Pesticides are potentially toxic in nature to other organisms, including humans, and must be handled safely and disposed of properly. Most older, cheaper (non-patent) pesticides such as dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) and lindane can remain in soil and water for years. These have negative effects on larger parts of the ecosystem and can accumulate in the food chain.
The general population is exposed to low levels of pesticides through food and water and these are typically not of concern. People at higher risk of adverse health effects are those who work directly with pesticides, such as agricultural workers, and those in the vicinity when pesticides are applied. Persons not involved in pesticide application should avoid the area during and immediately after use.
The foods consumed must comply with the maximum residue limits and pesticide regulations.
By peeling or washing fruits and vegetables, consumers can further limit pesticide residues, reducing other foodborne hazards such as harmful bacteria.
Pesticide analysis is performed in food products due to the damages of using pesticides in foods. Pesticide analysis should be performed in accredited laboratories.