Human Health and Ecosystem Quality Benefits with Life Cycle Assessment Due to Fungicides Elimination in Agriculture

Georgios Archimidis Tsalidis*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

Industrial agriculture results in environmental burdens due to the overuse of fertilizers and pesticides. Fungicides is a class of pesticides whose application contributes (among others) to human toxicity and ecotoxicity. The European Union aims to increase organic agriculture. For this reason, this work aims to analyze climate change, freshwater ecotoxicity, terrestrial ecotoxicity, human toxicity, (terrestrial) acidification, and freshwater eutrophication impacts of fungicides and cal-culate expected benefits to human health (per European citizen) and ecosystem quality (terrestrial) with life cycle assessment (LCA) during crop production. The Scopus database was searched for LCA studies that considered the application of fungicides to specific crops. The analysis shows how many systemic and contact fungicides were considered by LCA studies and what was the applied dosage. Furthermore, it shows that fungicides highly contribute to freshwater ecotoxicity, terrestrial ecotoxicity, human toxicity, and freshwater eutrophication for fruits and vegetables, but to a low extent compared to all considered environmental impacts in the case of cereals and rapeseed. Expected benefits to human health and ecosystem quality after fungicides elimination are greater for fruits and vegetables, ranging between 0 to 47 min per European citizen in a year and 0 to 90 species per year, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Article number846
Number of pages12
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Volume14
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Keywords

  • Azoxystrobin
  • Cereals
  • Conventional agriculture
  • Disability adjusted life year
  • Fruit
  • Mancozeb
  • Time-integrated species loss
  • Toxicity
  • Vegetables

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