During the last 30 years, the increase of the human population in the Amazon introduced the need for additional food production and caused the state government to implement programs to increase and improve agricultural production. The production of nontraditional crops introduced several problems unknown to traditional farmers, since they are not well adapted to tropical conditions. Their susceptibility to insects, fungi and other plagues, and the competition with native vegetation forced farmers to use pesticides intensively. Amazonian farmers were not adequately prepared for the use of this new technology; they ignored the risk of pesticides to human health and the environment. Using the region of the state capital Manaus as an example, the characteristics of the pesticide use are described (e.g. the increased use and the lack of personal protective equipment, as well as the legal situation). In detail, the registration status of pesticides used in the State of Amazonas and the state of their registration in the European Union is compared. Finally, it is concluded that the use and the fate of pesticides in the Amazon region has to be monitored. Data of the effects on humans and on the environment have to be collected from the literature or have to be produced in standardized tests, so that an environmental risk assessment becomes possible. Training and information programs are urgently needed in order to build up environmentally sustainable agriculture. Finally, the enforcement of Brazilian laws concerning pesticide registration has to be improved.