Chapter 9: Reproductive and Teratogenic Effects of Pesticides on Great Apes (Hominidae)
Published:24 Jun 2022
A. Garcês and I. Pires, in Marsupial and Placental Mammal Species in Environmental Risk Assessment Strategies, ed. M. L. Larramendy and G. Liwszyc, The Royal Society of Chemistry, 2022, ch. 9, pp. 200-210.
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The industrialization of agriculture led to the use of chemical substances in order to increase the production of food for human and animal consumption. The overuse and misuse of pesticides have harmful effects on ecosystem health and ultimately on human health. Most often, these substances affect a great variety of species besides their target species. They can be transported through air and water, to areas far away from the region in which they were applied. These compounds are not biodegradable and have a prolonged half-life, occurring and causing effects even several years after application. It should also be considered that often the cause–effect assessment is not linear, which delays the implementation of measures that prohibit the use of determined substances. In this chapter we review the teratogenic effects and potential consequences of pesticides on the reproduction of great apes (Hominidae). As this species is at risk of extinction, pesticides can pose an additional threat to its survival, therefore there is an urgent need to know and study the effects of these substances in order to implement timely measures.