Highly Hazardous Pesticides: The impacts of their use in aquatic ecosystems

ID: 613 / 310

Category: Abstract

Track: Pending

Proposed Symposium Title: Highly Hazardous Pesticides: The impacts of their use in aquatic ecosystems


Debbie Muir

Affiliations: Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, SA


Highly hazardous pesticides (HHP's) are used widely in South Africa. There has been a global move through SAICM and other organizations to ban, phase out and/or restrict the use of HHP's. The Global Harmonization System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) identifies the hazards and exposure risks of a number of pesticides and classifies them into 10 hazard criteria (HC), where the first HC is the Multilateral Environmental Conventions (MEA's), the 2nd HC is Acute Toxicity and the following 4 HC are chronic health toxicity criteria. HC 7 and 8 deal with environmental toxicity and HC 9 is dioxins and HC 10, heavy metals. The identification and classification of HHP's are done using 8 criteria developed by the JMPM of the FAO/WHO. The HC that will be concentrated on are HC 7 and HC 8 as the emphasis of this presentation is regarding  environmental toxicity and exposure and their impacts on aquatic life and ecosystem services. HHP's currently being used that impact on aquatic life and wetlands will be discussed together with their impacts on the ecosystem functioning. Human health impacts and exposure risks of these HHP's will be touched on and these impacts can either be direct (operator exposure) or indirect (fishing, drinking water). This is just one example of how pesticides negatively impact on biodiversity and ecosystems and have the abililty to alter ecosystems. Pesticides, biodiversity and climate are intrinsically linked. Lastly, recommendations will be discussed on phase-out options for these pesticides, and alternatives to these HHP's will be given using the Hierarch of Control and Precautionary Principles, and mitigation measures on how to ensure compliance to the Paris Agreement targets with regards to the potential increase in temperatures and HHP's.

Symposia selection: 171, 199, 170

Key words: HHP's, environmental fate, ecotoxicity, climate change, ecosystem services, biodiversity loss