Pesticides are routinely used in agriculture throughout the world to kill pests and to increase food production. They are also used for domestic, forestry, and public health purposes. India is one of the largest manufacturers of pesticides and consumption is increasing every year. Indiscriminate use of pesticides doesn’t just kill the targeted pests; it also affects non-target organisms and the environment including water, soil, air, and plants and it leads to the contamination of food, such as vegetables, fruits, fish, prawns, and more.
Humans are exposed to pesticides via the food chain throughout the world. Some recent research suggests that the presence of pesticides can be detected, not only in the environment, but also in human milk, tissues, and blood. This is evidence of the magnitude of pesticides’ impact on the environment and human health. Pesticide exposure has been linked to diseases, such as cancer, as well as to neurotoxicity and neurodegenerative disorders. The principle neurotoxicity after exposure to pesticides is presumed to result from protein interaction with pesticides: for example organophosphorous pesticides inhibit acetylcholineErsterase (AChE) via the formation of a covalent protein adduct to pesticides.
The International Conference on Potential Impact of Pesticides on Environment and Human Health (ICPIPEHH 2017) was organized in Bangalore from 2-4 November 2017. The conference was sponsored and promoted by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) with funds from the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), from the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) in the UK, and by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), the Indian National Science Academy (INSA), Dayananda Sagar University (DSU) and Braquachems in India. The Conference was endorsed by IUPAC.
The main objective of the conference was to bring together domain experts from within India and abroad, including policy makers, to deliberate on the state of the art on the impact of pesticides on human health and environment and also to discuss future trends and actions. The conference discussed how pesticides and other chemicals affect non-target organisms, including humans, fish, prawns, etc, through the interactions of pesticides with biomolecules, proteins, and DNA, as well as the associated link to diseases. The conference addressed biotechnological, nanotechnological, biopesticides, and environmental biotechnology methods to avoid the impact of pesticides on the environment and to find remedies for pesticide pollution.
The inaugural ceremony was attended by over 200 scientists, faculty, and students. The conference was inaugurated by the eminent personality Dr. K.K. Narayanan, Founder of Metahelix Life Science Limited and Former President of ABLE. Prof. A. Srenivas, Dean of School of Engineering, DSU, welcomed the guests and delegates to the conference. Prof. A.N. Murthy, Vice Chancellor, DSU, delivered the presidential address. Dr. Sreenviasa Rao Amaraneni, Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry, DSU and the convener of the conference, gave a brief introduction. A vote of thanks was proposed by Prof. Anand Soloman, Chairman of Chemistry, DSU.
Prof Hugh D. Burrows, Editor of Pure and Applied Chemistry (PAC), sent a message wishing success for the conference and has agreed to publish the selected papers of the conference in PAC after a formal peer review.
The conference, owing to its high quality in the form of research papers, as well as plenary and invited talks, attracted the attention of academicians, scientists, research scholars, and students. The delegates included professors from Germany, UK, and Thailand, as well as from reputed institutes in India. The conference received 100 abstracts from delegates representing reputed institutes abroad and in India. The conference created an interdisciplinary platform for researchers to address the issues relating environmental pollution and its effect on environment and human health. The conference programme spanned 3 days, with 2 plenary talks, 10 invited talks, 42 oral presentations, and 40 poster presentations.
Prof. Gerrit Schiiiirmann, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Leipzig, Germany and Technical University Bergakademie Freiberg, Germany delivered the plenary talk on the first day of the conference: Predictive Assessment of the Human and Environmental Toxicity of Chemical Substances. Plenary speaker Prof. Wayne G. Carter, School of Medicine, University of Nottingham, presented research work on the detection and utilization of secondary pesticide targets as biomarkers of pesticide exposures.
Prof. E. Arunan, Indian Institute of Science (IISc) gave a brief introduction to IUPAC on the last day of the conference. Papers were chosen for the best oral and poster presentations. Most of the invited speakers were from reputed institutes in India. One of the highlights of the conference was a spectacular and graceful 'Kathak" Dance performance by Vid. Poorna Acharya and her Disciples, followed by a banquet dinner.
Owing to the elaborate preparations both in terms of quality papers and technical sessions, the ICPIPEHH-2017 conference established itself as a highstandard forum for the dissemination of high-quality interdisciplinary research on all aspects of the impact of pesticides on the environment and human health. The conferences was effective at fostering the exchange of ideas.
The following key themes of the conference are broadly related to the environment and human health and any interdisciplinary research work:
Pesticide pollution, water, soil and air pollution,
Environmental contamination, control, prevention, analytical & environmental chemistry and environmental science
Emerging pollutants and methods of analysis
Chemicals interaction with bio-molecules, proteins, and DNA, and also neurotoxicity and toxicology
Biotechnology and environmental biotechnology, nanotechnology, biopesticides and phytochemistry.
Human health effects of water quality, etc.
Conference presenters included the following:
Prof Wayne Carter, Nottingham University, UK
Prof. Dr. Gerrit Schüürmann, Head HCER,UFZ, Germany
Dr. D. Ramaiah, Director, CSIR-NEIST, Jorhat, Assam
Dr. Rao V. Jayathirtha, IICT,Hyderabad
Dr. Mohan S. Venkat, IICT, Hyderabad
Prof. S. Gourinath, JNU, New Delhi
Dr. Madava Sharma, IICT, Hyderbad,
Dr. M. Chandraseharan, IICT, Hyderabad
Prof. P. K. Joshi, JNU, New Delhi
Prof. D. E. Babu, Andhra University, Visakhapatnam
Prof. G. R. Naidu, SVU, Tirupathi
Prof. Vibha Tandon, JNU, NEW Delhi
Prof. A. L. Ramanathan, JNU, New Delhi
Prof. P. Rajendra Prasad, Andhra University, Visakhapatnam
Dr. G. Parthasarathi, NGRI, Hyderabad
Dr. I. Gurappa, DMRL, Hyderabad
Prof. K. Sreeramulu, Gulberga University, Gulberga
Dr. Surender Singh, Scientist, IARI, New Delhi
Dr. Suresth Yadav, Scientist, ICMR, Ahmedabad
Prof. M. Pandurangappa, Bangalore University, Bengaluru
Prof. Rajendra, Former VC, SVU, Tirupathi
Prof. S. V. Krishna Murthy, Kuvepu University
Dr. T. N. V. Rao, CEO, Aquamark, Bengaluru
Dr. K. N. Rao Aurigene, Reddy Laborataries, Bengaluru
In conclusion, the conference provided the right platform to discuss the impact of environmental pollution, including pesticides and more, on the environment and human health. The conference also deliberated on remedial methods and technology for reducing environmental pollution and its effect on the environment. These efforts could protect the environment for the well-being of human beings in the years to come.
The convener would like to thank all the funding agencies for their financial support and encouragement. The untiring support of the management of Dayananda Sagar University (DSU) resulted in a successful, high quality conference. Special Thanks to Prof. A.N. Murthy, Vice Chancellor, and Prof. A. Srinivas, Dean of the School of Engineering of DSU as well as the other administrators there.
The organizing committee, faculty and student volunteers of DSU offered timely help and encouragement. Without the support and contributions of the plenary and invited speakers and the delegates of the conference, it could not have been successful.
The conference has allowed for the development of a very good network in terms of experts, resources, and researchers, both from within India and abroad. The exposure and experience gained through the conference organization has created the motivation to organize the conference in the years to come, with the support of research labs and organizations of national and international importance.
About the author
Sreenivasa Rao Amaraneni firstname.lastname@example.org is Associate Professor in Dept. of Chemistry, School of Engineering, Dayananda Sagar University.
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