Fate and Persistence of Herbicide Residues in India

  • S. T. Maheswari
  • A. Ramesh
Part of the Environmental Chemistry for a Sustainable World book series (ECSW, volume 12)


Herbicide usage is continuously increasing in India and is expected to increase at the rate of 15% per year over the next 5 years. This is due to today’s labour shortage and rising labour costs. The current scenario of labour shortage has also accelerated the introduction of slow-release formulations in order to avoid multiple sprays. When herbicides are applied to control weeds there are many ways by which herbicides get transported. They may be through runoff, leaching, volatilization and directly/indirectly affect the environment. As a result there are all chances of residual problems, phytotoxicity, and residual effects to the succeeding crops. Leaching of herbicides may cause contamination of ground waters. While spraying the herbicides, there is exposure of the spray man to the toxic chemical. Further, there are all ways of herbicides coming into contact with the non-target organisms (honey bees, earthworms), and pose health hazards to humans. Research on herbicide residues has been done in India to determine the residue levels of various herbicides in crop, soil and water. Currently the research has been extended to find out the effect of herbicide residues in other areas also like the effect on non-target organisms, ground water ubiquity score, and on human and animals. Therefore, future residue research may be focused on these aspects to make a clear picture of safety levels of herbicides in soil, water, non-target organisms, animals and human beings.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. T. Maheswari
    • 1
  • A. Ramesh
    • 1
  1. 1.International Institute of Biotechnology and ToxicologyPadappai, KancheepuramIndia

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