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Ecosystems and Human Health, 3rd Edition by Richard B. Philp

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9

Pesticides

So naturalists observe, a flea has smaller fleas that on him prey; And these have smaller still to bite ‘em, And so proceed ad infinitum.

Jonathan Swift

Introduction

The term pesticides refers to a large body of diverse chemicals that includes insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, rodenticides, and fumigants employed to control one or more species deemed to be undesirable from the human viewpoint. Pesticides are of environmental concern for two main reasons. Although considerable progress has been made with respect to their selective toxicity, many still possess significant toxicity for humans, and many are persistent poisons, so that their long biological T1/2 allows bioaccumulation and biomagnification up the food chain (see Chapter ...

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