More than four billion of tons of pesticides are used annually in agriculture worldwide. Part of it drifts down after pulverization, but a volatilized portion moves upwards. Pulverized pesticide applications are controlled by different parameters of fan and climate conditions. This can be mitigated with buffer zones, hedgerows and forest strips. Volatilization is determined by physicochemical parameters of the product and adsorption capacity to soils and leaves, and climate conditions. Prevention is the only efficient approach by banning high vapor pressure active ingredients. Volatilized pesticides are transported by air streams. Subsequently products are retained by mountains or eventually moved further by wind and descend in rain returning them to soil or vegetation. All regions of the planet are submitted to air pollution and nowadays pristine environments are very rare. These pollutants have hazardous effects on environment and toxic effects to skin and when they reach the blood stream directly via the lungs, are more intense to humans than from ingestion. The challenge of this overview highlights sustainability to avoid airborne pesticides by different strategies such as reduction of amounts sprayed through integrated pest management and mainly replacement of hazardous chemical pesticides by harmless ones or by biological control.
Part of the book: Environmental Sustainability