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1.1 Background of the study
It is now obvious that the physical, chemical with the biological integrity of our planet is being compromised daily. The destructive processes are increasing both in quantum and in rate. The impacts have resulted in loss of biodiversity and destruction of natural habitat. In developing countries, both nature and man are at work endangering the environment and our health even as we presently lack the knowledge, technology, human capacity, financial resources and the political will to remediate it (Halidu, 2009). The term pesticide depicts any of a wide range of environmental interventions with the objective of reducing to suitable levels of insect pests, weed population and plant pathogens. Most common pesticides include insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, rodenticides, nematicides, et cetera. Among the most effective are the chlorinated hydrocarbons. They are used in controlling a number of diseases, such as malaria, typhus and weed control. Pesticides have been an environmental threat, and why this threat is diminishing in developed countries, it remains a problem in many developing countries (Tovignan et al., 2001). The developed countries have banned many of the older pesticides due to potential toxic effects to man and/or their impacts on ecosystems, in favour of more modern pesticide formulations. Developing countries maintain that they cannot afford, for reasons of cost and/or efficacy, to ban certain older pesticides. The dilemma of cost/efficacy versus ecological impacts, including long range impacts via atmospheric transport and access to modern pesticide formulations at low cost remains a contentious global issue. Pesticides are chemical substances used to kill animals, plants, insects and pests in agricultural, domestic and institutional settings. The main groups of commonly used pesticides include herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, fumigants and rodenticides. Organochlorine, organophosphate and carbamate insecticides are of major concern because of their toxicity and persistence in the environment. Organochlorine insecticides are banned for agricultural and domestic use in most of the developed countries, but they are still in use in developing countries like Nepal. Most of the pesticides are broad spectrum and kill both the target and non-target organisms. Majority of the farmers are unaware of pesticide types, level of poisoning, safety precautions and potential hazards on health and environment (Yassin et al., 2002). Pesticides that are in use today belong to chlorinated hydrocarbons, organophosphates, carbamates, synthetic pyrethroids and zinc compounds, which have carcinogenic effects on human health (Vainio, 1999). The resultant effects on human health include cancer, birth defects, reproductive problems, tumors, and damage of liver, kidney and neural organs. In many developing countries like Nepal, most pesticides are associated with adverse effects on human health and environment due to inappropriate use and handling of pesticides by inadequately trained farm workers (Naidoo et al., 2010). Majority of pesticides users, being unaware of pesticide types, their mode of action, potntial hazards and safety measures, es tyecause, major PESTICIDES ARE USED widely in agriculture in the United States. When effectively applied, pesticides can kill or control pests, including weeds, insects, fungi, bacteria, and rodents. Chemical pest control has contributed to dramatic increases in yields for most major fruit and vegetable crops. Its use has led to substantial improvements over the past 40 years in the quantity and variety of the U.S. diet and thus in the health of the public (see, for example, Block et al., 1992).
On the negative side, many pesticides are harmful to the environment and are known or suspected to be toxic to humans. They can produce a wide range of adverse effects on human health that include acute neurologic toxicity, chronic neurodevelopmental impairment, cancer, reproductive dysfunction, and possibly dysfunction of the immune and endocrine systems.
The diet is an important source of exposure to pesticides. The trace quantities of pesticides and their breakdown products that are present on or in foodstuffs are termed residues. Residue levels reflect the amount of pesticide applied to a crop, the time that has elapsed since application, and the rate of pesticide dissipation and evaporation. Pesticide residues are widespread in the U.S. diet. They are consumed regularly by most Americans, including infants and children.
To protect the U.S. public against dietary pesticides and their potentially harmful effects, the U.S. Congress has enacted legislation to regulate residue exposures and to ensure that the food supply is safe as well abundant and nutritious. The two principal components of the legislative framework—the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA)—have provided the foundation for a comprehensive regulatory system. Concern has arisen in recent years that the current pesticide regulatory system, which is intended to minimize health risk to the general population, may not adequately protect the health of infants and children. The traditional system assesses dietary pesticide risk on the basis of the average exposure of the entire U.S. population. However, it does not consider the range of exposures that exists within the population, nor does it specifically consider exposures of infants and children. The exposure of infants and children and their susceptibility to harm from ingesting pesticide residues may differ considerably from that of adults.
Concern about this uncertainty led the U.S. Congress in 1988 to request that the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) appoint a committee to study scientific and policy issues concerning pesticides in the diets of infants and children through its National Research Council (NRC).
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The term pesticide depicts any of a wide range of environmental interventions with the objective of reducing to suitable levels of insect pests, weed population and plant pathogens. Most common pesticides include insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, rodenticides, nematicides, et cetera. Among the most effective are the chlorinated hydrocarbons. They are used in controlling a number of diseases, such as malaria, typhus and weed control. Pesticides have been an environmental threat, and why this threat is diminishing in developed countries, it remains a problem in many developing countries (Tovignan et al., 2001). The developed countries have banned many of the older pesticides due to potential toxic effects to man and/or their impacts on ecosystems, in favour of more modern pesticide formulations. Developing countries maintain that they cannot afford, for reasons of cost and/or efficacy, to ban certain older pesticides. The dilemma of cost/efficacy versus ecological impacts, including long range impacts via atmospheric transport and access to modern pesticide formulations at low cost remains a contentious global issue it is in view of this that the researcher intends to investigate the effect of hydrocarbon insecticide and the risk on environmental health
1.3OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The main objective of this study is to ascertain the impact of hydrocarbon insecticide and their risk on environment and human health. But for the completion of this study, the researcher intends to achieve the following objectives;
i) To ascertain the effect of hydrocarbon insecticide and their risk on human health
ii) To ascertain the impact of hydrocarbon insecticide on the environment
iii) To evaluate the relationship between hydrocarbon insecticide and environmental pollution
iv) To ascertain the effect of hydrocarbon insecticide on their risk on the environment
1.4 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
For the successful completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher
H0: hydrocarbon insecticide does not have any significant effect on the health of humans
H1: hydrocarbon insecticide does have a significant effect on the health of humans
H02: hydrocarbon insecticide does not have any significant impact on the environment
H2: hydrocarbon insecticide does have a significant impact on the environment
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
It is believed that at the completion of the study, the findings will be of great importance to agriculturist as the study seeks to enumerate the dangers of using insecticide in pest control and the health and environmental hazard that comes with the use of pest control. The study will also be useful to the ministry of environment as the study will aid them in formulation of policy that will govern pest control and the use of pesticide on the environment. The study will also be beneficial to researchers who intend to embark on study in similar topic as the study will serve as a guide to their study. Finally the study will be beneficial to academia’s students and the general public
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The scope of the study covers the effect of hydrocarbon insecticide and their risk on environment and human health. In the cause of the study, the researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study
(a)Availability of research material: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study.
(b)Time: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.
(c)Finance: The finance available for the research work does not allow for wider coverage as resources are very limited as the researcher has other academic bills to cover
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Agriculture or farming is the cultivation and breeding of animals, plants and fungi for food, fiber, biofuel, medicinal plants and other products used to sustain and enhance human life
An insecticide is a substance used to kill insects. They include ovicides and larvicides used against insect eggs and larvae, respectively. Insecticides are used in agriculture, medicine, industry and by consumers. Insecticides are claimed to be a major factor behind the increase in agricultural 20th century's productivity. Nearly all insecticides have the potential to significantly alter ecosystems; many are toxic to humans; some concentrate along the food chain.
Hydrocarbon is an organic compound consisting entirely of hydrogen and carbon, and thus are group 14 hydrides. Hydrocarbons from which one hydrogen atom has been removed are functional groups, called hydrocarbyls. Aromatic hydrocarbons (arenes), alkanes, alkenes, cycloalkanes and alkyne-based compounds are different types of hydrocarbons.
Risk is the potential of gaining or losing something of value. Values (such as physical health, social status, emotional well-being or financial wealth) can be gained or lost when taking risk resulting from a given action or inaction, foreseen or unforeseen.
Health is the level of functional and metabolic efficiency of a living organism. In humans it is the ability of individuals or communities to adapt and self-manage when facing physical, mental, psychological and social changes.
1.8 Organization of the study
This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), statement of problem, objectives of the study, research question, significance or the study, research methodology, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlight the theoretical framework on which the study its based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding. Chapter five gives summary, conclusion and also recommendations made of the study.
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