But levels of organochlorine pesticides in India remain “exceptionally high”, researchers from the University of Toronto at Scarborough, Canada, reported in this month’s (September 2010) issue of Journal of Environmental Monitoring, published by the Royal Society of Chemistry.
For example, while the concentration of the pesticide ‘gamma HFC’ (hexachlorocyclohexane) is 0.3 nanograms (a nanogram is one-billionth of a gram) at Cape Grim in Australia, it is 800 nanograms in Delhi in India.
The findings suggest that though several harmful pesticides that persist in the air have been banned in the western world, there is still significant use in developing countries. An estimated 11 billion tonnes of pesticides are used each year worldwide.
Debi Sharma, senior scientist at the Indian Institute of Horticultural Research, Bangalore, told SciDev.Net that “it is common knowledge that in India the use of DDT is banned in agriculture but not for public health purposes.’’ Other pesticides such as aldrin, used against termites, conform to a ban imposed six years ago, she said.
Science 309, 1088 (2005)