HISTOPATHOLOGY – A BIOMONITORING TOOL TO CHARACTERIZE THE HEALTH STATUS OF FISH IN THE PADDY FIELDS OF KUTTANAD, KERALA, INDIAB.T. Sulekha and T.V. Anna Mercy
High population growth have led to a tremendous intensification of rice production, which in turn has significantly increased the amount of pesticides applied in rice cropping systems. Since pesticides are toxic by design, there is a natural concern on the impact of their presence in the environment on human health and environmental quality. The present study was conducted to assess the nature and extent of pesticide induced pathogenesis in the tissues of gills, liver and kidney of Etroplus maculatus inhabiting the paddy fields of Kuttanad, Kerala, India, which is subjected to long term exposure to sublethal concentrations of a common pesticide, phosphamidon, used in these area. The organ index calculated based on various reaction patterns of the different organs. The study showed that the gills are severely affected, liver is moderately affected and the kidney is the mildly affected organ. As an indicator of pollution, histology represents a useful tool to assess the degree of pollution, particularly for sub lethal and chronic effects.