Concepts such as climate change and global warming are becoming increasingly important in our daily lives. The fact is that human activities irremediably leave their mark on the environment. The globalization of society, advances in technology and excessive consumerism. All this is causing a serious environmental crisis, in which the rural sector is also participating. In Barcolobo we want to highlight that today, December 3, is the World Day for the Non-Use of Pesticides. With the aim of reducing the use of agrochemicals used in all agricultural plantations.

This day has been celebrated since the end of the 1980s, after the accident that occurred in the community of Bhopal (India) on the night of December 2 to 3, 1984. Due to a series of errors/negligence, thousands of tons of pesticides were dumped in the area, poisoning the population directly. But also the entire environment (water, soil and, therefore, food plantations). A catastrophe that killed 16,000 people and is still visible in that community.

After that incident, a total of 400 organizations that were part of the Pesticide Action Network (PAN International) – and representatives from 60 countries – established this day as a day of remembrance to highlight the misuse of these products.

What is a pesticide?

But what exactly are pesticides? A pesticide is a substance or mixture of substances intended to control any type of pest, kill, repel or interrupt the growth of living beings that cause damage or interfere with agricultural and forestry production.

In addition, it is difficult to raise awareness of the impact of these products, since there is a fairly extensive classification. According to their application (livestock, environmental, etc.), their action (herbicide, insecticide, etc.); also their state (gaseous, liquid, etc.), their chemical constitution (triazines, pyrethorids, etc.) and finally, but most importantly, their hazardousness (harmful, highly toxic, etc.).

All of them are dangerous to humans. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) puts the number of deaths caused by the use of pesticides at 100,000 per year; and some 200,000 intoxications.

We already know the figures. It is time to raise awareness and if their use cannot be eradicated, at least reduce it and do it sensibly, as long as it does not exceed the health limits that directly or indirectly affect people’s lives.