Pesticides

It's Local and Global Impacts

Introduction to Pesticides

Pesticides are significant in our lives because they help plants grow better and even faster for us humans to consume. However, there are both advantages and disadvantages from the use of these chemicals. The problem is that plants that are being grown in farms aren’t able to sustain their quality for a long period of time. This is because naturally most plants don't have the essential nutrients in order to be preserved for a long time. It is important that we solve this problem because consumers do not want to buy and consume rotten and inedible food, because doing this will affect their health. Pesticides address this problem because they destroy, suppress or alter the life cycle of any pest, which helps maintain the quality of plants for a longer period of time. This allows them to be transported to grocery stores in good condition, meaning that they seem fresh and healthy to consume.

The Limitations and Implications of Pesticides

Limitations of Pesticides

The use of pesticides is not always effective. For instance, pesticides are applied on apples to prevent them from rotting quickly. This satisfies the consumer because the apples at the grocery store seem fresh and healthy to eat. The consumer has the decision to either consume the apple without washing it or to consume the apple after washing it and they would peel it by preference. However, many consumers do not realize that washing and peeling an apple makes a huge difference because by doing this the pesticide concentration of the apple is drastically decreased, which as a result will not affect your health. Researchers at Agri-Food Canada sampled apples direct from orchards sprayed with pesticides. It was found that rinsing apples only lowered the pesticide concentration from 13.5 to 28.7 percent. Rinsing and peeling the apples lowered the levels significantly from 74.5 to 97.9 percent. This study suggests that to significantly reduce your exposure to pesticides on apples, it’s best to rinse and peel them before eating. Many people are unaware of this so they may not even wash the apple before eating it, which would affect their health negatively.


However, without pesticides most of the food in our grocery stores would be rotten and inedible. So if it weren’t for pesticides the cheap food that we buy would not be available anymore and we would have to result to expensive organic food, which isn’t available at all grocery stores and isn’t affordable for many people. Therefore, pesticides would be our most reliable chemical to make our food last longer because we don’t currently have a substitute to replace pesticides completely. The use of pesticides is very effective in sustaining the quality of plants for a long period of time, which is why humans are relying on this chemical. However, we can make pesticides eco-friendly meaning that it won’t affect our health, the environment and our economy negatively when used. Nevertheless, the pesticides may cost more to create and may not be as strong, which is a big risk that the government does not want to take.

Implications of Pesticides

Health, environmental and economic is some of many perspectives that come into play with the use of pesticides.


Health

  • Pesticides help protect humans and pets from spreading of harmful diseases caused by pests and insects.
  • Spraying of pesticides makes the lighter and toxic compounds to be suspended into the air which in turn causes air borne diseases and nasal infection to those who inhale the compounds.


Environmental

  • Application of synthetic pesticides in farms affects the growth of plants. Chemical compounds in the pesticides are unbreakable, which causes them to get sedimented near the roots of the plants, making the supply of essential nutrients inefficient. Therefore, this inefficiency causes the shortening in the growth of crops.
  • Pesticides filter into the soil by the action of rain water and get mixed with the ground water which makes it contaminated.
  • Fertility of the soil is another side effect of pesticides. They inhibit the storage of Nitrogen and other essentials in soil.
  • Draining of pesticides into nearby streams or lakes can contaminate the source and cause loss of living organisms that feed the water.
  • Plants and species that weren't affected before the use of pesticides are now being affected negatively. As a result of this plants and species are now becoming endangered, which is negatively affecting ecosystems.


Economic

  • Cost of synthetic pesticides seems to be less available in larger quantities. It reduces the cost of laborers working in farms monitoring the growth of pests and their damages caused in order to eradicate them. Spraying of pesticides requires labor, depending on the size of the farm an individual is enough to finish the job of spraying pesticides throughout the farm.
  • Various types of pesticides are available in the market for eradicating particular pest groups with variation in quantities and concentration.
  • Pesticides have a vast area of application. It can be used at farms, gardens and even for household purpose like controlling termites.


The consequences of using this chemical are that it will affect our health, the environment and our economy both positively and negatively as explained in the bullet points above. It is not worth it because the cons out weigh the pros. To begin, pesticides are not easy to get rid of. Pan North America states that Azinphos-methyl which is a pesticide was found on almost 2/3 of imported pears and 48 different pesticides were found on spinach. This proves that there may be numerous unknown pesticides on your food, which can affect your health negatively when consumed. Additionally, the consumption of food that was applied with pesticides will result in people getting different diseases and cancers. Pan North America states that 93% of Americans tested by the CDC had chlorpyrifos in their urine, which is part of a family of pesticides linked to ADHD. Also, 99% of Americans tested positive for DDT (a pesticide). Women who were exposed to DDT as girls are 5 times more likely to develop breast cancer. Both of these facts explain the health effects that we can receive when we consume food that contains pesticides. These are some of many reasons why the use of pesticides is not worth it.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the use of pesticides may make our lives easier. However, eventually if we continue to use pesticides there will be many problems that we will face that can make catastrophic changes to our health, the environment and our economy.

Bibliography

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  2. "Health Risks of Pesticides in Food." Center for Ecogenetics and Environmental Health. Web. 1 June 2015. <https://depts.washington.edu/ceeh/downloads/FF_Pesticides.pdf>.
  3. Nardozzi, Charlie. "Does Rinsing Apples Remove Pesticides?" Garden.org. Web. 2 June 2015. <http://www.garden.org/subchannels/edibles/nut?q=show&id=3050>.
  4. "Pesticides on Food." Pan North America. Web. 4 June 2015. <http://www.panna.org/issues/food-agriculture/pesticides-on-food>.
  5. "Pros and Cons of Pesticides." Asia-Pacific Economics Blog. 14 Apr. 2014. Web. 3 June 2015. <http://apecsec.org/pros-and-cons-of-pesticides/>.
  6. Seldman, Kate. "Pesticide Pros and Cons." Natural Family Online.com. 15 June 2011. Web. 5 June 2015. <http://www.naturalfamilyonline.com/basics/health-and-wellness/pesticide-pros-and-cons>.
  7. "What Are Pesticides and How Do They Work?" NSW EPA. 10 May 2013. Web. 4 June 2015. <http://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/pesticides/pestwhatrhow.htm>.