8 List of Carcinogenic Pesticides in Agricultural Industry

Agricultural industry in modern era revolves around chemicals in order to enhance plants and crops production. The chemicals used in agriculture such as ammonia in fertilizer and pesticides in which the two of them are the most used. One that raises concern is pesticide.

What is Pesticide?

Pesticide is a chemical used to get rid of undesired plants or organism that may hinder the growth of the main plantation. These can be rodents, water plants, bugs, and many more. The production of pesticide helps to ensure the product of plantation will grow vast and with flawless result.

Early pesticide used organic and natural compound. However, as technology advanced, pesticides are made from synthetic chemicals and not all of them are safe. There may be some that are carcinogenic.

What is Carcinogenic Pesticide?

Carcinogenic pesticide is one that contains chemical with possibility of causing cancer. The type of cancer is also not limited, but it can be any kinds of cancer such as lung cancer, skin cancer, blood cancer, and many more. Most bad effects of agricultural chemicals may have carcinogenic tendency in it.

These are the list of Carcinogenic Pesticides in agricultural industry:

  1. Glyphosate

The first carcinogenic chemical in pesticide is glyphosate. Glyphosate was a popular and has their list of glyphosate product in Australia to get rid of unwanted plants that hinder the main plants. However, research on Canada, United States, and Sweden found the chemical to be a possible carcinogen.

Glyphosate was generally thought to be safe because of its low toxicity on environment. However, the research found that mice who get injected with glyphosate develops carcinogenic symptoms. Also, people who work using herbicide are likely to get any type of cancer. The announcement received several backlash over this announcement, especially from industrial agent.

  1. Malathion

Another pesticide that comes under suspicion of being carcinogenic is malathion. Malathion is under the qualification of 2B possible carcinogen. The chemical is a popular insecticide to get rid of bugs. It belongs to organophosphate that also found in lice killer. The use of malathion ranges widely from public residential insect control, mosquito eradication and pest control.

Nonetheless, EPA found the chemical to have possibility of causing cancer. Excessive contact to malathion may cause lung cancer through inhalation, skin cancer through skin contact and possible damage to internal organ. Even though no strong evidences back it up, the use of malathion slowly degrades just like other banned chemical.

  1. Pentachloronitrobenzene

The next chemical categorized as possible carcinogenic pesticide is Pentachloronitrobenzene. This chemical belongs to fungicide which functions to get rid of fungi. It is usually stylized as PCNB. The chemical is a derivates of nitrobenzone and is effective to kill fungi.

PCNB was a popular fungicide in agricultural industry. Introduced in 1930s, PCNB was very useful for crops, seed grains, cotton and many more. Nonetheless, despite its useful function, the side effect of PCNB leads it to be a possible carcinogen pesticide. People exposed to PCNB have higher risk of developing cancer. This fungicide belongs to 2B category as possible carcinogen pesticide in agricultural industry. 

  1. Parathion

The next pesticide that fall under carcinogen suspicion is Parathion. Parathion is the same class with malathion in which both belongs to organophosphate chemical.  According to EPA, Parathion is one of the most chemicals known to cause cancer. It is because not only it is a possible carcinogenic pesticide, it is also highly a pollutant to the environment.

Parathion was a well-known pesticide  in the past because of its effective result. Many pests that hinder the crops and plantation start to fade while these vegetation continue to flourish. Yet, despite its successful and effective, recent study found that parathion has the possibility to be cancerous to human. Human exposed to it may start to get their cells degenerate quicker than normal pace. Thus it is dangerous to be around one.

  1. Tetrachlorvinphos

Tetrachlorvinphos is a possibly carcinogen pesticide used to get rid of fleas. The chemical generally used in products as well as in agricultural industry. EPA and FDA declared Tetrachlorvinphos to be highly carcinogenic after animal testing. Moreover, the chemical is also highly toxic to environment. Eventhough it has effective effect as insecticide, the hazards it posses outweight it.

Some health problems that may occur from excessive exposure to Tetrachlorvinphos are cancer, failed nervous syste, and disrupted hormone (this may lead to birth defect or miscarriage) that obviously are serious health case. Since then, European Union bans its use. 

  1. Propoxur

Propoxur is a well-known insecticide for turf, plantation and domestic insects such as mosquito, fleas, and moths. This is one of the ingredients for both agricultural and domestic insecticide in the class of carbamate.

In United States lists of toxic chemical, Propoxur is on the list with level 2B in terms of toxicity. The toxicity of Propoxur varies on the recipient of it. There is also probability that the chemical may cause cancer to those who are over exposed to Propoxur for a long period of time. Thus, it marks Propoxur as one of highly toxic chemical.

  1. Toxaphene

Well-known insecticide shortlisted for possible carcinogenic pesticide is Toxaphene. Toxaphene is insecticide mainly farmer use in cotton and crops. The chemical is a result of chlorine gas and camphene reaction.

Toxaphene is among chemical the international world bans as declared in 2001 because of its high toxicity. Not only it does not degrade in environment, the exposure of Toxaphene proved it to be malicious to living organism’s nervous system as well as making cells degenerate faster. For this very reason, farmers no longer allowed to use toxaphene.

  1. Metiram

Another chemical listed as probable carcinogen is Metiram. Metiram is a fungicide to get rid any kind of fungi that may hinder the growth of crops and lawn. Because of the metabolite it produces, Metiram is among the chemical with 2B possible carcinogen.

The metabolite in Metiram can trigger cancer because it prevents the cell to regenerate and it turn cause cancerous cancer.

Those are the list of Carcinogenic Pesticides in agricultural industry. Keep in mind that pesticide may transfer to human’s body through digestion. There are also several harmful effects of chemical pesticide on human health.