Posted by: terrauniversity | May 1, 2012

Pesticides affecting the Earth

by Reilly Poirier

Throughout the years living on this Earth, we as humans have done more to the Earth than it could probably handle. We have littered the streets, cut down the rainforests, put all kinds of chemicals into the air, and we have even used pesticides daily on our crops, that we consume. Narrowing down all the major effects that we as humans have done to this planet, I will talk about the severity and damage that some of these pesticides have caused.
What is a pesticide? A pesticide is a chemical designed to kill insects, fungus, bacteria, and any other vector or insect that is feeding on a crop. In America, one of the largest occupations especially in the Mid-West is farming. These businesses use these pesticides to control the feeding on the plants from the insects because it will decrease their profits, which will decrease their business. There are two types of pesticides, biological and chemical. The biological pesticides are developed from fungi and bacteria; these usually don’t have a more serious toxic effect on the human race or animals. The chemical pesticide has the most risk to our environment and health. I know your probably thinking, why even have these chemical pesticides if they are so harmful? Well, good question. The government will continue to approve these chemicals to make pesticides because they work on the desired job, and they don’t care too much about the other effects as long as the job that it is set out to do is done.
There are two classifications of pesticides as well. There are the Broad-spectrum pesticides and the narrow-spectrum pesticides. The names themselves are very informative. The broad spectrum is targeted to kill many insects, while the narrow is designed to kill certain organisms.
The people that are most risk for exposure from these pesticides are farmers and their families, also anyone who has used the chemicals on a regular basis. You do not have to be in direct contact, as in actually spraying or handling the can of the pesticide to be effected. It can be carried by the wind, residue left on the leaves, remaining inside produce or animals, and also the water runoff and it getting into the public water supply. These pesticides can enter the body of humans or animals through skin, eyes, mouth, and nose.
With being worried enough with it actually just getting in your body, you now have to think what it can do to your body and health once it enters. It can take a small amount of toxins to mess up the equilibrium of the body. Some of the dangers from pesticides are harming the fetuses in the mother’s womb. They could experience behavioral problems and even could inhibit them to grow to their potential height. People could receive lower cognitive scores, fewer nerve cells and lower birth rate. People could also get a much higher risk for getting Parkinson’s disease, statistics show about 70% increase.

With all the possible health effects that could occur from pesticides, people should know the symptoms so that they can get treated immediately. Some of the symptoms to watch for are fatigue, skin irritations, nausea, vomiting, breathing problems, brain disorders, blood disorders, liver and kidney damage, reproductive damage, cancer, and even death. These pesticides are very dangerous chemicals to be handling without extreme precaution. We need to make sure that you do all possible things to prevent pesticides from becoming a huge health crisis in the world today. The best advice is to stop using them. We need to eliminate pesticides from the daily use as much as possible. Also try to find alternative ways to help grow these plants and keep the vectors out of the crop, such as organic pesticides. This way when you spray the crops, you are really just spraying the land back on the land without spraying harmful chemicals into the earth’s soil.

Pesticides can be very harmful to everybody. It is not chemical to just go around and play with. You need to take the correct precautions and measures to make sure you will not hurt yourself or others close to you.


“Effects of Pesticides”. Global Healing Center Health Products & Information. Global Healing Center, May 1998. Web. 03 Mar. 2012.

Helen. “Most Harmful Pesticides.” HelloLife® The Smart Living Network. HelloLife®. Sept. 2011. Web. 3 Mar 2012.

“Pesticides and Water Quality.” Pesticides and Water Quality: How are Pesticides Affecting Water Quality. Statewide IPM Program. 8 Nov. 2007. Web. Mar. 2012.

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