Pesticides Effect on the Environment

1378 Words6 Pages
Often times, when people consume produce products they don’t think to consider the process it took to preserve the produce from going bad or being consume by pests. “A pesticide is a chemical used to prevent, destroy, or repel pests. Pests can be insects, mice and other animals, weeds, fungi, or microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses” (United States Environmental Protection Agency, 2012). “A pest can by any plants or animals that endangers our food supply, health or comfort” (Delaplane, 1996). Pesticide is a broad term that includes things such as insecticide, herbicide, and fungicide. Most pesticides that are used contain chemicals that can be harmful to people, animals, and the environment. The Office of Pesticide Programs of the Environmental Protection Agency regulates pesticides in the United States to protect public health and the environment. All pesticides used must be registered with the EPA, and the agency requires a battery of scientific tests not only for every pesticide, but for every use of every pesticide. Some pesticides that people may be aware of are things such as cockroach spray and rat poisons. However, some common products we use are considered to be pesticides as well such as: disinfect cleaners, mildew cleaners and plant sprays. “Ancient Romans killed insect pests by burning sulfur and controlled weeds with salt. In the 1600s, ants were controlled with mixtures of honey and arsenic. By the late nineteenth century, U.S. farmers were using copper acetoarsenite (Paris green),calcium arsenate, nicotine sulfate, and sulfur to control insect pests in field crops” (Delaplane, 1996). DDT was developed as the first modern synthetic insecticides in the 1940s. DDT was initially used to treat malaria, typhus, a... ... middle of paper ... ...intensive exposure to a variety of pesticides, either from applying these chemicals or from harvesting pesticide-sprayed agricultural products. According to Toxics Action Center 2012, “Studies by the National Cancer Institute found that American farmers, who in most respects are healthier than the population at large, had startling incidences of leukemia, Hodgkin’s disease, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and many other forms of cancer”. In summary, pesticides are often considered a quick, easy, and inexpensive solution for controlling weeds and insects. However, the use of pesticide have its cons. Pesticides has been shown to contaminated the environment and have effects on human health and wildlife. Pesticide residues are found in soil, air, and in ground water. The best way to reduce pesticide contamination in our environment is to use safer, non-chemical pest control.
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