemistry, to minimize any harm and also to understand the mechanisms involved.
1197 92 - 10/124
Review, field trials, Africa, integrated plant protection, small-scale farmer, problem areas, plant protection strategies, plant resistance, biological control, traditional methods, varities
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