Chapter13

Chapter13 - Department of Agricultural and Resource...

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Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics EEP 101 School of Public Policy David Zilberman University of California at Berkeley Lecture 13 ENVIRONMENTAL AND HEALTH RISKS OF PESTICIDES Topics Health Risks and Environmental Effects of Pesticide Use Examples What Are Pesticides Their Benefits What’s Wrong Pesticide-Use Strategies Pesticides in Developing Countries Pesticides Regulations and Policies Major Issues of Debate -Should They Be Banned -International Harmonization of Pesticides Health Risks and Environmental Effects of Pesticide Use Health risk is defined as the probability that an individual selected randomly from a population contracts adverse health effects (mortality or morbidity) from a substance. We can distinguish between an individual risk and a group health risk. Risk assessment is a technique to assess health risk and to form policies. The health risk-generating process contains several stages. In the case of pesticides, we consider three stages: (1) Contamination and movement (2) Exposure (3) Dose/response
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2 Contamination is the result of pesticide application. The chemicals are spread through the air and water and become absorbed by the product. Exposure may result from many activities: • Exposure may be from eating, breathing, and touching. • For food safety, the exposure is to the consumer. • For worker safety, the exposure is to the applicator, mixer, and factory worker. • For ground water, exposure is to whoever drinks and bathes in the water • For environmental risk, exposure is to the species that are exposed to the risk. The dose-response relationship translates exposure to probability of contracting certain diseases. We should distinguish between acute and chronic risks. • Acute risks are immediate risks of poisoning. • Chronic risks are risks that may depend on accumulated exposure and which may take time to manifest themselves, for example, cancer. Risk Assessment Models The processes that determine contamination, exposure, and the dose/response relationship are often characterized by heterogeneity, uncertainty, and random phenomena (weather). Thus, contamination, exposure, and the dose/response relationship often exhibit the characteristics of random variables. Random variables are variables, which can take on several values, depending on the outcome of some random process, or
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3 depending on the outcome of some process which is so complicated that outcomes appear random. When modeling random variables, we often work with models that contain probabilities. For example, risk assessment models estimate health risks associated with pesticide application by making use of estimated probabilities. A risk-assessment model:
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This document was uploaded on 02/03/2011.

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Chapter13 - Department of Agricultural and Resource...

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