Pesticides (I. : insecticides, aerodonetics) are used to decrease the population of pests. Even though pesticides are the most “fast-acting” (“Pesticides”, Master Gardner Foundation) for eliminating a large majority of pests that feed on crops, it has and extensive amount of negative impacts not only on animals but for humans as well. The use of pesticides on crops has proven to be very effective over the years and have many benefits. With the decrease of pests, comes an increase in not only the crop yield but also in the quality of the food because of the elimination of diseases hat pests might spread on plants and then be ingested by humans.
This increase in crop yield is not only very beneficial for putting food on the table but also for economical reasons. In the asses, many European countries such as Sweden and the Netherlands instated laws that demanded a 50% drop in the use of pesticide’s. What they soon discovered was decrease in the amount of money they got back from their initial planting. On average, farmers use 700 million lb of pesticides each year that cost about 4. 1 billion dollars. What has been shown to happen is that farmers who SE pesticides received 3-5 dollars back for every 1 dollar they spent on the use of pesticide’s.
This is a significant economic benefit that would disappear with a drop of 50% in the use of pesticides. Another benefit of pesticides is the overwhelming decrease in the spread of disease by insects such as malaria by mosquito. When a mosquito bites a human or other animal infected with malaria, the bacterium enters its blood stream and then it’s salivary glands. Then the mosquito spreads the disease by biting a human or contaminating crops. Pesticides “control the mosquito” (Williams, 326) and prevent quoits from spreading the disease through food contamination.
Pesticides are effective, cheap, and sometimes are the only “things that works against specific pests” (Master Gardner Foundation). Not only do pesticides help fight diseases from being spread through crop fields, they are used for a very global issue in places like Africa and India where it is much less developed than America or Europe is. In these countries, a huge problem they are facing is malnutrition. In India, almost half of the children 5 and under are malnourished. An increase would stop the spread of food related diseases and increase the amount of food.
In countries like India or Africa, they don’t have the By Landings money tort medicine to deal wit n these diseases. Gilbert Ross to the American Council on Science and Health says, “the increased use of modern pesticides would help this ailing country dramatically increase its crop yields, which is exactly what we saw happen in America between 1950 and 1980, when pesticide use increased. ” Pesticides could be a low costing solution that could solve a huge global problem. Even with all of these benefits pesticides provide, the limitations cannot be ignored.
A huge problem with pesticides is the effects on humans if over exposed to the fumes of pesticides. These pesticides contain thousands of chemicals and most of them can cause mild to severe health problems especially in children who have a “larger skin surface for their size” (Curran) so they can absorb more of the chemicals if exposed and their liver and immune system protections aren’t fully developed. Some chemicals include sulfur (right) and as you can see from the picture, it is “a pale yellow, odorless, and brittle material” (Agony), which makes it hard to detect if in the air.
Sulfur can cause irritation to the skin, eyes, and respiratory tract as well as diarrhea. Parathyroid, which are found in insecticides, can cause vomiting, fatigue, and even seizures. In the most drastic of cases, over-exposure to pesticides can even cause cancer, asthma, hormone disruptions, and Parkinson diseases. If a breast-feeding woman eats food that has been contaminated by pesticides, their child is at a high risk of ingesting the same contamination through the breast-milk. Health problems are very common in any human over-exposed to pesticides.
Along with the health problems humans are exposed to when they come in intact with pesticides, there are other species at risk. When it comes to insects, there are the majority who feed and contaminate the crops and decrease the crop yield a farmer has but there are also insects that increase and improve the crop yield as well as the crop itself. The very common insect that does this is the bee (right). The bee pollinates the crop flower and then cross-pollinates other flowers. This action is very helpful in aiding plants to grow and can actually increase the crop yield.
A negative impact that pesticides have is that they target all insects including bees. Insecticides generally have a broad spectrum, and they kill lots of different types of insects, not Just the pests,” said study author Michelle Merrier of Santa Clara University in California. 8 This prevents bees from being able to pollinate the crop flower and thus preventing natural pollination from occurring. Another negative impact of pesticides is the potential harmful effects towards the environment if not properly used.
When pesticides are used, residue or natural occurrences such as rain or wind can cause harmful effects on terrestrial or aquatic environments through fasciculation . In aquatic environments, if pesticides enter through runoff they can cause serious contamination of the water and this can pass through the food chain. To the right, there is a picture demonstrating how fasciculation works. The first step, after runoff has occurred, is when a producer such as plankton feeds off of the pesticide particles.
Once they have ingested these particles, the next step is when a primary consumer such as a fish eats the plankton. Since the particles are very slow to break down, they accumulate and are thus ingested by the primary consumer. Afterwards, the same process occurs with the secondary consumer and sometimes a tertiary consumer. This fasciculation can cause serious problems in an entire food chain. There are many disadvantages to pesticides but without pesticides the potential tort disease breakouts and economical food crashes would be much more likely.
Pesticides can be very beneficial for economical reasons as well as health reasons but also very harmful to our health and other species at the same time. If a pesticide is not used correctly or taken seriously, the problems could potentially be much more significant than anything else. Our environment and health can be put at serious risk UT if used correctly, they can also be significantly improved. Bibliography Vast, Amanita. “Pest-Resistant Crops Better Than Insecticide Use, Analysis Says. ” National Geographic. N. P. , 7 June 2007.