Farmer weed crop International Institute of Tropical Agriculture/Flickr

Perubahan Zat-zat Aman menjadi Berbahaya

PALO ALTO – Semenjak perkembangan toksikologi di abad ke-16, prinsip yang mempedomani adalah “the dose makes the poison” (hanya dosis/konsentrasi yang dapat menentukan benda/bahan tersebut bersifat racun atau tidak bagi tubuh mahluk hidup). Pernyataan ini merupakan aturan yang berlaku bagi obat-obatan yang digunakan pasien di seluruh dunia bahkan jutaan kali dalam sehari. Dosis aspirin yang tepat bisa menjadi pengobatan yang berharga tapi konsumsi yang terlalu banyak dapat mematikan. Prinsip ini pun berlaku pada makanan: pala atau akar manis (licorice) dalam jumlah besar sangat beracun.

Risiko yang ditimbulkan dari suatu bahan/zat tergantung pada dua faktor: kapasitas inherennya dalam menciptakan bahaya dan tingkat paparan terhadap seseorang. Idenya sederhana namun beberapa profesional yang spekulatif nampaknya tidak mampu memahaminya – sebagaimana dibuktikan dengan keputusan International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) atau Badan Internasional untuk Penelitian Kanker, unit di dalam Badan Kesehatan Dunia (WHO) yang mengelompokkan herbisida 2,4D yang lazimnya dipakai sebagai “memiliki potensi karsinogenik pada manusia”.

Bicara mengenai herbisida, IARC terkesan mengalami kekalahan beruntun. Baru-baru ini lembaga tersebut mengelompokkan glifosat, jenis herbisida lain yang populer, dalam kategori “memiliki potensi karsinogenik”, suatu kesimpulan yang bertentangan dengan badan regulator lain di dunia.

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