Chemistry, Efficacy, Toxicology, and Environmental Impacts

1st Edition - June 23, 2021

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  • Editors: Robin Mesnage, Johann Zaller
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128236758
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128236741

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Herbicides: Chemistry, Efficacy, Toxicology, and Environmental Impacts addresses contemporary debates on herbicide toxicology. The reader is offered a comprehensive overview of this complex topic, presented by internationally recognized experts. Information presented will inform discussions on the use of herbicides in modern agricultural and other systems, and their potential non-target effects on human populations and various ecosystems. The book covers these matters in concise language appropriate to engage both specialists in the research community and informed persons responsible for legislative, funding, and public health matters in the community at large. The use of herbicides is an essential pillar of modern agricultural production systems. Weeds, if uncontrolled, would reduce crop yield and result in massive economic damage. Recently, the heavy reliance on single herbicides has been linked to the development of weed resistance. To combat resistant weeds, farmers are advised to use a mix of several herbicides and to increase herbicide application rates. As a result, the toxicity of herbicides on human health and the environment has become a controversial topic. 

Key Features

  • Offers a comprehensive overview of herbicide science in modern agricultural systems
  • Addresses the complex problems that can arise from herbicide use and misuse, including weed resistance, pollution, and human health issues
  • Uses recent examples to demonstrate the topical nature of this issue


Researchers in academia, industry, and government including analytical chemists, toxicologists, soil scientists, biologists, ecologists, ecotoxicologists, entomologists, agricultural advisors, herbicide regulators, policy personnel, public health officials, and herbicide researchers. Advanced undergraduate and graduate level students in agriculture, public health, medicine, toxicology, ecotoxicology, sustainability research, and plant chemistry

Table of Contents

  • 1. Herbicides: Brief history, agricultural use, and potential alternatives for weed control

    Robin Mesnage and Johann G. Zaller

    2. A minimum data set for tracking changes in pesticide use

    Charles M. Benbrook and Rachel Benbrook

    3. Herbicide mode of action

    András Székács

    4. Co-formulants in commercial herbicides

    Robin Mesnage

    5. Analytical strategies to measure herbicide active ingredients and their metabolites

    Souleiman El Balkhi, Sylvain Dulaurent and Franck Saint-Marcoux

    6. Human health effects of herbicides used in intensive GM crop farming

    Robin Mesnage and Michael Antoniou

    7. Direct herbicide effects on terrestrial non-target organisms belowground and aboveground

    Johann G. Zaller and Carsten A. Brühl

    8. Indirect herbicide effects on biodiversity, ecosystem functions, and interactions with global changes

    Carsten A. Brühl and Johann G. Zaller

    9. Analytical strategies to measure health effects of herbicides: predictive toxicology

    Robin Mesnage

    10. Glyphosate as an active substance authorised under the EU pesticides regulations: Regulatory principles and procedures

    Nicolas de Sadeleer

    11. Chapter 11 Herbicides: a necessary evil? An integrative overview

    Robin Mesnage and Johann G. Zaller

Product details

  • No. of pages: 366
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Elsevier 2021
  • Published: June 23, 2021
  • Imprint: Elsevier
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128236758
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128236741

About the Series Volume Editors

Robin Mesnage

Dr. Robin Mesnage is a toxicologist in the Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics at King’s College London. His research focus over the last 10 years has been on the safety evaluation of pesticides. He has published more than 50 scientific articles on the subject. He specialises in using molecular profiling and genomic science to improve the sensitivity of chemical toxicity testing and better predict health risks arising from pesticide exposure. He also provides expert consulting on the risk assessment of pesticides and services to clinicians, including the analysis of complex biological data such as DNA sequencing of the gut microbiome.

Affiliations and Expertise

Toxicologist, Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics, King’s College London, UK

Johann Zaller

Dr. Johann G. Zaller is an ecologist at the Department of Integrative Biology and Biodiversity Research at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna in Austria. He studies effects of land management and global change factors on organisms, ecosystem processes, and services. Within these topics, he has investigated effects of various pesticides on soil biota, amphibians, plants, and their interactions with other factors such as landscape structure, management intensity, temperature, and soil types. He has published 90+ papers and is currently an editorial board member of three journals. He also published popular science books on pesticides and their non-target effects in German, Italian and English.

Affiliations and Expertise

Ecologist in the Department of Integrative Biology and Biodiversity Research at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna in Austria

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