S. Muralidharan, Sr. Principal Scientist, Ecotoxicology, Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History, said that use of pesticides in agriculture has been affecting birds adversely.

Participating in a two-day national seminar on ‘Green Technologies in Civil-Environment Interface' held at Hyderabad campus of Gitam University at Rurdram on Friday and Saturday, he spoke on the ‘Impact of agriculture chemicals on the Indian avifauna – an overview.'

He said that even though chlorinated pesticides such as DDT was already banned, still about 65 per cent of it was being used in the agricultural sector and another 35 per cent in domestic and other activities.

He also talked about the decline of bird population in India due to abuse of various chemicals and chances of biomagnification to humans. He said that substances such as ‘Diclofenac' – an anti- inflammatory drug – also causes death of birds due to its neuro-toxic effect.

Climate change

Dr. Palanivel, Professor of Environmental Impact Assessment, made a presentation on ‘Climate Change and Health impacts – Indian Perspective.' His paper dealt with the micro- changes that have been occurring due to climate change, the positive and negative impacts, sources and effects of greenhouse gases, policy issues over climate change and impact on human health. He also discussed recent issues of vector-borne diseases like dengue and chikungunya, a result of climate change.

High mortality rate

Dr. Kalaiselvi, Professor of Environmental Mutagenesis, made a presentation on ‘Molecular changes induced by carcinogenic chemicals in urban ambient air.' She discussed how suspended particulate matter and heavy metals of ambient air lead to breast cancer and a higher mortality rate.

More than 80 delegates from different parts of the country participated in the two-day seminar.

  • Banned substances like DDT still being used in agricultural sector: Dr. S. Muralidharan

  • Vector-borne diseases like dengue, chikungunya a result of climate change: Dr. Palanivel