“Daily Poison, Pesticides” – New popular science textbook

In this post, Carsten Brühl introduces a new popular science book by Johann Zaller, titled “Daily Poison, Pesticides – an Underestimated Danger”. The book sheds light on the usage and environmental effects of pesticides, written for scientists and non-scientists alike.

Daily poison is a sound science report about the consequences of pesticides to nature, health, and the environment. It shares essential insights into the use of pesticides in agriculture, discusses the politics, rhetoric, and profits involved, addresses the potential health and ecological risks of pesticides in our daily lives, and debates possible solutions.

“Because the book is intended for scientists and non-scientists alike, I also tried to provide insights into the daily life of researchers, how experiments are conducted and what obstacles people might face, who critically investigate pesticides.”

– Johann Zaller
Book cover (photo by Springer International Publishing 2020)

Johann provides insight into his scientific work, the set-up of the experiments, and also writes about his very own experiences with the media and press after publication of his studies. His findings, together with relevant literature and media reports, are presented in this book, which offers a unique resource for anyone who wants to know the nature and background of pesticides and how we come into contact with them in our daily lives.

This aspect of the book makes it an interesting read for all students in Ecotoxicology. Johann is introducing the different groups of pesticides and describes pesticide use in different regions around the world. Pesticide registration and residue limits are also discussed as well as impacts on the environment and human health. However, it doesn’t stop there as the book also includes the main ideas for solutions to the current use of pesticides.

“It is still puzzling to me how intensive pesticide use has become so popular in conventional agriculture given the numerous impacts on our health, the environment, and ultimately even our economy.“

– Johann Zaller

Ever ate an apple? Read this book!

About the book author

Johann G. Zaller is an Associate Professor at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna, Austria. He studied biology, botany, and ecology at the Universities of Salzburg and Innsbruck in Austria. During his postgraduate research career, he worked and studied in the United States, Argentina, Switzerland and Germany. His research group at the University of Vienna investigates how environmental changes influence organisms and ecosystem functions. The group is especially interested in the effects of agricultural management measures (e.g., tillage, crop rotation, mowing, fertilising, pesticide applications) and the impacts of global changes (e.g., elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide, ultraviolet-B radiation, rainfall and temperature variations, invasive species).