17 pct more pesticides than in the previous year

According to Statistics Estonia, 834 tonnes of pesticides (by active substance) were placed on the market in Estonia in 2016, which is 17% more than in the previous year. The quantity of sold pesticides continues to increase.

Compared to 2015, the quantity of pesticides placed on the market was 143 tonnes higher, with the greatest year-on-year increase in the quantity of sold herbicides (up by 132 tonnes). Fungicides was the only group of pesticides where sales decreased. In 2011, the quantity of sold pesticides was 461 tonnes and has since doubled.

There aren’t many importers of pesticides in Estonia, but the number of sellers increases every year. The majority of pesticides can be bought and used without special permission, they are sold in gardening and hardware stores as well as at the market. Besides agriculture, pesticides have been used for a long time also in forestry, wood processing, in maintaining edges of roads and railways, on sports grounds and playgrounds as well as in parks and households.

Pesticides placed on the market are pesticides bought abroad and brought to Estonia for sales. Pesticides are used as weed, plant pest, parasite and insect killers. The characteristics of pesticides (stability, low solubility in water and high solubility in fats) lead to their accumulation in living organisms and food-chains. Depending on the biochemical processes that the pesticides block, their toxicity to human organisms varies (cancerogenic, teratogenic, estrogenic impact, etc.). The use of pesticides can fluctuate yearly depending on climate conditions and variability in plant damages and diseases.

For the statistical activity “Sales of pesticides”, the main representative of public interest is the Ministry of Rural Affairs, commissioned by whom Statistics Estonia collects and analyses the data necessary for conducting this statistical activity.

Source: Statistics Estonia

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