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Term Pesticide

A substance or chemical agent that destroys a certain group of unwanted organisms, which are considered pests. Some examples are insecticides that kill insects, fungicides that destroy fungi and herbicides that eliminate unwanted weeds. Nowadays, many pesticides are considered dangerous, as they contaminate the environment and affect other species that live and feed off the productive ecosystems where these chemicals are applied.

The vast majority of pesticides are grouped under the category of persistent organic pollutants (POPS). They are considered persistent because they tend to accumulate in animal and vegetable tissues.

Despite the fact that there are regulations to control the import and use of pesticides, there is no monitoring program for POPs. This may be due to a lack of knowledge, budget, and equipment for their detection and management. There is information that points to illegal imports of POPs through the border with Haiti.1 

At present, there are studies that show the presence of POPs in the ecosystems of the country, and which present evidence of the bioaccumulation of these substances in the tissue of animals that serve as food, such as shrimp and different types of mollusks.1 

Inadequate management of these compounds concerns Dominican authorities and scientists, which is why it is common to find recommendations from different sources for better management and safe disposal of these compounds, as well as for the development of more comprehensive inventories of POP sources in the country.

In the Dominican Republic, many POPs are imported and used, including DDT, aldrin, chlordane, dieldrin, endrin, heptachlor, hexachlorobenzene, mirex and polychlorinated biphenyls.1 

1Betancourt, L. Inventario sobre Programas para monitorear las liberaciones y los impactos sobre el medio ambiente y la salud humana de los Compuestos Orgánicos Persistentes en República Dominicana: Santo Domingo, DO., 2007.


Topic  Environmental managementEnvironmental pollutionSoil and water