Journal of Toxicology and Health

Journal of Toxicology and Health

ISSN 2056-3779
Original Research

Health and environmental impacts of pesticides: A responsibility principle and two novel systems for hazard classification and external cost determination

Yehia A. Ibrahim

Correspondence: Yehia A. Ibrahim

Author Affiliations

Professor of Pesticide Chemistry and Toxicology, Plant Protection Department, College of Agriculture, Assiut University and Former Deputy Chairman of the Agricultural Pesticide Committee (APC), Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation, Egypt.


Environmental policies built on the principles of 'Extended Producer Responsibility' (EPR) have spread to cover multiple categories of products and their containers or packages. Although pesticides are genuinely hazardous to human health and the environment, their negative impacts/externalities have not been targeted by these policies. In this manuscript, the author proposes an overarching 'toxi-economic' principle called the 'Extended Pesticide Producer and User Responsibility' (EPPUR) that justifiably assigns responsibility to the imposer(s) of health and environmental impacts of pesticides throughout their life cycles. The producer, sometimes the importer, should solely bear the upstream responsibility (toxicological, physical, informative, financial, legal, etc.) of the negative impacts of pesticides from the time of their production till their end-of-life. However, the downstream (post-consumption phase) responsibility should be distributed between the producer and the consumer/user. Because it is mostly related to toxicological impacts, the producer rather than the user responsibility is hard to be economically assessed. In an attempt to monetize the toxicological impacts of 'individual' pesticides on human health and the environment, the author establishes a novel 'Pesticide Negative Externality Assessment' (PNEA) system which customizes the 'undifferentiated' baseline cost to an 'individual' cost using the environmental impact quotient (EIQ). This system establishes Euro 0.303 to be the standard external cost for each EIQ unit. By knowing the EIQ value of any pesticide, one can easily calculate its external cost and use it to levy the producer for the health and environmental externality caused by any amount of this pesticide. Finally the author proposes a novel EIQ-based hazard classification and color-coding system to possibly replace or complement the WHO/FAO system which is limitedly based on the mammalian acute toxicity.

Keywords: Pesticide hazard classification, negative impacts of pesticides, negative externality, external or social cost, pesticide taxation, pareto efficiency, producer pays principle, extended producer responsibility, end-of-life management, pesticide environmental accounting (PEA), pesticide negative externality assessment (PNEA), environmental impact quotient, environmental policies, environmental tax

ISSN 2056-3779
Volume 3
Abstract Download