Fungicides: Why They Are Bad for Human Health

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Fungicides: Why they are bad for human health Fungicides are a class of pesticides that are designed to kill or limit the growth of harmful fungi. "Understanding mechanisms of fungicide action and toxicity is important because humans and domesticated animals encounter these pesticides through a wide variety of applications. In agriculture, fungicides are used to protect tubers, fruits and vegetables during storage or are applied directly to ornamental plants, trees, field crops, cereals and turf grasses" (Hasan 2010: 349). It is very easy to inadvertently and indirectly consume fungicides as a result because of their ubiquitous use, even though many of the components of fungicides can be harmful to human health, animal health and to the environment as a whole. Although there have been improvements in the safety of fungicides, many still contain potentially dangerous compounds. Although commercial mercury has been replaced in fungicides, "the possibility of exposure to environmental sources of organic methylmercury still exists," which can negatively impact upon human health, such as when fish that have accumulated the toxin within their body are consumed (Hasan 2010: 358). Because fungicides are often used in combinations with other chemicals, the toxicity of the fungicide may be unexpectedly high (Hasan 2010: 358). For example, "recommended field application rates of Propiconazole are considered too low to kill a substantial number of bees, but when mixed with
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