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Current Nanomaterials


ISSN (Print): 2405-4615
ISSN (Online): 2405-4623

Review Article

A Review on the Use of Nanomaterials in Agriculture: Benefits and Associated Health Risks

Author(s): Punit Kumar, Sujata Malik and Kashyap Kumar Dubey*

Volume 8, Issue 1, 2023

Published on: 12 May, 2022

Page: [44 - 57] Pages: 14

DOI: 10.2174/2405461507666220106114229

Price: $65


Background: The present world population is about 7.9 billion and it is increasing continuously. Thus, there is an urgent requirement to enhance the agricultural output sustainably. Agricultural approaches such as the use of advanced agriculture methods, high productivity varieties, and enhanced application of fertilizers and pesticides have significantly increased food grain production but in an unsustainable way. Chemical-based conventional fertilizers and pesticides have been found associated with environmental pollution and other unwanted effects on the ecosystem, soil quality, soil microflora, etc. Nanomaterials may be used to replace conventional fertilizers and pesticides in agriculture.

Objective: The aim of this review is to provide information about the harmful effects of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and the use of nanomaterials in agriculture. Including this, the health risks of nanomaterials are discussed.

Method: This review article includes a survey of literature from different online sources (for example, Web of Science, PubMed, and Google Scholar, etc.).

Results: The improvement in agricultural output using chemical fertilizers and pesticides is considered unsustainable as it is increasing the cost of production, affecting the soil quality, disturbing nutrient availability in crops, and causing environmental pollution. Nanotechnology is a potent innovative practice and nanomaterials may be used in agriculture as nanofertilizers, nanopesticides, and nanosensors. Although these approaches have the potential to enhance agricultural productivity in a sustainable way, nanomaterials are also assumed to exhibit potential health risks to humans. Reports have indicated that nanomaterials have been found associated with many systematic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, neurotoxicity, and toxicity to the reproductive system, etc.

Conclusion: It is well accepted that chemical fertilizers and pesticides in agriculture cause environmental toxicity and affect ecosystem activity. Nanomaterials have the potential to enhance agricultural output, but these are also associated with health risks. Thus, detailed scientific studies must be conducted about the potential health risk of nanomaterials before their commercial applications in agriculture.

Keywords: Chemical fertilizers, sustainable agriculture, nanopesticides, nanofertilizers, nanosensors, nanotoxicity.

Graphical Abstract
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[] [PMID: 17547465]

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