What are pesticides?
Insecticides (bug killers), herbicides (weed killers), and fungicides (fungus killers) are all pesticides; so are rodenticides and antimicrobials. Pesticides come in spray cans and crop dusters, in household cleaners, hand soaps and swimming pools.
Insecticides are generally the most acutely (immediately) toxic. Many are designed to attack an insect’s brain and nervous system, which can mean they have neurotoxic effects in humans as well. Herbicides are more widely used (RoundUp and atrazine are the two most used pesticides in the world) and present chronic exposure risks, such as cancer and reproductive harm. Fungicides are also used in large amounts; some are more benign, some are not.
Pesticides are also sometimes broken down into chemical classes and modes of action (e.g. fumigants are pesticides applied as gases to “sterilize” soil, and systemics work their way through a plant’s tissue after being taken up at the root). Major chemical classes include: carbamates, organochlorines and organophosphates (mostly developed 70 or more years ago for chemical warfare); and newer classes including pyrethroids and neonicitinoids, synthesized to mimic nature’s pest protection.
Believed Bacteria broke down glyphosate
“When we spray glyphosate on the fields by the rules it has been shown
that it is washed down into the upper ground water with a concentration
of 0.54 micrograms per litre. This is very surprising, because we had
previously believed that bacteria in the soil broke down the glyphosate
before it reached the ground water.”
It was the Danish Environment Ministry that gave permission to use
glyphosate – based on the producers [Monsanto’s] own research.