Industrial Pesticides and a Methods Assessment for the Reduction of Associated Risks: A Review

Review Article

Industrial Pesticides and a Methods Assessment for the Reduction of Associated Risks: A Review

Majid Khayatnezhad*, Fatemeh Nasehi

Adv. life sci., vol. 8, no. 2, pp. 202-210, February 2021
*Corresponding Authors: Majid Khayatnezhad (Email:
Authors' Affiliations

 Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Ardabil Branch, Islamic Azad University, Ardabil – Iran
 [Date Received: 21/11/2020; Date Revised: 28/12/2020; Date Published: 25/02/2021]

Abstractaa download_button



Regarding the increasing growth of the population and importance of food security, Iranian Ministry of Agriculture has prioritized and encouraged greenhouse farming products. One of the developmental challenges of greenhouse farming is the current extensive use of chemical fertilizers. Importantly, as raw agricultural products are the main ingredients on the table of Iranian families  (Iranians generally tend to eat fresh products), the determination of pesticide residues in such products is of utmost importance. The penetration of resistant contaminants into freshwater resources can lead to detrimental effects on humans and the environment. Concerning the importance of environmental protection and the role of chemical pesticides, this study reviews the pesticides used in the agronomic sector and the associated risks of using chemicals to control pests for society, agriculture, freshwater resources, and the environment.

Keywords: Environment; Water resources; Agriculture; Health; Biological method

Introduction6th button-01

Increased population and the increasing need for food production have resulted in the expansion of compact agriculture and pesticides for fighting pests and insects to maximize quantity and quality. Water stress is one of the most limiting factors around the world [1-4]. After application, pesticides can percolate into groundwater in the form of leachate, reach the surface waters through the runoff, or remain in agricultural products as residues, enter the food industry and end up in the hands of consumers, putting the health of individuals at risk [5-7]. The results of relevant studies indicate that pesticides formerly originated in materials collected from plants, animals, and of course, chemicals. The use of specific amounts of such materials could lead to temporary or permanent malfunction or dysfunction of vital mechanisms [8, 9]. Chemical pesticides are generally divided into four families of poisons: organochlorides, organophosphates, carbamates, and pyrethroids. Organophosphorus compounds are significantly diverse, securing a 40% share of the market [10].

Due to the lipophilicity, bio-accumulation factor  (BAF), and the presence in the food chain, organophosphorus pesticides  (OPs) are critical compounds for the significant impacts they have on society's health and the environment. Various research attempts have focused on the toxic effects of this pesticide on the environment [11, 12]. WHO has labeled this pesticide moderately hazardous under class II. Coumaphos is a principal insecticide in the organophosphate family of pesticides, used in industries related to animal breeding such as in aviculture, beekeeping, cattle tick elimination, and other external parasites [13-15].

Atrazine is an herbicide widely used on farms in Iran, causing pollution in various ecosystems due to its low vapor pressure  (LVP), the long half-life, and significant mobility. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency classifies atrazine in group III for its toxicity;  however, its potential for contaminating groundwater makes it extremely important [16]. Other types of industrial pesticide for grain aphid prevention are domestic or foreign formulations of oxydemeton-methyl and thiomton  (ekatin) [17]. The re leant research results demonstrated that confidor, pirimicarb, and foreign oxydemeton-methyl had been the most effective poisons against common wheat aphid. Furthermore, the foreign formulations of oxydemeton-methyl and thiomton performed better than the Iranian formulations [18, 19]. Other products with INSO approval in the Iranian pesticide market are the following: bromopropylate, permethrin, tetradifon, deltamethrin, dichlorvos, dimethoate famoxadone, pentazocine phenoprotein, carbaryl, chlorpyrifos, chlorothalonil, malathion, and metalaxyl [20].  

Methods6th button-01

Literature Search strategy and selection criteria

In this study, various databases including Web of Science, Pub Med, Scopus, ISC, SID were searched considering the pesticide keyword and its effect on the environment, water resources, agriculture, and health.  428 articles were obtained in the initial review, which 76 articles were deleted due to insufficient relevance to the research issue. Then, by evaluating the abstracts, another 137 articles were removed due to duplicate topics. Finally, 215 articles were thoroughly evaluated based on the objectives of the study, publication date, publication validity, and geographical extent in different regions of Iran which 76 references were used to provide the review paper. 

Discussion6th button-01

Pesticides disintegration

Environmental considerations, toxicity, and the long half-life of pesticides have limited the number of suitable pesticides, especially in the agriculture and hygiene sectors. Therefore, one of the necessary research fields on pesticides is their resistance to disintegration [21]. The disintegration of industrial pesticides is discussable in two main dimensions: The first dimension deals with the severe storage-associated environmental and hygienic risks, as pesticides may lose efficiency before application, disqualifying them for application. Therefore, management of production and expiration dates is regarded as an essential issue worldwide [22, 23]. Upon expiration, environmental contamination with such hazardous material is irrevocable. Neglecting to properly manage pesticide storage units can lead to grave consequences for both humans and the environment.

Shahinfar et al.  (2015) investigated the feasibility of reviving the expired poisons in an agricultural support services company. The study conducted the quality control tests on samples following the guidelines set by CIPAC, FAO, and pesticide producers, classifying the results based on the following factors: poison family, physical formulation, producers, production date, and geolocation of storehouse. The results indicated no significant correlation between the age and the disintegration percentage of pesticides. The Iranian and Indian/Chinese formulations respectively represented disintegration percentages  (DP) of 45% and 58%. Also, the DP of liquid formulations' was 55%, while the solid formulations showed a 29% DP. Furthermore, the study detected no statistical significance between the four climates of storehouses, DP, and shelf life of pesticides [23-25].

Pesticides' resistance to disintegration, on the other hand, though, results in even more critical problems. Therefore, environmental health specialists believe the dispersion of pesticide content in agricultural products, the food industry, water resources, and the environment is a pivotal issue. The disintegration amount differs based on age, formulation, quality control indexes  (QCI), and the manufacturer. The study results by Shahinfar et al.  (2015) demonstrated a non-significant correlation between the production date and DP. Moreover, domestic formulations' shelf life was higher in comparison with the Indian or Chinese formulations.

Preventing the expansion of pesticides in terms of hygiene and removing them from the environment and the food production cycle are fundamental issues. Hence, this study investigates the associated risks of this contaminant for each of the target sources. Furthermore, the study assesses the methods for the disintegration and reduction of pesticides and alternatives. This study's findings are based on reviewing the literature in the form of journals and authentic national  (in Iran) and international conferences.

Pesticide and agriculture

Research reports the observance of pesticide residues in 80% of fresh greenhouse vegetables. However, the observed amounts were below the advised critical limit [26-28]. Hadian & Azizi  (2006), in a descriptive research study concerning thirty samples, including cucumbers, tomatoes, cabbages, and lettuce, investigated the residues of 117 types of pesticides in the central fruits and vegetable market in Tehran. Among the 30 samples studied, 53% represented a diversity of pesticide residues, which were far below the Codex maximum level  (ML) set in Codex Alimentarius and the EU. Moreover, the study did not detect DDT, HCG-g, or other forbidden poison residues in the samples [29].

In a relevant case study, Yazdanpak et al.  (2019) examined the residues of imidacloprid, primacarb, oxydemeton-methyl, diazinon, and acetamiprid, which are the most used poisons in Iranian greenhouse farming, on tomatoes. The results indicated that pesticide residues began to descend close to the pre-harvest interval PHI. Furthermore, the GC-MS measurement of residues on the greenhouse products indicated that one-third of the samples represented forbidden amounts of dichlorvos and chlorpyrifos residues based on the limit defined by INSO [20, 30].

Pesticides and food industries

Due to potential toxicity, pesticide residues in agricultural products are severe health risks, resulting in unfavorable consequences, such as cancer, negative impacts on human reproduction, and nervous and immune systems. One of the main plans of management programs is to reduce the pesticide residue contaminations in the environment and food products. Food production processes significantly impact pesticide residues and food safety [31-33].

In a relevant study, Koohi et al., during 2009-2010, investigated the residues of organochlorine pesticides  (OCP), such as aldrin, dieldrin, endosulfan, and dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane  (DDT) in the dairy products samples  (cow milk, cheese, cream, and butter) collected from Tabriz. Even though the analysis represented that most samples contained OCP residue levels below the MRLs, aldrin and dieldrin residue levels particularly exceeded the permissible levels in some cow milk and butter samples, respectively, which can be a health risk factor. That study reflected the necessity of reducing the use of OCPs in Tabriz in the future [32].

Since the food preparation process plays a highly significant role in the pesticide residue amounts, Nazemi et al.  (2016) evaluated the impact of storage conditions and the use of different disinfectants on dichlorvos residues in tomatoes [34]. They harvest the tomatoes 24 hours after the application of dichlorvos to assess its concentration. The first group of samples was stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator for ten days and rinsed with water for 20 min. Then, dichlorvos concentration changes were recorded every two days. The samples in the second group were divided into four batches. They were respectively floated in the water, 1% sodium chloride, 2% acetic acid, and 3% sodium bicarbonate solutions in periods of 10, 20, and 30 minutes. The study then used an ECD-equipped gas chromatography device to evaluate the treatment effects. The results indicated that dichlorvos residues decreased during the treatment, declining below the MRLs at room and refrigerator temperature after respectively 8 and 10 days. A thirty-minute flotation in the water, sodium chloride, acetic acid, and sodium bicarbonate respectively resulted in a 36%, 35%, 15%, and 93% decrease in dichlorvos residues. Hence, based on time and concentration factors, sodium bicarbonate solution and the acetic acid solution respectively represented the highest and lowest dichlorvos eliminating effect [34].

Yazdanpak et al.  (2020) found that rinsing, peeling, and lab refrigerating is easy and effective methods for reducing and even eliminating the pesticide residues in raw agricultural products, such as greenhouse products with domestic or commercial applications. They identified peeling as the most effective technique for eliminating pesticide residues. In the comparison based on the application of four types of pesticides, the peeled and not peeled samples showed a significant difference in the residues levels, with the rinsing method ranking the second effective technique. The impact of rinsing with water depends on the quality of rinsing, types of pesticides, and the environmental indexes [33].

Pesticides in the environment

As important tools for the world's increasing population's food security, pesticides have enjoyed incredible development and extensive application. However, the excessive application has turned them into severe risks for the environment [35]. Lagoons as vast ecosystems provide valuable ecological services. Environmental pollution, especially the runoffs contaminated with pesticides, should be considered for the conservation of lagoons since increased agricultural activities in the vicinity of lagoons next to pesticide application  (PA) lead to widespread lagoon contamination. From an environmental perspective, compounds with high stability and lipophilicity accumulate in the food chain of living species. Consumption of aquatics, especially fish is one of the pathways of such contaminants into the human body. Moreover, the fish are important indicators for evaluating OCPs residues in aquatic environments [36].

Karimi  (2015) conducted a research study to propose a realistic approach to perform ERA of pesticides in the Shadegan Lagoon, Iran [37]. The study calculated the RQ by determining water concentration and the TRV of five pesticides, including DDT, aldrin, dieldrin, lindane, ametrine in the Shadegan Lagoon in 2011. The RQ calculation results indicated higher risks for aquatic insects than other phytoplanktons, zooplanktons invertebrates, insects, and the fish, hence the high risk for lagoons' ecosystem. The study suggested that environmental measures should be considered for reducing the risk factor in this lagoon.

Anzali Lagoon is Iran's other important aquatic ecosystem located in the south of the Caspian Sea. It is the home to fishes, aquatics, and birds with valuable ecological and economic importance. One of the contaminants in this lagoon is the range of bio-compounds with high stability. Dispersing such materials into the environment is identified as a global contamination issue, as they can accumulate in animals and humans' bodies due to their high lipophilicity and stability and spread through the food chain [38].

Surface and underground water resources

The contamination of water resources with pesticides is an environmental issue, which is an increasing phenomenon given the increasing growth of agriculture in the majority of provinces in Iran, jeopardizing freshwater resources. Research shows that pesticide residues in water resources are directly associated with pesticide application in such regions;  if pesticide application is left uncontrolled, these disintegration-resistant contaminants will seriously threaten public health [39].

Khodadadi et al.  (2009) investigated the effect of pesticide application on freshwater resources, aiming to determine the residue concentrations of halogenated Chlorpyrifos) and non-halogenated Diazinon, and Carbamate  (carbaryl) organophosphate pesticides in the water supply sources in  (city of) Hamedan. They collected 126 samples from seven surface and underground freshwater sources during a year and prepared them using the SPE method. Then, the study used HPLC and GC/MS/MS devices for sample analysis. The results indicated that carbaryl and Diazinon respectively represented the highest concentration in spring  (May) and Fall  (September). Also, the pesticides in question represented the lowest concentration in winter.

Dargahi et al.  (2018) studied the residues of a group of organophosphate pesticides, including diazinon, malathion, chlorpyrifos, glyphosate in the surface and underground freshwater sources in  (province of) Kermanshah. The collected samples from 50 water source stations geographically dispersed in Kermanshah  (north, south, east, west). The results indicated no residues in any sources, including springs or ducts and glyphosate, represented the lowest residues. Besides, the total residues of malathion and glyphosate were below the MRLs set by the EU. The overall results indicated that given the organophosphate pesticides' current concentrations in the wells in the region exceeding the MRLs set by the EU, it would seriously put the public health at risk to neglect to control the pesticide application and regularly monitoring water resources [40]. 

These chemical residues not only negatively impact consumer's experience, but they also impair the quality of life in the ecosystem for aquatics or even destroy them. The sample collection started in May and …. to investigate the association between the diazinon residues in the Tajan River and the agricultural activities in the river vicinity. The study used HPLC to investigate the diazinon residues in the prepared samples. The maximum recorded concentration of diazinon equaled 47 µg/l in May at the third water source station. Results analysis indicated that diazinon concentration increased with the beginning of the farming activities, especially rice cultivation, fluctuating during summer based on the application time. Given the one-hour average concentration limit set by the EU is 0.17 µg/l, which should not be exceeded more than once per three years  (the acute toxicity criteria), the study concluded that diazinon concentration in the Tajan River increased under the effect of increasing agricultural activities, putting the ecosystem at high risks [41].

Kalachian et al.  (2011) ‌investigated the lindane-absorption potential of the sediments and the association between sediments' physical and chemical properties and lindane absorption in the Karun River. They collected samples in dry and wet seasons from the fifth bridge on the river in Ahvaz and Khorramshahr. The results indicated that salinity and the sediment amount increased along the river from Ahvaz to Khorramshahr. The sediments at Darkhovin contained the highest organic matter  (2.45%) and 30.8% clay content, while the sediments around the fifth bridge represented the lowest organic matter 0.49% and clay content  (2.1%). The value of Kf  (Freundlich adsorption isotherm) for the sediments in Darkhovin was the highest  (196 mg/kg) and the lowest  (82 mg/kg) for the fifth bridge in Ahvaz. Besides, the sediments in Darkhovin and the fifth bridge in Ahvaz respectably represented the highest  (340 mg/kg) and lowest  (140 mg/kg) value of b  (Langmuir adsorption isotherm). Moreover, the study detected a significant association between lindane absorption levels and organic matter and sediments [42].

Pesticides and hygiene

Humans are exposed to the poisonous content of the pesticides in various ways following the application and pesticides' remaining in the environment. Pesticides do not function selectively, therefore, they also affect other creatures like humans and the target pests [43].

In the last two decades, biologists have been focusing on chemicals synthesized in laboratories and manufactories that, upon entering the body, can function like attenuated hormones causing the endocrine glands to malfunction. Importantly, some associate the exposure to such chemicals with many of the disorders in animals, such as population decline, eggshell thinning, morphological discrepancies, higher mortality as well as the increased infertility rates and reproductive disorders, decline in total sperm count, and cognitive disorders in humans related to intelligence and learning [44-49].

Today, pesticide application has been widely challenged in hygienic concerns in developing and developed countries. Many studies have confirmed the direct relation between PA and hormonal diseases and the subsequent side effects. The study results by Ebrahimi & Manian  (2007) in  (province of) Fars, Iran, represented that more than 1.5 million liters of 86 types of pesticides have been applied to land 34 of which were carcinogenic. They classified at least 30 types of pesticides as hormonal contaminants. Some poisons were found to selectively cause specific hormones to malfunction [50].

Since pesticides are mostly stored at home and women mostly apply them, women and even children are more at risk at home. Hence, in a relevant study, they studied the awareness, knowledge, and performance of women regarding health risks, appropriate storing procedures, and pesticide application. The statistical population consisted of 465 women from  (city of) Yazd who were mostly educated, having a bachelor's degree and above. The results indicated that about 17% of women received the required training regarding the storage procedures and potential health risks from television [51-54]. Also, more than 23% of women relied on the instructions on the packaging of pesticides as their main source of information. Therefore, since the majority of consumers are willing to decrease the PA-associated risks, it is possible to improve their performance through awareness-raising campaigns [55] optimally.

Safety against pesticides

Respiratory exposure to pesticides is another adverse effect of their application. Two studies have investigated such negative effects on the respiratory exposure to pesticides in a population of workers and farmers, including [56].

Based on the agricultural product and the efficacy, different regions require specific pesticides. For instance, in Rafsanjan and Savojbolagh county, in Iran, more than 95% of pesticides are organophosphates. Besides, about 68% of farmers in the study did not use any protective gear form, and only 25% of farmers claimed they grasped the packaging instructions. Also, 55% left the containers of pesticides in the environment after application, and only 27% incinerated or buried the containers [57]. To study the influential factors in farmers’ safety behaviors regarding wearing protective gear when using pesticides, a statistical population consisting of 322 wheat farmers in central Zanjan was investigated. The results indicated that farmers’ behavior concerning the use of protective gear was identified as low  (unsafe and potentially unsafe). Moreover, the experimental results indicated that the six constructs of HBM, including perceived susceptibility, perceived severity, perceived benefits to action, perceived barriers to action, self-efficacy, and cues to action [58].

HBM is one of the most extensively applied models for studying behavior to prevent and control diseases. Ghanbari et al.  (2018) in their study, analyzed the HBM constructs in the safety behaviors of farmers when using pesticides. The statistical population included the entire farmers in Khoramabad. They determined 375 farmers for the population size population using the Krejcie and Morgan table and used questionnaires for data collection [59]. The results indicated that the variables, including awareness, perceived susceptibility, perceived barriers affected farmers’ behaviors, with perceived barriers‌ and awareness having the highest impact. Therefore, emphasizing the reduction of barriers and raising awareness, that study suggested HBM-based measures to improve farmers’ safety behaviors [60-62].

Pesticide reduction and disintegration

Various physical and chemical methods have been proposed for pesticide elimination for land and aquatic ecosystems;  however, some of them are highly costly and yield other poisonous byproducts [63]. Regarding the expansion of the science of interaction between humans and nature, biological treatment gained much importance. Biological treatment is a process in which microorganisms are employed for breaking down the contaminants in the environment. Bioremediation is an economically and environmentally optimal method for removing persistent contaminants. Today, the use of indigenous or genetically-engineered microorganisms in the treatment of contaminated environments is widely increasing. The determination of soil properties and ecotoxicology to identify the abilities of soil innate microorganisms is essential for the effective use of this green technology [16].

Diazinon-degrading bacteria are present in the contaminated agronomic and industrial areas. Hence, these bacteria and bioregenerative processes are expected to reduce the adverse environmental effects of pesticides. Moreover, after field studying and determining the formulations, it is expected to use such bacteria strains for bioremediation [11].

Molecular imprinting is one of the modern techniques for synthesizing absorbing products for the extraction of pesticides. Mansoori et al.  (2018) investigated the synthesis and performance of molecularly imprinted films produced using the electrospinning method to extract mecoprop. The results rendered this method successful for cleaning up aquatic environments such as mineral water resources and wells [64].

Accordingly, Karami et al.  (2019) investigated malathion and diazinon residues in the olive washing and fermentation processes. The statistical results showed after the washing and debittering processes, the malathion and diazinon residues decreased by 74% and 93%, respectively, while they respectively decreased by 63% and 69% after 20 days of fermentation. After fermentation and near the end of the process, the malathion and diazinon residues showed a 90% and 98% decrease, respectively. Broadly, the statistical results indicated that the fermentation process significantly reduced malathion residues while non-significantly impacting diazinon residues. Indeed, the reducing impact of fermentation is also a function of poison type, fermentation time, and different environmental conditions.

Bazrafshan et al.  (2017) investigated the optimization of the electrocoagulation process in the removal of diazinon residues from aquatic environments using RSM. In that study, they designed thirty experiment stages to examine the effects of some independent variables, including diazinon residue  (10-100 mg/l), applied voltage  (20- (20-40 W), reaction time  (RT)  (10-16 min), and the solution pH  (3-10) on diazinon elimination efficiency. Conditions were optimized using RSM, and model analysis was conducted using ANOVA. The proposed model was significant at a 95% confidence level. The results indicated that diazinon elimination efficiency was a function of primary concentration changes, voltage, and RT. The determined diazinon elimination efficiency in an optimal condition  (a residue of 100 mg/l and a voltage of 20W) was 85%. Therefore, the electrocoagulation process is an effective method for eliminating diazinon from water solutions, and the optimized experiment design successfully removed diazinon residues, allowing for an optimal decontamination condition by the minimum number of experiments [65].

The presence of resistant biological contaminants, such as pesticides in the surface, underground and freshwater resources besides the inability of current water treatment procedures to eliminate such contaminants have led to the emergence of Advanced oxidation processes  (AOPs). Hence, the introduction of AOPs is another mechanism for removing poisons, which has grabbed the attention of researchers.  The results indicate that an increase in pH and contact time and a decrease in poison concentration increase elimination efficiency. Using AOP combined with UV/O3 for the removal of two families of pesticides, including halogenated  (chlorpyrifos) and non-halogenated  (diazinon) organophosphorus poisons represented an 80% efficiency, which reaches 90% for a carbamate poison  (carbaryl). As a result, this method is suggested as a useful way of eliminating the poisons from the aquatic environments in the study [66].

A relevant study with a similar design was the work of Dehghani and Fadaei  (2015), which aimed at using zinc oxide nanoparticles in conjunction with UV for pesticide removal from water sources. The process was conducted in a batch reactor in two diazinon concentrations  (100, 500 mg/l) in the presence of zinc oxide nanoparticles with diameters ranging 6-12 nm, with three various concentrations  (50, 100, and 150 mg/l), using a 150-W UV medium-pressure lamp in five different time variables and pH levels of  (9, 7, and 3). ‌ The highest elimination efficiency was recorded under a pH of 3, while the lowest efficiency was observed at a pH of 9. Also, the nanoparticles showed the highest elimination efficiency at a concentration of 100 mg/l. Therefore, nano-photocatalytic methods are also identifiable as clean, environmental-friendly processes usable on large scales [67].

Domestic or industrial food processing is an almost suitable approach for dealing with unhygienic contaminated food [68]. Attempting to study the impacts of commercial processing on pesticide residues in food material, food industry researchers have demonstrated that operations like peeling, washing, blanching, essence extraction, and thermal processing can reduce the residue levels in agricultural products, like tomatoes, broccoli, green beans, spinach, and so forth. 

The first step in the food and agriculture industries for the residue reduction is to determine their levels so as to decide less disadvantageous executive plans for combating the carriers and pesticides based on more realistic judgments and a richer understanding of these chemicals' role in the food cycle [69, 70]. As mentioned above, OPs are widely used in the agricultural sector, a significant portion of which is left untreated in the environment, resulting in unfavorable effects on the ecosystems, wildlife, and humans. Nevertheless, given the increasing trend in salinity in the agricultural sector, especially in drainage water, the need to decontaminate and reuse these water sources due to water shortage, bioremediation is considered an effective and environmentally-friendly method usable for desalination. The role of degrading bacteria in pesticide elimination from different environments further highlights this issue’s importance [12].

A relevant study used the targeted enrichment technique to separate halophilic bacteria capable of disintegrating chlorpyrifos  (an OP) and identified the superior strain in terms of the highest growth rate and tolerance against pesticide content. They used a GC/MS device to analyze the selected strain's disintegrating ability, and the strain was identified using the molecular method. The study investigated the optimal growth condition  (to demonstrate the denigration condition better) by examining the impacts of temperature, acidity, salinity, and chlorpyrifos concentration on bacterial growth in pesticide presence  (the only carbon source). The results indicated that thanks to their adaptability to saline conditions, halophilic bacteria are suitable options for eliminating OPs in contaminated saline environments [71].

A different, softer way for reducing pesticides is raising consumers' knowledge about dealing with these contaminants. Various research studies have found that improving knowledge and awareness has proved significantly effective in the combat against pesticides [72-74].

Alternatives to Pesticides

Today, various studies are attempting to introduce alternatives for chemical pesticides.  These alternatives include physical  (environment optimization, installment of mesh in the greenhouse, and so on), biologic  (using natural enemies of pests or bacteria), and genetic methods [75-78].

In recent decades, nanotechnology has enjoyed a wild expansion in various fields, including the aerospace industry, different industries, such as military, food, chemical, pharmaceutical, medical, and pesticide manufacturing. In a simple comparison, nano pesticides are more economical, hygienic, and medically crucial than traditional industrial pesticides. With higher efficacy in comparison with industrial pesticides, nano pesticides are more also useful for fighting arthropod pests in agriculture and the carriers of severe diseases like malaria. Nowadays, nanopesticides are produced using diverse methods. Since nanopesticides are critical for public hygiene, it is essential to identify new synthesis methods [79]. As mentioned earlier, environmental controlling procedures can significantly reduce the population of pests by optimizing the environment and causing undesirable conditions for pests’ reproduction and growth [80, 81].

Using environmental controlling methods, it is possible to keep the environment clean and safe to ensure public health, which is one of health organizations' goals [82]. Moreover, as proved in many cases, the use of low-risk, biological pesticides, PHI observance, and responsible application in compliance with environmental and hygienic standards will alleviate their negative effect, highlighting their advantages.

Conclusions 6th button-01

Regarding the pandemic population growth, the limited sources in the agricultural sector, and the urgent need for increasing the production of agronomic products, the need for combating pests logically and responsibly with an emphasis on protecting the lives of farmers and the public is felt more prominent than ever. This paper investigates the effects of pesticides on the hygiene, environment, agriculture, the food industry, and water resources quality. It reviews the different methods for confronting the disadvantages of pests and pesticide application.

Relevant studies indicate that, in Iran, the excessive use of pesticides is based on different reasons, including farmers' unawareness, availability of cheap pesticides, and unauthorized stores;  therefore, the management process for controlling pesticide use requires intervention for quality improvement. Pesticides' resistance as a result of increased dosage can also lead to aggravating environmental contaminations. Pesticide application has immensely unfavorable repercussions for the environment, including enhanced poison-resistance in arthropods that, in some cases, has caused the whole pest  (including carriers) control operation to fail, resulting in major economic loss and hygienic damages [83].

Various factors are effective in reducing the negative impacts of pesticides: development of organic agriculture, raising supervision on the imports of poisons and pesticides, equipping laboratories with state-of-the-art related science in cooperation with the private sector, training farmers to improve their knowledge, revision and then execution of current regulations, and developing and applying an identification system for products as well as strengthening supervision. Although these suggestions are convergent and consistent, for maximizing the effect of these policies, a combined approach including all the suggestions is advisable [84].

The correct selection of a suitable pesticide, dosage, and time of application are among other ways for combating pesticide residue expansion in the environment [85-87]. The importance of using vegetables every day and the adverse effects of pesticide use on public hygiene emphasize regularly checking the residues of such chemicals in vegetables [88]. Therefore, this study suggests that the related supervisory health organizations formulate the required pesticide control plans.

The practical methods proposed for ensuring the removal of pesticide residue from greenhouse products include soaking in an alkaline solution complying with the PHI and floatation for a needed amount of time [32, 89].

For preventing the side effects associated with pesticides, consumers need to receive proper training courses regarding the introduction of poisons and their applications, short-term and long-term side effects, effective use of the protective gear, the essential steps after the application of poison under the supervision of pre-determined units with proficient experts. These training pieces should be produced in simple and straightforward Farsi, and ideally local languages and dialects. Employers and authorities are responsible for supplying personal protective gear and provide farmers with the pieces of training and briefings required concerning urgencies and the proper and hygienic procedures for the incineration and burial of pesticide containers [56].

Authors' Contribution

Majid Khayatnezhad and Fatemeh Nasehi conducted, planned, analyzed the data, wrote manuscript and interpreted the results and involved in manuscript preparation.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

References 6th button-01

  1. Gholamin R, Khayatnezhad M. Effect of different levels of manganese fertilizer and drought stress on yield and agronomic use efficiency of fertilizer in durum wheat in Ardabil. Journal of Food, Agriculture & Environment, (2012);  10(2 part 3): 1326-1328.
  2. Gholamin R, Khayatnezhad M. Assessment of the Correlation between Chlorophyll Content and Drought Resistance in Corn Cultivars (Zea Mays). Helix, (2020); 10(05): 93-97.
  3. Khayatnezhad M, Gholamin R. The effect of drought stress on leaf chlorophyll content and stress resistance in maize cultivars (Zea mays). African Journal of Microbiology Research, (2012);  6(12): 2844-2848.
  4. Khayatnezhad M, Gholamin R. Effect of nitrogen fertilizer levels on different planting remobilization of dry matter of durum wheat varieties Seimareh. African Journal of Microbiology Research, (2012); 6(7): 1534-1539.
  5. Lari SZ, Khan NA, Gandhi KN, Meshram TS, Thacker NP. Comparison of pesticide residues in surface water and ground water of agriculture intensive areas. Journal of Environmental Health Science and Engineering, (2014); 12 (1): 11.
  6. Fosu-Mensah BY, Okoffo ED, Mensah M. Synthetic pyrethroids pesticide residues in soils and drinking water sources from cocoa farms in Ghana. Environment and Pollution, (2016); 5(1): 60.
  7. PIRSAHEB M, DARGAHI A. Performance of granular activated carbon to diazinon removal from aqueous solutions. Journal of Environmental Science and Technology, (2016); 18(3): 117-126.
  8. Kim NH, Lee JS, Park KA, Kim YH, Lee SR, Lee JM, et al. Determination of matrix effects occurred during the analysis of organochlorine pesticides in agricultural products using GC-ECD. Food science and biotechnology, (2016); 25(1): 33-40.
  9. Kwon H, Kim TK, Hong SM, Se EK, Cho NJ, Kyung KS. Effect of household processing on pesticide residues in field-sprayed tomatoes. Food Science and Biotechnology, (2015); 24(1): 1-6.
  10. Daesslé L, Ruiz-Montoya L, Tobschall H, Chandrajith R, Camacho-Ibar V, Mendoza-Espinosa L, et al. Fluoride, nitrate and water hardness in groundwater supplied to the rural communities of Ensenada County, Baja California, Mexico. Environmental geology, (2009); 58(2): 419-29.
  11. Alipour A, Alizadeh A. Evaluation of biodegradation of diazinon pesticide by native bacteria isolated from contaminated soils: Biology of microorganisms, Biological Journal of Microorganism, (2018); 7: (26); 73-86.
  12. Biziuk M, Stocka J. Multiresidue methods for determination of currently used pesticides in fruits and vegetables using QuEChERS technique. International Journal of Environmental Science and Development, (2015); 6(1): 18.
  13. Ebadullahi A, GhaziKhansari M. Effect of Comafos pesticide on transaminase activity. Research in medical sciences, (2003); 8(3): 11.
  14. Gholamin R, Khayatnezhad M. Study of Bread Wheat Genotype Physiological and Biochemical Responses to Drought Stress. Helix, (2020); 10(05): 87-92.
  15. Gholamin R, Khayatnezhad M. The Study of Path Analysis for Durum wheat (Triticum durum Desf.) Yield Components. Biosc Biotech Res Comm, (2020); 13(4): 2139-2144.
  16. Derakhshan Z, Ebrahimi A, Faramarzian M, Sedighi S, Ahrampush M. Investigation of new technologies in the removal of atrazine pesticide from the environment with emphasis on biodegradation: a review study. Dawn of Health, (2016); 15(3): 221-46.
  17. Shahrokhi S, Khodabandeh H, Farboudi M. Investigation of the effect of five pesticides on common wheat aphid. Ecology of crops (modern agricultural knowledge), (2009); 5(17): 19-25.
  18. Khayatnezhad M. Evaluation of the reaction of durum wheat genotypes (Triticum durum Desf.) to drought conditions using various stress tolerance indices. African Journal of Microbiology Research, (2012); 6(20): 4315-23.
  19. Khayatnezhad M, Gholamin R. Study of Durum Wheat Genotypes' Response to Drought Stress Conditions. Helix, (2020); 10(05): 98-103.
  20. Khaqani R, Hosseini MM, Fathipur Y. Home measures to reduce the residual pesticides imidacloprid and abamectin in greenhouse crops. International Journal of Agricultural Science and Technology, (2018); 20: 775-86.
  21. Inayati A, Ibrahimnezhad P. Nano Pesticides, Production, Application and Environmental Considerations, (2011); (86): 297-310.
  22. Akan J, Mohammed Z, Jafiya L, Ogugbuaja V. Organochlorine Pesticide Residues in Fish Samples from Alau Dam, Borno State, North Eastern Nigeria. Journal of Environmental & Analytical Toxicology, (2013); 3(3): 1-11.
  23. Shahinfar A, Heydari A, Heydari B. Investigation of pesticide decomposition status based on the type of formulation and their quality control indicators. Environmental sciences, (2015); 13(2): 57-66.
  24. Gholamin R, Khayatnezhad M. The Effect of Dry Season Stretch on Chlorophyll Content and RWC of Wheat Genotypes (Triticum Durum L.). Bioscience Biotechnology Research Communications, (2020); 13(4): 1829-1833.
  25. Khayatnezhad M, Gholamin R. A Modern Equation for Determining the Dry-spell Resistance of Crops to Identify Suitable Seeds for the Breeding Program Using Modified Stress Tolerance Index (MSTI). Bioscience Biotechnology Research Communications, (2020); 13(4): 2114-2117.
  26. Hadian Z, Azizi M. Determination of pesticide residues in fresh and greenhouse vegetables. JWSS-Isfahan University of Technology, (2008); 12(43): 195-204.
  27. Rafiei B, Imani S, Alimoradi M, Shafi'i H, Khaghani S, Bastan S. Investigation of Fan Propatrin Pesticide Residue in Greenhouse Cucumber. Entomological research, (2010); 2(3): 193-201.
  28. Mohammadi S, Emani S. Remaining study of chlorpyrifos and deltamethrin pesticides in greenhouse tomatoes of Karaj city. Entomological research, (2012); 4(2): 181-7.
  29. Hadian Z, Azizi M. Evaluation of residual pesticides by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry in some vegetables offered in the main fruit and vegetable field of Tehran. Iranian Journal of Nutrition Sciences and Food Industry, (2006); 1(2): 13-20.
  30. Yazdanpak A, Estavan H, Hesami H, Gheibi M. Investigation of pesticide residues (acetamide, diazinon, imidacloprid, primicarb) in greenhouse tomato (Izmir variety) in Fars. Animal environment, (2019); 11(4): 289.
  31. Rohani F, Noroozian A. Extraction and measurement of organochlorine pesticides in milk using solid phase extraction and gas chromatography. Research and construction, (2002); 15(1): 60-3.
  32. Koohi M, Hejazi M, Muzaffari M, Paktinat S, Sadeghi G. Determination of residues of organochlorine pesticides in dairy products of Tabriz. Iranian Food Science and Technology, (2011); 8(28): 83-9.
  33. Yazdanpak A, Estavan H, Hesami H, Gheibi M. Evaluation of the effect of washing, peeling and refrigeration on reducing the residual amount of four pesticides (diazinon, imidacloprid, primicarb and acetamide) in greenhouse cucumber. Animal environment, (2020); 12: 427-34.
  34. Nazemi F, Khodadadi I, Heshmati A. Effect of storage type and time and washing methods on dichlorvos residues in tomato. Journal of Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, (2016); 26(141): 36-44.
  35. Mousavi S, Izadi A. A review of the practical applications of nanotechnology in the remediation of herbicides and pesticides in the environment. Weed Research, (2014); 6(2):87-104.
  36. Davoodi M, Ismaili A, Bahramifar N, Rajaei F. Investigation of Chlorine Organic Pesticides in Shadegan Wetland. Iranian Journal of Marine Science and Technology, (2009); 8(1): 56-64.
  37. Karimi F. Presenting a realistic method to study the ecological risk of pesticides in Shadegan International Wetland. Wetland ecology (2015); 7(26): 18-22.
  38. Javdankherad A, Esmaeili A, Bahramifard N. Investigation of sustainable organic pesticide residues in sediments of Anzali International Wetland, Iran. Environmental sciences, (2011); 37(57): 35-44.
  39. Khodadadi M, Samadi M, Rahmani A, Maleki R, Alahresani A, Shahidi R. Investigation of residual concentrations of organophosphate pesticides and carbamates in drinking water supply sources in Hamadan. Health and the environment, (2009); 2(4): 250-7.
  40. Dargahi A, Samarkandi M, Karami A, Mohammadi M, Waziri Y. Investigation of residual concentration of organic phosphorus pesticides in surface and groundwater sources of drinking water supply in Kermanshah province. Ardabil Health, (2018); 9(2): 133-42.
  41. Ahmadi Y, Khorasani N, Talebi K, Hashemi S, Bahadori F. The effect of agricultural activities on the concentration of diazinon pesticide in Tajan river. Environmental sciences, (2011); 8(4): 107-17.
  42. Si X, Gao L, Song Y, Khayatnezhad M, Minaeifar AA. Understanding population differentiation using geographical, morphological and genetic characterization in Erodium cicunium. Indian Journal of Genetics, (2020); 80(4): 459-67.
  43. Abdollahzadeh G, Sharif Sharifzadeh M, Qadami Amraei Z. Assessing awareness of rice farmers of Sari County about impacts of usage of pesticides and its health risk in cropping year 2015. Iranian Journal of Health and Environment, (2017); 9(4): 545-58.
  44. Jia Y, Khayatnezhad M, Mehri S. Population differentiation and gene flow in Erodium cicutarium: a potential medicinal plant- Genetika, (2020); 52(3): 1127-1144.
  45. Esmaeilzadeh H, Fataei E, Saadati H. NH3 Removal from Sour Water by Clinoptilolite Zeolite: A Case Study of Tabriz Refinery. Chemical Methodologies, (2020); 4(6): 754-73.
  46. Farhadi H, Fataei E, Kharrat Sadeghi M. The Relationship Between Nitrate Distribution in Groundwater and Agricultural Landuse (Case study: Ardabil Plain, Iran). Anthropogenic Pollution Journal, (2020); 4(1): 50-6.
  47. Fataei E, Seiied Safavian ST. Comparative study on efficiency of ANP and PROMETHEE methods in locating MSW landfill sites. Anthropogenic Pollution Journal, (2017); 1(1): 40-5.
  48. Jalili S. Water Quality Assessment Based on HFB I& BMWP Index In Karoon River, Khouzestan Provience,(Northwest of Persian Gulf). Anthropogenic Pollution Journal, (2020); 4(1): 35-49.
  49. Khoshkalam Soleimandarabi SF, Rostami R, Nezhadnaderi M. Application of Nanoscience in Self-cleaning Properties of Concrete Facade for Development of Sustainable Environment. Anthropogenic Pollution Journal, (2020); 4(1): 15-23.
  50. Ebrahimi M, Manian M. Determining the Percentage of Endocrine Disruptor Chemicals in Pesticides used in Fars Province. ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES, (2007); 4(3); 41-47.
  51. Fataei E, Varamesh S, Seiied Safavian ST. Effects of afforestation on carbon stocks in Fandoghloo forest area. Pakistan Journal of Agricultural Sciences, (2018); 55(3): 555-562.
  52. Ghomi Avili F, Makaremi M. Predicting Model of Arsenic Transport and Transformation in Soil Columns and Ground Water Contamination (Case study: Gorgan Plain, Iran). Anthropogenic Pollution Journal, (2020); 4(1): 57-64.
  53. Imanzadeh M, Dana A, Fallah Z, Hamzeh Sabzi A, Tatari Hasan Gavyar M. Comparing the Components of Children's Physical Fitness in Relation to the Role of Air Pollution in Tehran, Iran. Anthropogenic Pollution Journal, (2017); 1(1): 34-9.
  54. Mitra A, Chowdhury BL. Identifying Anthropogenic Factors of Groundwater Pollution through Students’ Opinion in Rural West Bengal. Anthropogenic Pollution Journal, (2019); 3(2): 49-58.
  55. Hosseini M, Kharzani Z, Qaneian M, Dehwari M, Momayezi M. Knowledge, attitude and practice of women in Yazd regarding health hazards, correct method of storage and use of pesticides at home. Ardabil Health, (2018); 9(4): 442-52.
  56. Aghilinejad M, Mohammadi S, Farshad A. The effect of pesticide consumption on farmers' health. Research in medicine Research in medicine, (2007); 31(34): 327-31.
  57. Aghili Nezhad M, Farshad A, Naghavi M, Haghani H. Relationship between pesticide consumption and its effects on the health of farmers in different provinces of the country. Journal of Health Work of Iran, (2006); 3(2-1): 81-5.
  58. Seidi M, Rezaei R. Factors Affecting the Safety Behavior of Farmers in Zanjan County in Using Personal Protection Equipment in Work with Pesticides: Application of Health Belief Model. Iranian Agricultural Extension and Education Sciences, (2019); 15(2): 45-63.
  59. Ghanbari R, Shakermi J, Sepahvand F, Asadpourian Z. Analysis of protective behavior of farmers in Khorramabad city in the use of pesticides: application of health belief model. Economic Research and Agricultural Development of Iran, (2018); 49(1): 121-33.
  60. Mohammadi Aloucheh R, Baris O, Asadi A, Gholam Zadeh S, Kharat Sadeghi M. Characterization of Aquatic Beetles Shells (Hydraenidae family) derived chitosan and its application in order to eliminate the environmental pollutant bacterial. Anthropogenic Pollution Journal, (2019); 3(2): 43-8.
  61. Muhibbu-din I. Investigation of Ambient Aromatic Volatile Organic Compounds in Mosimi Petroleum Products Depot, Sagamu, Nigeria. Anthropogenic Pollution Journal, (2020); 4(1): 65-78.
  62. Valiallahi J, Moradi S. Evaluating the Effects of Agricultural Activities on Nitrate Contamination at the Kamfirooz District, Shiraz, Iran. Anthropogenic Pollution Journal, (2020); 4(1): 24-35.
  63. Kumar B, Mukherjee D, Kumar S, Mishra M, Prakash D, Singh S, et al. Bioaccumulation of heavy metals in muscle tissue of fishes from selected aquaculture ponds in east Kolkata wetlands. Annals of Biological research, (2011); 2(5): 125-34.
  64. Mansoori A, SarabiJamab M, Ghorani B, Mohajeri S. Making a molecularly molded film by electrospinning method and investigating its efficiency in removing macroprop pesticide from aqueous medium. Applied research in chemical engineering – polymer, (2018); 2(3): 77-90.
  65. Bazrafshan E, Mohammadi L, Balarak D, Keikhaei S, Mahvi AH. Optimization of diazinon removal from aqueous environments by electrocoagulation process using response surface methodology. Journal of Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, (2016); 26(138): 118-30.
  66. Samadi MT, Khodadadi M, Rahmani AR, Allahresani A, Saghi MH. Comparison of the efficiency of simultaneous application of UV/O3 for the removal of organophosphorus and carbamat pesticides in aqueous solutions. Water Wastewater, (2010); 73: 69-75.
  67. Dehghani M, Fadaei A. Investigation of the efficiency of zinc oxide and ultraviolet nanoparticles for the removal of diazinon pesticide from aqueous media. Water and Wastewater, (2015); 26(1): 12-8.
  68. Kaushik P, Yadav Y, Dilbaghi N, Garg VK. Enrichment of vermicomposts prepared from cow dung spiked solid textile mill sludge using nitrogen fixing and phosphate solubilizing bacteria. The Environmentalist, (2008); 28(3): 283-7.
  69. Cengiz MF, Certel M, Göçmen H. Residue contents of DDVP (Dichlorvos) and diazinon applied on cucumbers grown in greenhouses and their reduction by duration of a pre-harvest interval and post-harvest culinary applications. Food chemistry, (2006); 98(1): 127-35.
  70. Jallow MF, Awadh DG, Albaho MS, Devi VY, Ahmad N. Monitoring of pesticide residues in commonly used fruits and vegetables in Kuwait. International journal of environmental research and public health, (2017); 14(8): 833.
  71. Rafieian S, Amoozgar M, Shevandi M, Kazemi S, Bamorovvat M. Evaluation of biodegradation of organophosphate pesticides by salt-loving bacteria. Biology of microorganisms, (2018); 7(25): 1-17.
  72. Weng C-Y, Black C. Taiwanese farm workers’ pesticide knowledge, attitudes, behaviors and clothing practices. International journal of environmental health research, (2015); 25(6): 685-96.
  73. Houbraken M, Bauweraerts I, Fevery D, Van Labeke M-C, Spanoghe P. Pesticide knowledge and practice among horticultural workers in the Lâm Đồng region, Vietnam: A case study of chrysanthemum and strawberries. Science of the Total Environment, (2016); 550: 1001-9.
  74. Idowu AA, Sowe A, Bah AK, Kuyateh M, Anthony A, Oyelakin O. Knowledge, attitudes and practices associated with pesticide use among horticultural farmers of Banjulinding and Lamin of the Gambia. African Journal of Chemical Education, (2017); 7(2): 2-17.
  75. Jefferson RD, Goans RE, Blain PG, Thomas SH. Diagnosis and treatment of polonium poisoning. Clinical Toxicology, (2009); 47(5): 379-92.
  76. Rosenkranz P, Aumeier P, Ziegelmann B. Biology and control of Varroa destructor. Journal of invertebrate pathology, (2010); 103: S96-S119.
  77. Paksa A, Bakhtiari H, Fahiminia M, Norouzi M, Shams M. Survey of Optimal Methods for the Control of Cockroaches in Sewers of Qom City. Healt and Environment, (2010); 1: 2-3.
  78. Sarwar M. Indoor risks of pesticide uses are significantly linked to hazards of the family members. Cogent Medicine, (2016); 3(1): 1155373.
  79. Enayati A, Ebrahimnejad P. Nano Pesticides, Production and Application. Journal of Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences (JMUMS), (2012); 22(86): 296-311.
  80. Iram S, Ahmad I, Ahad K, Muhammad A, Anjum S. Analysis of pesticides residues of Rawal and Simly lakes. Pakistan Journal of Botany, (2009); 41(4): 1981-7.
  81. Banaee M, Sureda A, Mirvaghefi A, Ahmadi K. Effects of diazinon on biochemical parameters of blood in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Pesticide biochemistry and physiology, (2011); 99(1): 1-6.
  82. Dehghani R, Limoi M, Zarqi A. Investigation of harmful effects of pesticides with emphasis on the issue of resistance in arthropods of health importance (review article). Scientific Journal of Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences, (2010); 17(1): 84-100.
  83. Fenner K, Canonica S, Wackett LP, Elsner M. Evaluating pesticide degradation in the environment: blind spots and emerging opportunities. Science, (2013); 341(6147):752-8.
  84. Damari B, AhmadiPishkuhi M, Abdullahi Z. Policy document on reducing pollutants and pesticide residues in agricultural products in Iran. Social health, (2015); 2(4): 256-65.
  85. Wang D, Weston DP, Lydy MJ. Method development for the analysis of organophosphate and pyrethroid insecticides at low parts per trillion levels in water. Talanta, (2009); 78(4-5): 1345-51.
  86. Chowdhury M, Zaman A, Banik S, Uddin B, Moniruzzaman M, Karim N, et al. Organophosphorus and carbamate pesticide residues detected in water samples collected from paddy and vegetable fields of the Savar and Dhamrai Upazilas in Bangladesh. International journal of environmental research and public health, (2012); 9(9): 3318-29.
  87. Khalijian A, Sobhanardakani S, Cheraghi M. Investigation of Diazinon Residue in Groundwater Resources of Hamedan-Bahar Plain in 2014. Journal of Research in Environmental Health, (2016); 2(3): 203-11.
  88. An E-M, Shin H-S. Analytical methods for the determination of pesticide residues using gas chromatograghy with nitrogen-phosphorus detector. Food Science and Biotechnology, (2011); 20(2): 395-401.
  89. Dikshit A, Pachauri D. Persistence and bioefficacy of beta-cyfluthrin and imidacloprid on tomato fruits. Plant Protection Bulletin (Faridabad), (2000); 52(3/4): 1-3.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial 4.0 International License. To read the copy of this license please visit:

6th button-01