Pesticide use and application: an Indian scenario

J Hazard Mater. 2009 Jun 15;165(1-3):1-12. doi: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2008.10.061. Epub 2008 Nov 1.


Agricultural development continues to remain the most important objective of Indian planning and policy. In the process of development of agriculture, pesticides have become an important tool as a plant protection agent for boosting food production. Further, pesticides play a significant role by keeping many dreadful diseases. However, exposure to pesticides both occupationally and environmentally causes a range of human health problems. It has been observed that the pesticides exposures are increasingly linked to immune suppression, hormone disruption, diminished intelligence, reproductive abnormalities and cancer. Currently, India is the largest producer of pesticides in Asia and ranks twelfth in the world for the use of pesticides. A vast majority of the population in India is engaged in agriculture and is therefore exposed to the pesticides used in agriculture. Although Indian average consumption of pesticide is far lower than many other developed economies, the problem of pesticide residue is very high in India. Pesticide residue in several crops has also affected the export of agricultural commodities in the last few years. In this context, pesticide safety, regulation of pesticide use, proper application technologies, and integrated pest management are some of the key strategies for minimizing human exposure to pesticides. There is a dearth of studies related to these issues in India. Therefore, the thrust of this paper was to review the technology of application of pesticides in India and recommend future strategies for the rational use of pesticides and minimizing the problems related to health and environment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Agricultural Workers' Diseases / etiology
  • Agriculture / economics
  • Agriculture / standards
  • Agriculture / trends*
  • Environmental Exposure* / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • India
  • Pesticide Residues / adverse effects
  • Pesticides / adverse effects*


  • Pesticide Residues
  • Pesticides