Limewater or milk of lime, milk of magnesia should be given. Arsenic Compounds

After emptying the stomach, raw eggs, milk, lime water, flour, and water, or sweet oil should be given.

Benzene Hexachloride:

Tea or coffee and gypsum salts may be given after the stomach has been emptied. Chloroans Same treatment as benzene hexachloride. The same treatment as for benzene hexachloride

Mercury Compounds:

Raw egg and milk should be given immediately.


After emptying the stomach, stimulants such as hot tea or coffee should be given. Parathion

After emptying the stomach, have a physician administer 1/30 to 1/60 grain of atropine sulphate at hourly intervals, until pupils dilate.

Tetraethyl Pyrophosphate:

The same treatment as recommended in the case of parathion may be given. The following information will also be useful in this connection:

IS: 4015 (Part I) 1967:

Provides information with regard to the first aid measures that are necessary to be taken in cases of pesticide poisoning before a physician attends the case.

IS: 4015 (Part II) 1967:

Outlines the basic information intended for the use of physicians with regard to the symptoms, differential diagnosis and treatment in relation to poisoning due to different types of pesticides and their formulations during their use in a laboratory, field or a factory.

Pesticide Disposal:

There are a number of methods available to tackle the problem of disposal of surplus pesticides but they are not always satisfactory for all types of materials. The methods, presently in practice, include thermal decomposition, chemical neutralization, burial and biological degradation.

Thermal Decomposition:

This method requires exposure of the pesticide to a high temperature (900-1000 °C) for varying periods of time. This method is satisfactory enough as it degrades about 98% or even more of most of the commercial pesticide formulations.

The exposure time should be sufficient so as to ensure complete decompositions, and care must be taken to remove air pollutants before the gases are discharged into the atmosphere.

A wet scrubber and filtration through a porous clay bed and carbon filter, with lagoon treatment of the waste water, are suggested. Mercury, arsenic, lead and similar toxic compounds should not be incinerated unless special residue handling and disposal facilities are available.

Chemical Neutralization:

This is feasible for most of the organophosphates and carbonate insecticides, but not for the chlorinated hydrocarbons. Various chemicals used to destroy the pesticides are nitric acid, sulphuric acid, ammonium hydroxide, sodium hydroxide, chlorine compounds, peroxides or other types of active chemicals. Calcium hydrochlorite seems to have the broadest application. A strong acid or alkaline hydrolysis does not provide complete treatment.


Burial is susceptible to contamination of waters and ground waters from leaching and run off on pesticides. Careful shallow burial with 18 in. of earth for small quantities of pesticides in clay soil is generally acceptable until a better method is developed.

The location should be well above ground water level, downgrade, and several hundred feet from any source of water supply and they should also be beyond the reach of children and animals. The burial of pesticides in sandy soils is not recommended as it has greater possibility of leaching into surface water or ground water.

Biological or Natural Degradation:

This method is satisfactory for short lived materials while for other more persistent materials, the rate of degradation is too slow. The persistence of some pesticides in soils is given in proper facilities are available, surplus pesticides and containers should be disposed of as described above.

Lead, Copper, Arsenic Dieldrin, BHC, DDT insecticides Triazine herbicides Urea herbicides Benzoic acid herbicides 2, 4-D: 2, 4, 5-T Herbicidcs Organophosphorous insecticides Carbamate (Carbaryl) insecticides


As stated earlier, in spite of the short term advantages of pesticides, they may create serious health hazards to human beings in the long run. The fourth report of the Council of Environmental Quality of the USA, published in 1972, has virtually banned the use of DDT because this chemical, being highly persistent, enters the food chain of innumerable forms of life which results in a total dislocation of the balance of nature.

Unfortunately, the use of DDT is increasing in India, day by day. Total consumption of pesticides per year is given in at present, about 4000 tonnes of DDT is manufac­tured in India and an equal quantity is imported, mainly for malaria control. Apparently the malaria carrying mosquito, Anopheles culcifacious, has become resistant to many kinds of insecticides.

The universe of cultivated crops often overlaps the habitats of insects responsible for transmission of human diseases. This is particularly true in the case of the mosquito popu­lation, which breeds in diverse water bodies in all types of situations. Repeated application of different pesticides ensures exposure of genera of these insects of speedy selection for resistance to the pesticides used.

Increase in malaria during the last few years has obviously made it necessary to plan for a much greater use of DDT. Attempts are being made to find alternatives to DDT like Methaxsichlor, which, unlike DDT, is quickly degradable.

An ideal pesticide is Pyrethrum which is extracted from the flowers of a plant grown widely in Kenya. Pyrethrum is most effective, and being a natural insecticide, is completely harmless to the environment. Attempts are being made to grow Pyrethrum in Kashmir and Tamil Nadu, but, as yet, the output is very limited.

Biological control is, of course, the best way of dealing with pests. This involves the use of bacteria, virus and other pathogens which attack or by the use of predators or parasites or both. A lot of work is yet to be done in this field, and according to the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, there has been considerable success in some fields.

The most suc­cessful of these was the almost total eradication of the prickly pear, opuntia Spp which had, like many toxic plants, proliferated widely over the countryside in India, and was a great menace for many years.

The Indian station of the Commonwealth Institute of Biological Control situated in Bangalore is attempting to find natural enemies of a number of pests, but this work is at a very early stage.

The extensive use of pesticides could have an adverse effect on soil fertility and on crops.

The growing requirement for the use of pesticides is obvious. But the harmful effects of pesticides with higher persistence suggest the necessity for development of pesticides which are biodegradable.