Pesticide Contamination By Audrey & Brett

What is Pesticide Contamination?

Pesticides are used to kill bugs that are harmful to the crops. Doing so increases the crop yield but also has negative impacts to the environment. When the pesticides are washed away into the soil and surrounding areas, it pollutes ground water. The groundwater rushes into lakes and rivers which impairs the quality of drinking water and depletes nutrients in the soil.

Causes

Pesticides are toxic chemicals that are intentionally released in the environment to kill insects and other organisms that affect agricultural practices. These toxins are used everywhere from suburban neighborhoods to commercial farms. The main cause though, is with big industrial farms. Acres of fields are crop dusted with pesticides every day. Yet, the problem does not stop there; the same toxic chemicals are found in everyday home cleaning products.

Environmental Impact

Over time, pesticide contamination can cause detrimental impacts to the environment. Humans are one of many species who have experienced these effects first hand. For example, because of the extensive use of pesticides in Uzbekistan during the soviet era, from the the 1940s to 1990s, people are continuously facing illness as a result. People have reported allergies, digestive track issues, headaches, and sensitivities to their skin. Also diseases such as anemia, hepatitis, cirrhosis of the liver have been reported. Pesticides have also been linked to causing cancer. Some pesticides mimic hormones, such as endocrine and disrupt balance in ecosystem. Animals such as frogs, polar bears, fish, and panthers have been found in the wild with deformed reproductive organs.

Solutions

The best solution to the problem with pesticide contamination would be to cease use of pesticides all together. For many reasons, that will not happen. A more feasible approach to solving this problem is to control pesticide use. This can be done by targeting the specific areas where pesticides are needed and only using them there instead of dispersing them over a wide area of land. Another way to halt pesticide contamination and further it from destroying the environment is to suspend irrigation for a few days after the pesticides have been sprayed. This will help in keeping the pesticides from spreading to surrounding areas and contaminating ground water. Keeping records of the quantity and frequency of pesticide use will aid in avoiding overuse of them. At home, people can help by using natural, non-toxic products. Overall, reducing the usage of pesticides will prevent future problems with the environment and natural disasters.

Sources Used

Works Cited

"Impats of Pesticides on Wild Life." Beyond Pesticides, www.beyondpesticides.org/programs/wildlife. Accessed 11 Apr. 2017.

"Pesticides and Groundwater: A Guide for the Pesticide User." Pesticide Safety Education Program, Cornell University, 2012, psep.cce.cornell.edu/facts-slides-self/facts/pest-gr-gud-grw89.aspx. Accessed 10 Apr. 2017.

"Pesticides in groundwater." USGS, water.usgs.gov/edu/pesticidesgw.html. Accessed 12 Apr. 2017.

"The Problem with Pesticides." Toxins Action Center, Toxins Actionn Center, 2015, www.toxicsaction.org/problems-and-solutions/pesticides. Accessed 10 Apr. 2017.

"Uzbekistan: Soviet Pesticides Leave Bitter Legacy." Institute for War and Peace, iwpr.net/global-voices/uzbekistan-soviet-pesticides-leave-bitter-legacy.

Credits:

Created with images by mlcombs - "cotton field agriculture" • Pexels - "animal cold fur" • LEGADEMA pictures - "Panther" • WikiImages - "finger coral tree frog running frog frog"

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