Fungicides are the chemical agents that inhibit the development of fungal spores or mycelium and kill them. The use of Fungicides has different characters: seed disinfectants; drugs for treatment the soil; fungicide for treatment plants in rest period; fungicide treatment during the growing season; spraying and fumigation of stores, including silos and vegetable stores. Systemic fungicides penetrate the plant, spread over the vascular system and suppress the growth of the pathogen due to direct exposure or as a result of metabolism in plants.
As it was already mentioned, there are a lot of advantages to using fungicides. In agriculture, fungicides are used to control pests, which can rob water and nutrients from agricultural crops and may cause spoilage when the products are brought to the store. Fungicides can also prevent the growth of fungi that produce toxins such as aflatoxins.
Since there are many classes of fungicides, so there is a lot of potentials for their harmful effects on human health and environment. Many fungicides cause acute or chronic toxicity. For example, the use of Hexachlorobenzene is currently banned or severely controlled almost everywhere, since it is associated with “human poisoning from contaminated seed grain and poisoning of infants from misuse in laundry solutions” (Vincelli, 2002). It is also known that Metam sodium and other thiocarbanates can damage skin and cause reactive airway disease.
There are various cases when organic mercurials have caused strong toxicity. All over the world there have been many incidents of treated seed grain fed to people that caused poisoning and even damage to fetuses. Nowadays Phenyl mercuric acetate is no longer used as a paint preservative in the US due to the fact that it off-gases elemental mercury into the air, and can cause toxicity to kids. At the same time, cadmium and organotin compounds are also known to have severe human toxicity and be toxic to the environment; so, they are rarely used in the world and are not used in the US any more. So, concluding everything that was written above, it is seen that Fungicides are very helpful and necessary in agriculture, but they should be used accurately as containing in fruits and vegetables they can cause toxic poisoning to people.
Vincelli, P. (2002). QoI (Strobilurin) Fungicides: Benefits and Risks. The Plant Health Instructor. Retrieved from http://www.apsnet.org/edcenter/advanced/topics/Pages/StrobilurinFungicides.aspx