Overuse Of Pesticides Research Paper Examples

Type of paper: Research Paper

Topic: Pesticides, Environment, Health, Soil, Family, Food, Children, Chemical

Pages: 3

Words: 825

Published: 2020/11/16

Introduction

The term pesticide denotes a wide range of chemicals designed to contain the harmful effects of pests to humans, livestock and crops. Pesticides include fungicides, insecticides, herbicides, molluscicides, rodenticides and rodenticides among others. Over the years, pesticides have been used to controls different types of pests. Pesticide technology has evolved a lot over the years. Most pesticides used in the United States and other developed countries in the nineteen fifties, such as organochloride insecticides have since been banned despite their relative success those years. With time, synthetic pesticides, considered to be less harmful to the environment, have been introduced. Organophospates, introduced in the nineteen sixties and carbamates have all been used in agriculture to control pests (Bingham, 11). The introduction of fungicides and herbicides was a big milestone in agriculture. They have been very instrumental in pest control. But the use of pesticides, as important as they are, has courted a lot of controversy as cases of misuse and overuse of pesticides become rampant. This has caused a lot of havoc to other life forms and contributed immensely to environmental problems. This paper will look at the various elements of pesticide over use including its likely consequences and solutions to problems of pesticide over use.

Harmful Effects of Pesticides on Human Health

A number of health problems have been associated with poor pesticide use insecticides. Numerous health hazards have been linked to overuse of pesticides including both short term and long term health problems. Short term health challenges that have been attributed to inappropriate use of pesticides include nausea, headache and dizziness. More long term problems like endocrine disruptions, reproductive problems and cancer have also been found to arise from effects of pesticides. These adverse effects of pesticides can be fatal if the right remedial action is taken in good time. There have been instances of death occurring after victims complain of such symptoms as fatigue, eye irritation, nausea, headache and systemic poisoning resulting from contact with pesticides. Chronic health effects can occur several years after exposure to pesticides. Most of the time, humans come into contact with pesticides through water and food. This is because pesticides are mostly used on food crops. When such foods are not properly washed, people can ingest pesticide in such food. Water washed into rivers from farms where pesticides are used can also be used for domestic purposes exposing those who depend on the water sources to potential harm from pesticides.
Research has indicated that children are more susceptible to problems associated with pesticides. Since the brain of children is not fully developed, repeated exposure to pesticides can have lifelong effects on the development of the child’s nervous system (Pedersen 2). The big surface area to volume ration in children also increases their chances of contact with insecticides. Children are more likely to take in large volumes of insecticides in the air they breathe. The detoxification mechanism in children is very weak and therefore they may not be able to fight toxic chemicals from pesticides introduced into the body. Secondly, many of the activities women participate in predispose them to contact with pesticides increasing their chances of suffering the dangers associated with exposure to pesticides.

Effects of Pesticide Overuse on the Environment

Pesticides are a leading pollutant. Chemical pollutants can have long term effects on the environment. These chemicals affect both the ground and waterways. When chemical pesticides are overused, a buildup of pollution which may last for hundreds of years can occur (Walley, Taylor, and Lupwayi 7). Usually, when pesticides are applied to crops, and on other surfaces, they may be washed away and blown away to areas where they were not intended for use creating adverse environmental effects. Organic pesticides are less harmful and their use should be encouraged as they are friendlier to the environment.

Effects of Pesticide Overuse on Soil and Crops

Numerous changes in the chemical composition of soil has been realized with continued use of chemical pesticides. Over use of pesticides on soils has compromised the nutritional quality of soil leading to reduced crop yield. But over use of pesticides does not only contaminate the soils. It can contaminate food as well. Fruits and other agricultural food crops have been found to contain residual amounts of chemicals related to pesticides commonly used in the farms where they are grown.

Indoor Pollution

Continuous use of chemical pesticides in the house can have adverse effects on people who constantly come into contact with them. While in the house, children and pets can easily absorb harmful chemical elements resulting from over use of pesticides through their lungs (Johnston 2). Many pesticides take much longer to decompose in the indoor environment as a result of the absence of light and heat. This makes them particularly harmful. They may remain buried on furniture, carpet fibers and other surfaces in the house.

Solutions to Pesticide Problem

Contamination of food and environment resulting from over use of pesticides can be prevented in number of ways. First, the use of pesticides that have been proved to cause harm to human health should be phased out. Federal agencies and other authorities concerned with the environment should encourage the use of non-toxic alternatives to pesticides.

Conclusion

Over use of pesticides is a potential cause of serious health complications, some of which are fetal. A thorough knowledge of the health effects of misuse and over use of pesticides is therefore necessary to ensure that appropriate measures are taken to reduce undesired impacts of over use of pesticides on human health and the environment.

Work Cited

Bingham, S., Pesticides exceeding environmental quality standards (EQS). The Environment Agency, UK., 2007.
Johnston, A. E. "Soil organic-matter, effects on soils and crops". 2 (3): 97–105. doi:10.1111/j.1475-2743.1986.tb00690.x.
Pedersen, T. L., Pesticide residues in drinking water. extoxnet.orst.edu. September 15, 2007.
Walley, F., Taylor, A., and Lupwayi, Herbicide effects on pulse crop nodulation and nitrogen fixation. FarmTech, 2006.

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