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The techniques for closed transfer, mixing, and applying of agricultural chemicals did not originate with agricultural needs, but, because of their large number of users and diverse uses, agricultural closed system problems seem to have been more than usually difficult to resolve. Firstly, there is still considerable disregard for the toxic nature of pesticide chemicals by those who use them, either in agriculture or industry or for home gardening. Because they can be purchased and used with little or no restriction or training, the user tends to treat pesticide chemicals as innocuous materials rather than the toxic poisons that many of them are. But acute toxicity is not the only difficulty with pesticides. Skin, eye, and breathing problems can be initiated or exacerbated by these products. Complaints frequently arise from those who are hypersensitive to the very smell of some pesticides, and allergic reactions are no doubt a part of the high reported illness rate, particularly in regard to contact with treated crops as a deposited residue.
Professor Akesson was session moderator, University of California, Davis, CA