More exposure of people to a wide variety of pesticides/ chemicals in developing countries compared to developed World.
Due to the diverse numbers of pesticides/ chemicals which are imported/ produced in developing countries and used without regulations and enforcement, now people in these countries are more exposed to these chemicals as compared to people in developed World. Many factors helped for this higher exposure, among them less knowledge and information about these dangerous compounds. The situation in these countries is quiet different than developed nations. In many of these developing countries there are no NGOs and community workers to make the people aware about their exposure to pesticides/ chemicals and consequences. Now in developed nations there are so many NGOs and local community workers which stand against these dangerous compounds and do not let the corporations follow only their profits. They fight for the right of people and especially for children and other more vulnerable groups. In developing countries now people and in particular children are open exposed to these wide range of pesticides/ chemicals not only through consumption of food but also through all their daily life and there are no alerting NGOs and agencies to protect them. During the past decade every year there were more than 25 million acute poisoning with only pesticides in agricultural workers of developing countries. The problem shows itself more clear when we realize that more pesticides are used in developed nations with too much lower numbers of acute poisonings. Now in many Asian countries there is daily increase of exposure to polluted rice (different heavy metals) and to polluted fish (Hg, PCBs and other pollutants) and people have no other option because of hunger and ever increasing population. According to latest scientific documentations in pregnant mothers most of these dangerous compounds pass through placenta to the baby and are detected in the body of many newborn babies and female workers in rural areas are more exposed.
Ahmad Mahdavi, PhD, environmental toxicologist, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.