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Chemistry and Specifications of Pesticides (WHO Technical Report Series 988)
  1. T C Marrs

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    16th report of the who expert committee on vector biology and control. (SFr 14.00 (SFr 9.80 in developing countries)) 2001. Geneva: World Health Organisation

    This booklet in the technical report series of the World Health Organisation (WHO), is one of a series of periodically published booklets on the chemistry and specifications of pesticides that are used in vector control, mostly in developing countries. The book comprises an introduction, which lists the questions asked of the expert committee. The next section explains the role of the WHO pesticide evaluation scheme (WHOPES). The third section deal with trends in pesticidal use for vector control, starting appropriately with Africa, the WHO region with the greatest burden of tropical disease. It is educational to compare the pattern of use of pesticides in, for example, malaria control, with the use of pesticides in northern countries. The scale of use of DDT is notable. The other regions specifically covered are the Eastern mediterranean, south east Asia and the western Pacific. The risk that the increased dependence on synthetic pyrethroids will encourage the emergence of resistant strains of vectors, the control of which is sought, is touched upon. The next section deals with analytical methodology and quality control in developing countries. The problems of products with lower concentrations of active ingredient than is declared, including the loss of vector control, and perhaps more importantly, the emergence of resistance, are pointed out. The WHO collaborating centres for the quality control of pesticides in Argentina, Belgium, and Pakistan are a welcome step toward rectifying this problem. In section 5, the specifications of the WHO and Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) are discussed, together with the Expert Committee's recommendation that the WHO and FAO should build up a common system for the development of specifications for pesticides. Containers, packaging, marking, storage, and disposal are covered in the next two sections; labelling is an obvious problem in countries that have considerable proportions of their populations illiterate, or in which labelling should be carried out in many languages. Lastly the committee acknowledges its collaborators. The annexes will be the most useful part for the working analyst. Annex 1 lists changes to existing specifications and annex 2 lists recommended specifications for new pesticides and formulations as well as new test methods. This booklet will be most useful for those selling, buying, analysing, or using pesticides in tropical countries for vector control. The publication is also of general interest to pesticide scientists, giving as it does an idea of the major problems still posed by vector borne diseases, and the place of pesticides in their control.