Top Ten Most Used Pesticides in Belize and their Health Warnings

It is time to work together to reduce the use of toxic agrochemicals in Belize
with environmentally safer alternatives and testing of local and imported produce.

Harmful Chemicals Being Used in Agriculture

There is an ever-increasing knowledge concerning the fact that the chemicals being used to grow these products possess the capability of harming the environment and the ecosystem around it. It has also been found that these chemicals are affecting the health and well-being of the farmers applying these chemicals along with the residents living around these regions.


When male tadpoles were exposed to small amounts of atrazine in the water, they ended up turning into hermaphrodites (both male and female). Atrazine is an endocrine disruptor and can lower testosterone levels in men leading to reduced male fertility. It also has shown to cause miscarriages, low birth weight and birth defects. Atrazine is neurotoxic in humans and can lead to neurodegenerative disorders. Employees at one of the factories producing atrazine in Louisian have been found to have rates of prostate cancer 3 times higher than other Louisiana men and there is a Statistically significant increase in breast cancer risk with medium and high levels of atrazine exposure.
Atrazine induces complete feminization and chemical castration in male African clawed frogs. The impacts of atrazine on amphibians and on wildlife in general are potentially devastating.
Atrazine both "demasculinizes" and "feminizes" vertebrate male gonads. Atrazine exposure interferes with and reduces the production of male hormones (androgens) while increasing the effect and production of estrogen (female hormones). Low fertility, low sperm count, and poor semen quality were also associated with atrazine exposure in humans living in agricultural areas.


The International Agency for Research on Cancer categorizes glyphosate as a probable carcinogen for humans. 
Dairy cows eating a diet of soybeans with high levels of glyphosate had higher risks of liver and kidney damage. Pregnant women and children may have higher risks because children and developing fetuses may be more susceptible to carcinogens.

More than 80% of urine samples drawn from children and adults in a US health study contained a weedkilling chemical linked to cancer, a finding scientists have called “disturbing” and “concerning”. Residues of glyphosate have been documented in an array of popular foods made with crops sprayed with glyphosate, including baby food. The primary route of exposure for children is through the diet.

Glyphosate increases cancer risk by 41%, study says. It
significantly increases the risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), a cancer of the immune system.

Glyphosate may be cause of serious brain disorders and algae blooms.

Glyphosate infiltrates the brain and increases pro-inflammatory cytokine TNFα: implications for neurodegenerative disorders. The recent rise in glyphosate application to corn and soy crops correlates positively with increased death rates due to Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders.
Glyphosate consumption from food has been shown to have a substantial part in insulin resistance, making it a severe concern to those with type 2 diabetes



in vivo evaluation of chronic ametryn exposure caused DNA damage in bone marrow erythrocytes, highlighting its genotoxic activity.

In animal studies of long-term exposure, Ametryn was shown to have effects on the liver and caused decreases in weight gain. Carcinogenic effects were seen in animals exposed to excessive amounts.


Pendimethalin may be a carcinogen in humans. There may be no safe levels of exposure to a carcinogen, so all contact should be reduced to the lowest possible level. It can be absorbed through skin, thereby increasing exposure.

Causes thyroid follicular cell adenomas in male and female rats,
[20] and is classified as a possible human carcinogen(Group C) and is also a suspected endocrine disruptor. It is many times more acutely toxic by inhalation, Dogs ingesting 50 mg/kg or higher, developed liver damage and tested rats developed similar effects. It also causes central nervous system depression in mice and rats.

Highly toxic to freshwater fish and aquatic invertebrate,
Epigenetic results showed pendimethalin could cause chromosome damage and tumor development as a result of expression level changes of DNA methyltransferase.


Studies found show that this fungicide is a potential cause of several health problems, mainly hepatic, renal and genotoxic, demonstrating with an increase in ETU dosages, as well as liver enzymes in most studies, corroborating the idea that the deliberate use of the product can induce potential systemic complications, and is a public health problem.

The widely used fungicide mancozeb has been shown to cause hypothyroxinemia and other adverse effects on the thyroid hormone system in adult experimental animals. In humans, hypothyroxinemia early in pregnancy is associated with adverse effects on the developing nervous system and can lead to impaired cognitive function and motor development in children.

Mancozeb may play an important role in the pathogenesis and progression of chronic disease in humans and represents a danger for human health in high doses.

Exposure was shown to interfere with thyroid functioning through impairment
. Its wide use poses significant health hazards (8), especially in agricultural communities in developing countries.


Researchers have observed apparent links between exposure to 2,4-D and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (a blood cancer) and sarcoma (a soft-tissue cancer).
Laboratory studies suggest that 2,4-D can impede the normal action of estrogen, androgen, and most conclusively, thyroid hormones.

Both glyphosate and 2,4-D have been linked to cancer and other health problems, and there is little known about the synergistic toxicity of these chemicals.
Scientific studies link 2,4-D to certain types of cancer, birth defects, immunosuppression and other health impacts in highly exposed populations including farmers, farmworkers and farming communities.

2,4-D is reported to have negative effects on the endocrine system (specifically the thyroid and gonads) and immune system.
Several notable toxicity experiments have been conducted uniquely on animals. Important results with possible human applications include: decreased litter size in animals drinking 2,4-D contaminated water, contaminated breast milk in 2,4-D-contaminated mothers (in both rats and goats), and effects on neurotransmitters, brain size, and development of neural connections in lab animals (CDC NIOSH, 2005).

Exposure to high levels of 2,4-D, an ingredient of Agent Orange used against civilians during the Vietnam war, has been linked to cancers including leukemia in children, birth defects and reproductive problems among other health issues.


Even ingesting small to medium amounts of paraquat can lead to fatal poisoning. Within several weeks to several days after ingesting a small amount, a person may experience lung scarring and the failure of multiple organs. This includes heart failure, respiratory failure, kidney failure, and liver failure.

Paraquat, also known as paraquat dichloride, is a highly toxic herbicide used to control weeds and grass. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency restricted paraquat use to commercially licensed users. Paraquat poisoning through ingestion, inhalation or skin exposure can lead to serious health problems, including death.

Parkinson’s disease: The link between 
paraquat and Parkinson’s disease have been investigated for decades, and studies have suggested a connection between the two. Paraquat causes oxidative stress, a process that damages cells and kills them. When the chemical reaches the region of the brain called substantia nigra, it does the same to the neuron cells that release dopamine. Without healthy levels of dopamine, brain function is impaired, thus leading to Parkinson’s disease.


Diuron can affect you when breathed in. It may damage the developing fetus. Exposure to Diuron can irritate the skin, eyes, nose, and throat. Diuron may affect liver function.

Some negative side effects of diuron exposure include irritation to the eyes, skin and mucus membranes; coughing and shortness of breath; nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, confusion and electrolyte depletion; protein metabolism disturbances, moderate emphysema and weight loss (when chronically exposed), changes in blood chemistry, increased mortality growth retardation, abnormal blood pigment and anemia, as seen in animal tests in the laboratory.


Malathion interferes with the normal
function of the nervous system. Because the nervous system controls many other organs, malathion indirectly can affect many additional organs and functions.

Even at low levels of exposure, malathion can lead to serious negative health effects such as cancer, neurodevelopment harm, and reproductive toxicity.

https://naturalpedia.com/dichlofluanid-toxicity-side-effects-diseases-and-environmental-impacts-2.htmlMalathion is highly toxic to beneficial insects (e.g. bees), birds, and aquatic life forms. Repeated or prolonged exposure to large amounts of malathion may result in genetic defects and organ failure.


It can affect the central nervous system in animals leading to in-coordination, convulsions, or labored breathing (61). At extremely high dosages, the animals showed swelling and fluid in the lungs and central nervous system

In the aquatic system Terbutryn is very toxic to algae and fish.