Guidelines on highly hazardous pesticides
FAO and WHO have released new guidelines aimed at reducing the damage done by pesticides that pose especially high toxic risks to human health and the environment. Products with high acute toxicity account for high numbers of immediate poisoning cases, particularly in developing countries, while products with chronic toxicity effects may cause cancer or develomental disorders among growing children. In industrialized countries, such so-called "highly hazardous pesticides" may be no longer permitted or subject to strict use limitations, yet they often remain widely available in developing countries. Even hazardous products that still are permitted in industrialised countries can cause severe problems in the developing world, where use circumstances can be very different. Small-scale farmers in developing countries in particular often do not have, or use, the necessary protective gear and mostly use back-pack sprayers that pose high risk of exposure. Restriction on the use of such highly hazardous products often prove hard to enforce, leading to widespread use by untrained persons. High numbers of poisoning cases, contaminated food and environmental damage can be the result.