A Pesticide Pollution Report Environmental Sciences Essay

4061 words (16 pages) Essay

1st Jan 1970 Environmental Sciences Reference this


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From the term pesticides are a molecules chemical substance or a mixture of molecules chemical substances or other agents that control or destroy any organisms that are considered as a pest.

Pesticides are used to increase the protection of food and fibre and to promote public health. There are many types and producer of pesticide, but the pesticide that kills insects is called insecticide and one that kill plants like weeds called an herbicide may other life forms pesticide called fumigants and the ones that kill fungi grow on plants and some ties animals called fungicides.

Pest infestations have been problem to humans for as many thousands of years as human have practiced agriculture. For long period pests, flies, rats, lice and many other insects threatened human health. For thousands of years people looked for means to rid their crops of the insects eating them, the weeds chocking them or the fungi are making them uneatable. Therefore people began to use sulphur, a chemical product still in use by organic gardeners, as a pesticide thousands of years ago.

Extracts of chrysanthemum flowers containing pyrethrum have been used for nearly as long, and tobacco extract containing nicotine have been used for hundreds of years. Starting in the 1800s, chemical pesticides containing arsenic, mercury, lead, and copper came in to widespread use. An elderly man wrote a letter to a periodical in 1989 describing his grandmothers 1920s gardening chemical; in addition to her occasional use of the highly toxic gas hydrogen cyanide as a fumigant she use Paris green ( copper arsenate), lead arsenate and nicotine sulphate to control garden pest.

In the first half of this century has given the widespread use of metal pesticide.

The first household hazardous waste roundup that Massachusetts carried out in the 1980s, recovered tree tons of arsenic in chemical that had been sitting in sheds and barns for many years. In large amounts, sulphate and cooper only partially controlled pests. Therefore it is not surprising when the very effective synthetic insecticide dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) was introduced in 1942 it was quickly embraced. DDT was mortal to many insects. It killed the mosquitoes and flies that spread disease, the insect infesting crops, and other insect such as body lice.

It was considered a tremendous contribution to public health, and the discoverer of its insecticidal activity received a Noble Prize in medicine in 1948. Many other synthetic chemical pesticides were quickly developed and saw widespread use. In 1940s, the ability of insects to mutate and become resistant to pesticide was observed; however, most pesticides remained widly effective and the phenomenon of resistance cause little concern.

DDT and similar organochlorine pesticides showed relatively low acute toxicity to human and were not absorbed through the skin. Possible chronic toxicity was little considered.

The result was wide and often indiscriminate use of pesticide. It was not until the early 1960s that Rachel Carson’s famous book Silent spring forced Americans to see the darker face of DDT and other pesticides.

Since the dark face of pesticides discovered it become to be as death sentence of the world and started to be regulated to minim of use and more carful of the way to be use by label it and advertising of the instructed of use by many of the world governments up to our days.

Pesticide use in EU and UK

The European commission (EC) together with a proposal for a framework directive adopted in 2006 the thematic strategy on the sustainable use of pesticides, and they aim to fill all the gaps for the current legislative regarding the level of use for pesticides in EU by setting up some of minimums rules for the use of pesticide in the community to reduce the risks of the pesticides affect on the human health and the environmental.

Therefore the EC directive laws which are:

Set residue limits for certain pesticides.

Prohibit the placing on the market of certain plant protective products.

In UK most people’s use pesticides for different purposes, but UK still have control over what comes on to the market , the MRLs and them monitoring. Common sense suggests that the best way to prevent problems is to stop them at source. That means preventing the wrong kind of products getting to market and being used. Clearly, this admirable public health principle has gone a little awry over pesticides. But the European commission is aware of this and Brussels is increasingly the location of some fairly bitter arguments about pesticides product.

Pesticide and their application

There are many applications for pesticide usages, Pesticides in Agriculture. The use of pesticides enhance the crops to grow at time and in places where could not otherwise be grown. Fruits and vegetables are on market year round not only because they can’t be transported long distance from warmer climates, but because pesticides makes it Let’s see how pesticide use in Agriculture as the use of makes it possible to grow them over longer growing season and in a greater number of locations. For example without fungicides, certain crops could not grow in locals or in seasons when fungi grow prolifically. The health advantages of fresh fruit and vegetable availability year round and their lowered cost make up for any human health risk posed by pesticides. Another public health benefit is reducing growth of fungi on treated crops, fungi which can produce very toxic chemicals. Pesticides make monoculture possible, which is a large tract of land, can be devoted to only one crop, for example, wheat, cotton, soybeans, or corn, season after season at one location. Without chemicals, the pests that attack a monoculture crop would build up until the crop could no longer be grown at that location. Pesticides also make it possible to store food product for long periods. After harvest, grain is fumigated to kill the insects and diseases causing organism infesting it. These organisms could otherwise multiply during the storage, destroying part or all of the grain. For similar reasons crops are fumigated before being transported long distance to market. Pesticides are also used to control the vector that spread disease, such as mosquitoes, flies, ticks, and rats.

Disinfectants germicides are uses to kill microorganisms’ that live outside the body. Regulated as pesticides by EPA, disinfectants have been used since 1867, when Lister began using phenol to disinfect operating rooms.

Chemical related to phenol are still widely in use for disinfectants. The active infect ants use in home and industries are chlorine containing compounds such as sodium hypochlorite, household bleach. For the antibiotics that benne used to kill microorganisms in human and animals are regulated by the US FDA, not EPA 20

Mode of action

It is very important to understand how pesticides mechanism to deal and study the harmful side effects of them and very necessary to pests targeted system function. It is also helpful to understand how animal and humans systems roles or functions to see the similarities and differences between humans and pests to have better control. Another reason it is important to understand the mode of actions of the pesticides we use is to avert the development of pesticide ability and the aim that pests try to achieve. The pesticides with the same mode of achievement action provide to this problem by killing the easily affected pests and leaving only those with conflict to the entire category of pesticides that work through identical mechanisms. Growth of pest conflict can be avoid or deferred by turning pest chemical rule that effort throughout dissimilar mode of achievement Insecticides and miticides in general target the nervous system, expansion and improvement, or energy production of the pest. Pesticides can also cause danger to workforce for the period of production, transportation, or at some stage in and after use. Bystander may also be affected at time, for example walker using public and civil rights of way on nearby land or families whose homes are close by harvest spraying actions. One of the most important hazards of pesticide use is to farm workers and gardeners. A recent advanced study by the Harvard School of Public Health discovered a 70% raise in the risk of developing Parkinson’s infection for people expose to constant small level of pesticides.

Organchlorine pesticide DDT acts on nerve membranes to prevent normal conduction of nervous impulse. Organophosphate insecticides inhabit the action of the enzymes that breaks down the neurotransmitter acetylcholine; as acetylcholine leaves build up, the results are uncontrolled firing of nerves. Campmate insecticides exert toxicity in a similar manner, but the toxic effect are shorter lived. There are many other ways that insecticides can kill target pests: for example the botanical insecticides (pesticides derived from plant) rotenone is a stomach and contact poison.

Herbicides fall in too many chemical groups. Some interfere with the normal function of plant cell membranes, other act on plant metabolism to cause abnormal growth, and still others inhabit the action of enzymes necessary to plant life.

Some pesticides are selective. They act against a limited group of organisms because they affect some aspect of metabolism specific to a limited number of plant animal, or microbes. Any chemical can be toxic in high enough doses. However, an herbicide that interacts with an enzyme found only in planets is less likely to harm birds, other animals, and humans. Other pesticides are broad-spectrum, affecting a wider range of organisms and more likely to pose a danger to no target species. Fumigants are an example; the fumigants hydrogen cyanide and methyl bromide affect biochemical respiration in many species. A fumigant is often deliberately used to kill a variety of pests, those infesting the grain stored in an elevator or a greenhouse, for example. Fumigants are also used to sterilize soil or seeds. They are often gases that can penetrate an enclosed space to do the job required of them.

The causes of pesticide pollution

Pesticides are a source of pollution, affect land and water everywhere in particular. The trouble is massive and increasing. According to the USA geological survey in 1990, pesticide pollution has been found in most or every lakes, stream, lakes, municipals, and agricultures lands. Many other nations are affected badly as well in the world. As the rain off water wash the chemical products close by water source and most of the chemical products are pesticides as it have been use to enhance the growing in the farming fields and from horticultural land and house gardens, but the main source of exposure to pesticides for mainly people is all the way through diet

In these days most new pesticide are with awareness regulated by government commandment in major countries in the world. As we could see that in Europe and UK, and the EPA in USA conducts studies and licence for pesticides to be used. However all this regulated laws to minimise the use of pesticides can not control what happen because when the grower open a particular product and spray it over his farm without reading the label on the product and follow the guidelines. Therefore accident will happens and can not be controlled.

For the so toxic pesticides as most of the pesticides are toxic they are restricted to a licences and trained application, especially in USA it is infringement to apply any pesticides in any way that is not in agreement with label for that pesticides and it is a offence could end up the farmer in the jail and judge him that he been used the product intentionally. The toxic pesticides are off the record according to their toxicity in the majority countries in the world. Most sensitive pesticide poisonings result from disregarding the label route. So the most important advice for the ones that must use toxic pesticides is to read the label carefully and follow the instruction to the letter, and for anyone who is concerned about the toxic effect of toxic in the pesticides that been used in agriculture is to try and eat the organic foods and vegetable as they grow without toxic pesticides. And there are many strategies available to organic gardens and farms to be avoid attacks by pest.

The effects of toxic pesticides on our foods and vegetables and any other effects on lands and our health for us and our children which is for sure become more and more crucial

Behaviour and fate of pesticides in the environmental

All types of pesticide made to be released in to the environment, and when we release a pesticide in to the environment many things happen to the pesticides. For example herbicides and insecticides are applied over large area of agriculture fields and forest, and farmers nay apply them a dozen times or more during the growing season, less than a half of the pesticides actually reach the insect, weed or other pests. Most become a pollutant. Sometimes a foggy or rainy weather prevents pesticides from being airborne away from the point of application, posing a problem to those exposed to the trapped pesticides. Most pesticides are applying to the crops by spraying then they drift by air from the point of application such as lands. The largest amount of the sprayed pesticides settle on to land and water close to the point of application, but the smaller amount swept higher in to the atmosphere with the winds, can be carried thousands of miles . Certain polychlorinated pesticides detected in wilderness lakes. In the United state and Canada are not used certain polychlorinated pesticides but still they have in the country lakes and they assume that have been blown from some other countries such as Mexico or Latin American. Once soil and water become contaminated with these present pesticides, they may remain so for many years, especially in the northern locations, where cold weather and lake of intense sunlight prevent them from degrading. However agriculture lands are major nonpoint sources of pesticides, fertilizers, eroded soil, and manure. Runoff from lands to which pesticides have been applied is responsible for most surface water contamination with pesticides. Occasionally what happen is advantageous. Such as, the escape of some herbicides into the agriculture roots ground region can give you improved weed control, but most the time releasing pesticides into the environment are risky and harmful, as not the whole applied chemical reach the target place, overflows can shift an herbicide away from objective weeds. The chemical is wasted, weed control is reduced, and there is more chance of damage other plants and polluting soil and water. Or some of the pesticide may drift downwind and outside of the future application site. Many procedure affect what happen to pesticides in the environment. These processes include breakdown, transfer, adsorption, and degradation. Transfer includes process that moves the pesticide away from the target place. These include leaching, volatilization, runoff, spray drift, chemical breakdown, absorption and removal of crops. In the below diagram we could see all the procedures when the pesticides release in to the environment.

The fate of pesticide in soil

Soil qualities affected by pesticides, because they reduce the biodiversity in the soil and kill the entire future pest with many other small organisms that do live in soil. Due to the pesticides action in soil the life will be killed off and the soil quality become poor. This has a knock on effect upon the retention of water, for the farmer particularly in the time of drought this become a serious problem and issues. In such time organic farmer found out to have yielded approximately 25-40% higher than conventional farm. Soil fertility could be affected in other ways too. When most active organisms killed off in soil, the complex interactions which result in good fertility crack down. As well known that our plants depend on millions of bacteria and fungi’s to pass nutrients to their rootlets, and when these circulations are disrupts plants turn out to be more dependent upon correct dose of chemical fertilisers at usual interval. The fantastically rich interactions in healthy soil can not be fully replicated. Therefore our nutrition and the soil are comprised, and will get large shape of vegetables and fruits, but very watery, which often lake taste and for sure they will contain pesticides residues.another most important factors influencing the action and biodegradability of pesticides in the soil is their attraction for adsorption by soil organic substance. Soil organic substance made of decomposed plant litter dead animals remains and roots and excreta, and they variable in both chemical and physical composition. It is also possesses a selection of a chemical functional groups like carboxyl, hydroxyl, pheonolic and amines which could interact with pesticides.

Many pesticides molecules are non ionic and non polar and in general hydrophobic, organic substance provide significant site for their adsorption. Adsorption is the process a chemical movements from a liquid state to the solid state. Adsorptions of a pesticide onto organic matter make affect its behavior and destiny in the soil in a number of ways. It may make the pesticide physiologically motionless and more vulnerable to degradation by microbial achievement, and therefore less moveable in the soil and less level to defeat process such as leaching. In other situation, adsorption may improve mobility of the pesticide. In the soil clarification, dissolve organic substance or colloidal particulate substance can form complexes with most hydrophobic compounds, including pesticides, greatly increasing their mobility through the soil profile and therefore their vulnerability to leaching defeat. As on the soil surface, pesticides linked with organic substance are susceptible to soil erosion and the movement to water course as balanced load. This sediment may then be deposited and build up in streams and lakes where it may prove unsettling to the aquatic ecosystem and linked food chains. Soil erosion is in charge for the disappearance of many disqualified pesticides example aldrin and dieldrin in surface watercourse in the UK. The clay content of soils may also significantly control the fate of agricultural pesticides. Clay particles size less than two micrometer in particular alumina silicates minerals have two significant properties which explain their primary consequence in soil chemistry. They may have very large specific surface areas and hold a permanent negative electrical charge. This means they are of considerable importance in the adsorption of ionic and ionizable pesticides. Many of the triazine herbicides, for example, are weak bases in acid media and one of the amino groups may become protonated, therefore enhancing its adsorption by clays at low soil pH.

Pesticides in surface and ground waters

The potential of water to spread massive epidemics is a matter of public record. In the beginning of the 20th century typhoid fever and other enteric disease were major causes of death. Since about 1920, however, these enteric diseases have been contributed little to sickness and death in many developing countries. This remarkable record is a credit to water resource engineering. Water borne disease out breaks still occur from time to time but are usually the result of accidents commonly involving small or private supplies. Concern over water borne viral diseases is a result of increased water reuse by man intensifying the need to know more about enteric viruses.

Specific needs of knowledge exist about trace amounts of some potentially toxic chemical or excessive amounts of some common minerals in drinking water. Many of the possible contaminants are organic compounds. These come from chemicals used as automotive fuel additives, insecticides, detergents, lubricants, and from many other types of industrial production. Toxicological effects of water borne organics have been observed principally in connection with the chlorinated hydrocarbons and organic phosphorus compounds use has pesticides these substances may enter the water from runoff, irrigation return flow, air drifting, and by direct application for the control of algae.

Surface and ground water tend to persist pesticides for long period. Therefore the hazard from pesticides in water results both from direct effects, and from indirect effect because they may be concentrated biologically in mans food chain. Generally fish are more sensitive to pesticides and many serve as rough method for determining when chlorinated hydrocarbon pesticides contend of water is approaching a danger level. This needs to be established as a fact and care must be exercised to select fish of the proper sensitivity.

The identification and qualification of pesticides compounds in water which have possible effects on human health pose a critical problem. Therefore under the Groundwater Regulations, you must have authorisation from the Environment Agency to dispose of pesticide washings on your land.

Practical solutions for pesticide pollution

Pesticides pollution is everywhere, in everything better living through pesticides has turned out to have a serious pollution downside.

Pesticides pollution has become a big problem in many countries around the world. Although there are very strong laws been setup as pesticides pollution solution to prevent further pesticides pollution from taking place, but there is a lot of works is still to be done. The records from the environmental protection agency those around 41% of rivers, lakes, streams are not safe to fish to swim in due to the pesticides pollution in water and many other water pollution sources. Many laws in place that offer pesticides pollution but they are not always effectively in forces, and very simple way to have pesticides pollutions would be to enforce the rules that have been already set up.

Additional pesticides solutions involve reducing the amount of manure and encouraging smarter agricultural practises by using a biodynamic. Also we could be more advertising to reduce the households pesticides and fertilizers to the minimums need of usage or could be stopping their use altogether.

Individuals can do a lot to help prevent pesticides pollution at becomes a death sentence in the world and to aid in the pesticides pollution solution. Also we have to start buy and use organic food and green house hold cleaners and personal care items to prevent the run off of the chemical product into the ground water.

Man-made pesticides are likely to remain an essential part of current agricultural put into practice for the probable future. However, there are many options for the minimization and abolition of their negative environmental impact. These options might best be thought of as forming a continuum. At one end of the continuum lie relatively high input, intensive farming systems with some technological or managerial modification to make the use of pesticides a little more benign. At the other end of the continuum, are more radical options such as the use of political mechanisms and the encouragement of alternative farming systems to significantly reduce or avoid the use of synthetic pesticide inputs. The options examined here range from the encouragement of good practice when using pesticides to various forms of non chemical pest and weed control.

Pesticides pollution solution is very affordable to put into effect by stop using most the pesticides around our houses and yards, and destroying all the chemical product that have not been proven safe.

Only use pharmaceuticals when absolutely necessary. Learn about natural cures and how important good nutrition, sleep, and low stress levels are to keeping you healthy and pharma free.

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