Pesticides need sunscreen to beat the heat

December 18, 2006

A pesticide with a new in-built sunscreen will help farmers beat the heat in crop protection. This means that the bug sprays last longer, as they are protected from the strong rays of sunshine, reports Chemistry & Industry, the magazine of the SCI. This is becoming increasingly important as temperatures rise, with the Met Office announcing that several heat records were broken in the UK this year.

The team of scientists, led by Dr Li-Xiong Wen, has developed a new type of capsule that shields pesticides from UV light. The research, to be published on Monday in Pest Management Science (DOI 10.1002/ps.1301) shows that the pesticides can be exposed to sunlight for at least twice as long without degrading.

Dr Wen, of the Bejing University of Chemical Technology, believes that the pesticide will be more effective as a result, thereby reducing the amount required and the cost to the farmer. It could also mean cleaner waters, as the risks of excess pesticide contamination will be lowered.

"It can be used for many other pesticides. We are considering it as a platform carrier material for pesticides and have looked at several pesticides, including this oil-soluble avermectin, and water-soluble validamycin, and a couple of others, all demonstrating the same behaviors," Wen said.

Source: Society of Chemical Industry

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