Vol. 19 No. 1
Effect of pesticide and heavy metal toxicants on fish and human health
Author(s): B. K. CHAKRABORTY
Abstract: Data and information sources are used from the direct interview with the individual, publication of the Department of Fisheries (DoF) and related non-published grey literature. Fishes are important sources of proteins, lipids and micronutrients for humans and domestic animals. With the increase in the human population, many types of organic and inorganic contaminants such as plastics, pharmaceuticals, pesticides and heavy metals are released by humans into the environment, both aquatic and terrestrial. Pesticides are used very extensively in agriculture, forestry, public health and veterinary practices. The survival of terrestrial, aerial, and aquatic organisms including human beings has been endangered by pesticides and heavy metal. The three major pesticides are herbicides (weed control), insecticides (insect control), and fungicides (Mycotic control), but the more acute toxicity are insecticides. The contamination of surface waters by pesticides is known to have ill effects on the growth, survival and reproduction of aquatic animals. The major Chemical groups of insecticides that are usually applied Organophosphate, Carbamates, Organochlorine, Pyrethroids and Necotenoides. The insecticidal residues and heavy metal contaminate the water are mainly due to the intensive agriculture combined with surface runoff and surface drainage. Insecticides lead to decrease rate of growth, reproductive disorders, causes spinal deformities and effects on gills, liver, spleen, kidney and renal tubules, brain, neurological, behavioral disorder and genetic defect are other biological indicators of exposure to insecticides. Aquatic ecosystems are at much higher risk due to the additional toxins being released. Increasing pollution of groundwater and surface water has additionally contaminated water quality, effectively reducing the supply of fresh water for human use. The persistent toxicity and the ability of higher concentrations of heavy metals, metalloids and pesticides to accumulate in water and sediment allow them to become severe poisons for all living organisms including human being.
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