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Nano-Pesticides Got Attention Again Around the World

Nano-Pesticides Got Attention Again Around the World2019.05.27

 

For its 100th anniversary, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) announced the top ten emerging technologies in chemistry that will change the world, and one of them is the nanopesticide. It’s noticed that nano-pesticide has again become a hot topic in the chemical industry owing to the fact that the pollution of traditional pesticide on our farmlands has endangered the health of human beings.

 

Recently, it’s reported that more than 100 pesticides have been revealed in Europe's rivers and canals including 24 not licensed for use in the EU. And another news that a kind of weedkiller from a German pharmaceutical giant caused man’s cancer also shocked the world. All of such news revealed that it’s necessary for us to think about the pros and cons of traditional pesticides as well as its negative influence on our planet.

 

At present, China has already become the world's largest producer and consumer of pesticides. The annual chemical control area is about 7 billion mu and over 2 million tons of pesticides are used.


China’s Pesticides Export Weight in 2014-2018


(Data source: Institute for the Control of Agrochemicals, Ministry of Agriculture)

 

In 2014, the export of pesticides from China was 1,721,300 tons, totaling 9.198 billion US dollars, marking the highest record in China's pesticide exports. In 2018, 1,405,400 tons of pesticides have been exported, down by -13.5% year-on-year, while the export value amounted to 8.073 billion US dollars, seeing a +8.6% year-on-year growth. And the pesticides from China have been exported to more than 170 countries and regions all over the world.

 

 Distribution of Pesticide Exports in 2018


(Data source: Institute for the Control of Agrochemicals, Ministry of Agriculture)

 

The pesticides in China were mainly exported to Asia, accounting for 31% of the total exports of pesticides in 2018, followed Latin America and Africa with the proportion of 27% and 17% respectively.
 
China feeds 22% of the world's population with only about 7% of the world's arable land. The role of pesticides in defending against major biological disasters and ensuring food security in China is undoubtedly indispensable. At present, chemical control is still an irreplaceable technical means to prevent major biological disasters. However, the pesticide residue pollution has always been a major problem that plagues China's agricultural production and food safety.
 
Traditional pesticides have many defects, such as large drug-loading particles, poor dispersion, poor stability, low biological activity, and slow degradation. The utilization rate of target crops is less than 30%, and the amount of dosage to harmful organisms is less than 0.1%. According to statistics, during spraying, the loss of chemicals caused by falling drops, dust drifting, and rain washing is as high as 70%.
 
In addition, the long-term and inefficient application of pesticides has led to many serious problems. For example, pesticide residues in food, vegetables, fruits, and soils and waters in many areas of China have seriously exceeded the standard, which not only poses a serious threat to biological and human health, but also leads to the destruction of ecosystem structure and function.
 
As it is known, nanotech has developed rapidly and has penetrated into various fields such as chemical industry, medicine, energy, materials and life sciences, which has a profound impact on people's lives.
 
The relevant results show that nano-pesticide preparations can significantly enhance the efficacy, prolong the duration, improve the bioavailability, eliminate harmful solvents and additives, thereby greatly reducing the amount of pesticides and reducing agricultural residues and environmental pollution.
 
All in all, despite that there are many concerns about the negative effects and unknown risks of nano-pesticides, it still has a promising future and deserves our expectations. 

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