Product Safety

Product safety of BASUDIN®

While diazinon was largely outlawed in the United States for residential uses since 2004, the properties of BASUDIN® continues to be applicable for agricultural usage, namely as part of the Integrated Pest Management Programme (IPMP). The product has proven to have less detrimental effect as compared to other organophosphate products. One of the reasons for the product’s subdued toxic effects is its flexibility in application timing which allows the product to be used in a wide variety of crops such as rice, deciduous fruit, vegetables and citrus.

Contrary to most of the harmful pesticides available in the commercial markets, BASUDIN® has good residual properties when applied to the soil and has an active ingredient that is not absorbed by the plant roots. Field trials have also been conducted on the continuous use of BASUDIN® under practical conditions and the results have indicated no problems with aqua toxicity. On top of it, BASUDIN® formulations are also easy to handle, and are miscible with most standard insecticides, and fungicides for neutral reaction.

How to deal with exposures to Diazinon in general?

While studies have shown that BASUDIN® is generally safe when the product is applied in agricultural context, the general public needs to be aware that one of the common forms of human exposures is through the consumption of food or water that are treated with diazinon.

According to a March 2009 study by the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC) at Oregon State University in the United States, diazinon exposure may also occur if the product or its residues get it on one’s skin or through inhalation. However, if one is not working or actively involved in the agriculture profession, such prolonged exposures to potentially high levels of diazinon are highly unlikely.

What are the symptoms present in the event of accidental exposures to Diazinon?
According to NPIC, prolonged diazinon exposure affects the nervous system of insects, humans, and pets in similar fashion. However, the signs and symptoms from exposures may differ. These symptoms of diazinon exposures may occur within minutes or 12 – 24 hours post-exposures. In addition, the symptoms from brief exposures may sometimes stay in the body systems for several days or even weeks before it can fully be flushed out.

Diazinon exposures, whether through ingestion, skin contact of inhalation may result in nervous system health effects. These effects may include runny noses, watery eyes, drooling, loss of appetite, coughing, diarrhoea, urination, stomach pain and vomiting. Higher exposure levels may also lead to more severe signs and symptoms, including head, and body tremors, muscle spasms or stiffness, muscle weakness or paralysis, rapid heart rate, difficulty breathing, seizures, convulsions, or coma.

While most of the post symptoms of diazinon exposures are mostly confined to ingestion means, we cannot rule out accidental or prolonged inhalation, though the toxicity level is fairly low as far as studies have shown.

The literature regarding the potential harmful effects due to prolonged exposures to diazinon is fairly extensive, and most of the times, researchers point to the detrimental side effects of diazinon. However, one has to bear in mind that as long as we are not actively involved in performing any heavy-duty agricultural farming, there is some reasonable assurance that deliberate or accidental exposures to high levels of diazinon might not occur so long as we exercise vigilance, and carefulness in managing the product usage.

Moreover, Zagro’s BAISUDIN® has been proven safe for agricultural usages and has not shown to have potential harmful impacts to both humans and the environments. At Zagro, we prioritise both quality and safety in our products, and our staff are working hard to ensure that the health and safety of our users, farmers, and customers will always remain as our number one top focus. We have zero tolerance against any health and safety breaches when it comes to the production, marketing, and sales of our products, and BAISUDIN® is one of the many products under Zagro that we take pride for ensuring that its health and safety integrity are upheld to the fullest extent.

Just how safe can we use Basudin

As most product safety and medical practitioners will say that no products, especially if one is dealing with toxic chemical products like insecticide products such as Basudin that the product will be touted as safe, guarantee fool proof, and environmentally friendly. If you happen to encounter a marketing pitch that talks about Basudin being a completely safe chemical, a potential advice to you will be to try to dissociate yourself from the message, or abstain yourself from any dealings, or knowledge of the marketing pitch, because no products, and not even toxic chemical products like Basudin can be declared safe, and not cause any side effects. If one were to accept that such chemicals are safe, please take a pause and think if you would like this product to be anywhere near your children, pets and babies.

Should we then completely ignore Basudin

Well! This question will have to be dependent on your risk tolerance levels and how you rationalise what exactly is “safe” for products like Basudin. One should not try to completely rule out or to write off Basudin as a totally harmful because if one were to start to think of the so-called “bad” side of Basudin, then where would we, as human beings, find the necessary proteins, carbohydrates and basic nutrients in order to stay alive and sustain ourselves healthily?

Neither are we also saying that Basudin is entirely good. However, if we were to explore some of the scientific research, we are able to uncover such interesting results. It will then ultimately be dependent on whether you are open and receptive to the result findings, or you could perhaps downplay it and ignore altogether. Therefore, it is entirely up to you on how you interpret and apply the result findings.

What does the research says about Basudin

One of the studies published in 1993 by Mohiuddin, Md, of the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) in Thailand, entitled “Assessment of the effects of insecticide basudin (diazinon) on common carp (Cyrius carpio) in rice based agro-ecosystems” noted that based on a short-term toxicity test of an organophosphate insecticide, Basudin 60EC (diazinon) on common carp in laboratory conditions, the presence of LC50 (Lethal Concentration levels that denote chemical concentrations with 50 per cent kill rate) at the 24-, 48-,and 96-hours exposure to diazinon were 4.42, 3.33, and 2.40 ppm (parts per million) respectively.

The results of Mohiuddin, Md’s research suggested that the so-called “true” safe concentration of diazinon was calculated at 0.56 ppm in order to be termed as “safe” for the survivability of the common carp.

Similarly, Mohiuddin, et al. has also conducted a long-term test on rice fields, and it was found that at the various concentrations (1.0, 2.0, 4.0 and 8.0 ppm) of LC50 when applied in rice field conditions were significantly higher that the LC50 value that were observed in the short-term toxicity test. The results thus indicated that the lethal effects of diazinon were insignificant in rice field environment due to the effects of various environmental factors.

In addition, the Mohiuddin, et. al. studies showed that the water quality levels were not affected by the insecticide spraying but temperature, suspended solids, solar radiations and other environmental factors might be some of the causes impacting the toxicity of diazinon. Similarly, the fish yield was not significantly different between treatments. Instead, higher fish yields (481 kg/ha) at the 1.0 ppm mark treatment tend to be associated with survival rate and growth rate.

It was therefore concluded in the Mohiuddin, et. al studies that diazinon application rate of 1.0 ppm in rice field conditions may be termed as a recommended safe dosage for rice-fish culture system.

So, is Basudin safe?

As you can see from the scientific studies by Mohiuddin, et al and the general advice given by most government authorities on the harmful effects of diazinon in general, there is nothing conclusive to suggest or to declare that diazinon, or for that manner, Basudin is entirely a “safe” product as there are various environmental factors that will impact will toxicity levels as shown by the Mohiuddin et. al studies.

Therefore, the general advice to users will be to adopt safe practices in handling and application of products like Basudin. Ensure that users need to follow the safety labels, protocols and instructions outlined in the product packaging, and to also follow best practices consistently when handling potentially toxic products like diazinon. Most importantly, try to pause and think about the impacts before one were to apply such products onto food produce. One must think that what are the potential consequences if the overuse of diazinon would cause harm to another or to the overall environment?