Pesticide pros and cons

Contents

Pros and Cons of Pesticide Use in Farming

As we began to better understand the true effects of things people had used for years but never knew actually harmed them and the environment around us, certain products came under heavy scrutiny. Mostly, these things such as lead paint and asbestos were banned completely and for good reason. However, the farming community has battled with something less conclusive when it comes to the use of pesticides on crops.

Of course, some pesticides that were used for years were empirically damaging to our health or the health of our planet and are no longer used. But the use of pesticides in farming is still utilized to this day and the debate rages on about whether we should be using them at all or completely abandoning the practice altogether.

Like most all nuanced debates, there are fair points on either side of the topic and the true answer probably lies somewhere in the middle. Either way, it’s important to address the potential health hazards of using pesticides as well as ensuring we maintain the highest crop yields possible to guarantee there’s enough food to feed this country and the world at large.

So for today’s post, Wagner Ag will take a look at the debate for pesticide use in farming and give you some of the common pros and cons associated with using them and the farm equipment that dispenses chemicals onto crops that eventually end up on our dinner tables.

A Look at Pesticides

In order to form a true list of pros and cons, we must first understand what is meant by “pesticide” and what exactly they are and what they do. Essentially, a pesticide is a chemical created for preventing, destroying, repelling or mitigating any pest. A pest just means a living organism that goes where they are unwanted and generally causes damage to crops, humans or other animals. These include insects, most notably, in the farming community, but could be mice, weeds, fungi and microorganisms.

Individual use of pesticides is pretty common like bug spray, rodent poisons or bath disinfectants, but we are of course discussing commercial pesticides that are applied to large crops on farms across the country and beyond.

Pros

Pesticides continue to play an important role in keeping crops healthy and free of pest infestations, which if left untreated, can destroy large amounts of produce, if not entire crops altogether. We need our farmers to produce things we eat and use, so they need a defense against pests. Let’s take a look and the most common pros for pesticide use in farming.

Bigger Food Supply

Spraying pesticides on crops or soil is an effective way of preventing or eliminating pests that either feed on the crops or create conditions in which the crops die or fail to yield in the amounts necessary to both turn a profit and fuel the country’s food requirements. Since the use of pesticides became mainstream, harvests have increased. One study found that crops which did not utilize pesticides saw crop yields dip by as much as 10 percent. Farms using pesticides prevent crop destruction so those farms have generated higher yields to the market and for consumers to put on the table. This includes insects and weeds. Pesticides are applied to the crops with chemical applicators, making it easy to protect your crops in a timely fashion.

Easily Available

Supporters of pesticide use say that chemicals are available easier than ever because you can purchase them in a local store or supermarket (for household pesticides primarily). Further restrictions on pesticides, they say, will only make them harder to find for farmers when they need them. As an additional side effect, manufacturers compete for sales and keep prices affordable.

Safe

While there is no denying that certain pesticides contain harmful chemicals to human health, advocates argue that for the most part pesticides contain nothing that is harmful to us and in general they are safe. There are environmentally-friendly pesticides on the market like herbicides, which contain less to no harmful chemicals at all. They work just like toxic pesticides, but use organic ingredients to make them safe.

Pest Eradication

Arguably the biggest pro for pesticide use is that it undeniably works. They kill or keep away unwanted pests that destroy crops, plants and trees. Scientists study natural bacteria in nature that kill pests like loopers and budworms and then extract those properties to make pesticides. They are proven to kill and prevent weeds, which destroy the environment crops need to thrive, not to mention the environmental damage weeds cause as well. Then there is the matter of public health. Pesticides prevent mosquitoes, which pass on deadly viruses such as West Nile, yellow fever and malaria.

Lower Costs

As farmers protect and produce more successful crops, it allows the market to remain competitive and full of supply, in turn keeping costs down and food more affordable for consumers to purchase. Pesticide advocates claim that since farmers began using pesticides, the prices on food products have lowered as well. If there is little harvest due to crop loss from weeds and insects, then farmers have no choice but to charge more for what’s left. With the demand for food increasing every year as our planet’s population grows, it’s bad for us all to have both fewer crop yields and more expensive products.

Cons

Certainly, there are many strong pros to keep pesticide use in farming alive and well, however, a debate wouldn’t exist if there weren’t also legitimate reasons to question whether or not pesticide use is really the best for humans overall if it makes us and the planet sick. Let’s review some of the more common reasons against pesticides.

Affects Health

Because pesticides use chemicals that affect the health of other living organisms, they can also have adverse effects on human health as well. Sometimes we don’t truly know these negative health effects until many years later or if they are caused by prolonged exposure or from a single instance. Simple eye and skin irritation have been documented and more severe complications such as affecting the nervous system, imitating hormones and causing irregular reproductive issues and cancer. According to the World Health Organization, roughly three million workers in agriculture in the developing world experience severe poisoning from pesticides, and of those, 18,000 die.

Affects Environment

Similar to the pests they’re intended for, and the humans who are negatively affected as a side effect, the environment is susceptible to damage from pesticide use. More than 98 percent of sprayed pesticides and 95 percent of herbicides end up somewhere else than their intended target area. Basically, non-targeted species, water, air and soil are affected by pesticides. This is known as a pesticide drift when the air carries the pesticides to other areas and contaminating them. Pesticides have been pointed to as a serious contributor to water pollution.

Accidental Ingestion

Clearly, if pesticides are ending up on things that they aren’t intended for, and they aren’t designed for human consumption, then inevitably they are consumed unintentionally. This causes a number of potential hazards for us. Some farmers are not careful enough with their pesticides and end up accidentally ingesting them, which can lead to any number of health issues, opponents say.

Decline in Pollinators

Helpful creatures like butterflies and bees can be negatively impacted by the use of pesticides as well. While it may be accidental, it doesn’t change the fact that both bees and butterflies are important to the environment because they carry pollen from place to place, ensuring healthy plants, fruits and vegetables all over the globe. In agricultural production, roughly 5-8 percent relies on animal pollination. Unfortunately, butterflies are nearly extinct in some parts of the world, the population of bees worldwide has greatly decreased. This is directly correlated to pesticides, but surely, opponents argue it’s an additional hazard at minimum.

Bioaccumulation

The term bioaccumulation simply means the chemicals used in pesticides enter the body and stays there because the body doesn’t have the proper mechanisms to remove those substances. Experts against pesticide use argue bioaccumulation occurs in the body of plants because of numerous synthetic substances that can’t be broken down by the plant’s system, meaning it stays there permanently. Pesticides are then transferred to bees or other predatory animals to the plant, which works its way up the food chain until the entire line is polluted. This creates a systemic problem of contamination, which certainly will affect humans consuming food from nature.

Resistance Buildup

Some opponents of pesticides simply argue that the use of them just isn’t effective or smart in the long run, at least in the amount we use them, because over time nature will combat them by building up immunities or other defense mechanisms — called genetic resistance. Eventually, in this scenario, pesticides don’t work at all, so all the other cons were for nothing but our own detriment.

Food Poisoning

Tying bioaccumulation and accidental ingestion into one extremely serious threat is overall food poisoning. As noroviruses spread from crop to crop, crop to insect and either to other animals, it eventually reaches the level of widespread contamination and human consumption. Water pollution then adds more to the growing problem to a point where the world’s food supply is mostly inedible. While this could take several decades or hundreds of years, and perhaps sounds like a doomsday theory, scientific experts in the field argue it could happen easier than we may think.

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11 Pros and Cons of Pesticides

The use of pesticides has been ongoing for years, the same length of time that opposing groups have debated about whether this practice should continue or should alternatives be used. Pesticides are chemicals used by farmers to combat agricultural pests in most parts of the world. Despite the advantages of using pesticides, there have also been fears of these chemicals causing death in humans. Here are some of the positive and negative effects of pesticides according to supporters and critics.

List of Pros of Pesticides

1. Enough Food Supply
People in favor of using pesticides on plants and agricultural products say that since farmers have been using these chemicals to destroy pests and other organisms which eat these crops, harvests increased and more produce has become available for agriculturists to market and consumers to put on their tables.

2. Easily Available
Supporters of the use of pesticides claim that nowadays, these chemicals can be bought in local stores and supermarkets. Consumers, both farmers and gardeners will not have a hard time finding for them anytime the need arises. And with more manufacturers competing for sales, these pesticides have also become more affordable.

3. Safe
Advocates for the use of pesticides agree at some point that there might be chemicals in pesticides that can affect health but they argue that in general, these pesticides are safe. There are different pesticides in the market and some manufacturers have also come up with environment-friendly products like herbicides which contain less or no harmful chemicals at all. These products are just like the products with no toxic substances or with organic ingredients, thus, they are safe.

4. Pests Eradication
Perhaps the major benefit of using pesticides is its ability to kill unwanted pests and species that destroy crops and plants. They are also used to destroy species that are harmful to trees in the forests. Loopers and budworms are just two of these forest enemies that kill thousands of trees because they affect foliation. Experts have studied natural bacteria in the environment that help kill insects, larvae and budworms. One of the bacteria is Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki or what is called “Btk”. Scientists were able to extract the properties of Btk and were able to produce pesticides.

5. Lower Food Costs
Supporters of the use of pesticides claim that ever since farmers have been using pesticides, the prices of produce and other food products have lowered. The costs of goods and commodities in the market are a combination of the expenses from production, raw materials and the like. This is the same with agricultural products. If there is little harvest, farmers will have to raise their prices to at least get back their losses or break even. With pesticides, losses have been reduced which makes it easier for farmers to offer their products for lower costs.

List of Cons of Pesticides

1. Accidental Ingestion
Opponents of the continuance of using pesticides argue that when toxic chemicals, like the ones in pesticides, are ingested by humans, it can be hazardous to their health. The use of these harmful chemicals is common, especially in third world countries. Some farmers might be too careless to protect themselves in handling these chemicals like not wearing gloves or covering their faces. When they eat with bare hands, it is possible for them to ingest the residue of these chemical and they can also inhale these pesticides which can lead to respiratory problems.

2. Decline of the Number of Pollinators
Critics also point out that when pesticides are used, pollinators like bees and butterflies are affected and decline in abundance and occurrence become evident. When this happens, the supply of fruits, vegetables and seeds will become unstable. Agricultural production, around 5-8%, relies on animal pollination and sadly, in some parts of the world, some butterfly species are coming to extinction.

3. Environmental Threat
Analysis on systemic pesticides which contain chemicals such as fipronil and neonicotinoids resulted to a conclusion that they are a threat to the environment. These types of pesticides are ingested by the plants through their vascular systems and then transported to other plant tissues, including the leaves, roots, flowers and nectar. This has also brought experts to the conclusion that these pesticides or the harmful properties they have are present in the environment, in land, air and water.

4. Bioaccumulation
Experts against the use of pesticides mention that this can lead to bioaccumulation, that is, a substance will stay in the body because of the lack of proper mechanisms to remove it. Since there are numerous synthetic pesticides that cannot be broken down, they will be stored permanently organisms like plants. When a predator like bees or animals feed on the plants or organisms, the pesticides are transferred. The level goes up when a larger animal consumes the smaller animal and the cycle goes on.

5. Resistance Buildup
Critics also argue that pesticides are not totally effective since as the time goes by and same chemicals are scattered in the environment, there will be residues and over time, the pests will be resistant to these pesticides while humans, plants and natural organisms will not. This is known as genetic resistance. Consequently, farmers will be using stronger chemicals which are much more harmful than the previous brands.

6. Food Poisoning
Noroviruses that can spread from person-to-person by ingestion of aerosolized vomit can be associated with norovirus food poisoning that had led to deaths. According to analysis done by experts, the use of pesticides is the reason behind these viruses to end in fruits and vegetables which are then eaten by humans. This is because the water used with pesticides might be contaminated with these pathogens.

The use of pesticides will remain to be a controversial issue because of its advantages and disadvantages. Despite the benefits they bring, the fact still remains that they contain hazardous chemicals. Good thing there is the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ensuring that information reaches the public so health and lives can be protected.

Mar 23, 2016-Flow Psychology Editor

Pros and cons of pesticides: can farms get along without them?

Chicago

Are the chemical pesticides used by American farmers, at an annual cost of $4 billion, unsafe at any level — or vital to feeding a hungry world? Given added visibility following California’s battle over pesticide spraying to eradicate the Mediterranean fruit fly, some environmental groups are renewing demands for sharply reducing or even ending pesticide use. They hope public protests in California will lead Congress to tighten pesticide restrictions. House hearings begin July 16 on federal pesticide policies.

Yet if the United States stopped the use of pesticides, crop production could drop 10 percent, according to Us Department of Agriculture estimates, or 30 percent, according to the National Agricultural Chemicals Association (NACA). Even a 10 percent cut in crop yields would be intolerable, say NACA spokesmen, at a time when the world is growing increasingly dependent on US food exports.

For NACA’s 115 member companies, the answer to feeding the world better is raising pesticide use to US levels on the 87 percent of the world’s potential cropland, which lies outside the United States. That switch would turn the current $6 billion overseas market for crop protection chemicals into one worth more than $26 billion a year. Such an investment would pay high dividends, the chemical industry argues, for developing countries in need of higher yields to feed swelling populations.

A variety of environmental groups reject the rosy picture painted by pesticide manufacturers. Meanwhile, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) draws fire from both sides by pursuing a middle course and concentrating research efforts on “integrated pest management” programs, or IPM. These combines minimal use of chemical pesticides with natural controls such as introducing predators or developing pest-resistant plants.

USDA approach has support from the congressional Office of Technology Assessment, which reported in 1979 that IPM could reduce pesticide use up to 75 percent for some crops, reduce preharvest pest-caused losses by 50 percent, and reduce overall pest control costs significantly.

“The Pesticide Conspiracy,” by the late Robert van den Bosch, an entomology professor at the university of California at Berkeley, goes further. It concludes that industry pressures have put America on an “insecticide treadmill.” The book credits chemical overkill with creating new strains of pesticide-resistant weeds, insects, and parasites that demand ever-increasing use of chemical controls.

Sharp disagreements over pesticide effectiveness are not new. But new attention is being paid to experts on both sides of the pesticide fence due to California’s battle over spraying the pesticide, malathion, to control a Mediterranean fruit fly or Medfly infestation.

Williams Hollis, NACA science coordinator, points our that state and federal officials spent $23 million over the past year using the latest IPM techniques to combat the Medfly problem “and obviously it hasn’t worked.” He says this infestation poses a tremendous threat, because instead of simply reducing yields , it could wipe out entire crops.

Dr. Hollis stresses that in its support for pesticides, NACA rejects “any relaxation in regulations for safety and environmental protection.” Such government protection for both producers and consumers, he says, “is something we feel is absolutely essential.”

The pesticide industry and the government share of same priorities, says hollis: “providing safe, wholesome food at a reasonable cost. “He says that industry and government cooperate fully in rigorously testing all chemicals used in food production.

Hollis hopes that as a result of Californians’ “unfounded fears” about pesticide spraying to control the Medley, “people are going to learn more about the extensive scientific research that’s gone into each product.”

Robin Wagner, a pesticides research worker for the National Association of Farmworker Organizations, shares the concerns of many Californians over potential human health risks posed by malathion spraying. But, as with most experts in this field, she balances the overall costs against overall benefits for society. She concludes that it is better to control the Medfly with relatively small does of malathion now rather than risk having to use larger amounts of more toxic chemicals later.

Congressmen, the US Environmental Protection Agency, and the USDA take a similar view: that any pesticide is a potential hazard but that the greatest need now is to control the Medfly before its spread endangers not only California produce but crops in other states, too. Any spread, officials warn, would threaten farmers, drive up consumer prices, and reduce important export sales.

Jay Feldman, the Consumer Coalition for Heatlh’s pesticide expert, joins NACA officials in hoping that the California Medfly problem will increase awareness of an important issue. He believes that the public will “realize that there is wide disparity in the scientific community about pesticide use and realize that the burden is on the public to prove there is a health problem rather than on the chemical companies.”

The government, says Mr. Feldman, should increase support for “alternate control strategies based on nonchemical or reduced- chemical approaches.”

Feldman accepts that it is too late for California to avoid pesticide spraying to control the Medfly. The problem, he says, is that “without a long-run strategy, we put ourselves in a situation where we see explosions, such as with the Medfly or the gypsy moth, which have to be controlled with chemicals.” Such explosions, he insists, can be avoided in the future if the country learns fro m the Medfly experience and sets up a long-term IPM program.

Advantages and disadvantages of pesticides in 5 – 5 points

There are several advantages and disadvantages of pesticide use by farmers. Pesticides are chemicals that kill pests. To most farmers, pesticide use is an unavoidable aspect of farming or gardening. This is because pesticides help in keeping the plants free from pest infestation. Pests are harmful insects whose effects on the crop can be devastating if they are not controlled.
Pesticides help farmers in preventing crop damage by these harmful insects. Although pesticides are important to farmers, using them can pose a risk to the farmer, his family and animals. However, when used properly pesticides may not have significant side effect on humans and animals. Nevertheless, it is important to consider the advantages and disadvantages of pesticide use before a farmer start using them.
One of the major advantages of pesticide use is that they kill pests faster than other pest control methods. This is because pesticides are specifically formulated chemicals that target certain pests. Once administered in a crop that has been invaded by the pest, pesticides start working immediately by affecting the normal biological functions of the organs of the insect.
Pesticides are also easy to use. With most pesticides, a farmer is just required to mix the pesticide with a specified amount of water and then spray the crop. There are powder pesticides that a farmer applies to the crop that is infested with pests directly. Thus, it takes a few minutes or hours to apply the pesticide and control the pest.
There is also a wide range of pesticides from which a farmer or gardener can choose from. This implies that a farmer can easily find the pesticide that they need to control a particular pest in their farm. Additionally, if a pest has developed resistance to a specific pesticide, a farmer can use another.
Nevertheless, there are also disadvantages of pesticide use as well. For instance, when a pesticide is overused in controlling a particular pest it can develop resistance. If the traits for the resistance are genetic-based, then the pesticide will no longer be effective in controlling that pest.
Some pesticides also kill beneficial insects. Insects such as bees which are agents of pollination can be killed by some pesticides. In addition, some pesticides have residual effects that can be passed on to humans who consume the crops on which they are applied. When used in the field, pesticides are carried by rain water and deposited in water bodies such as rivers and lakes where they interfere with aquatic life.

What Are the Disadvantages of Pesticides?

Pesticides led to numerous advances in many spheres of human life. However, it is necessary to know what the disadvantages of pesticides are. Pesticides embrace insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides. Pesticides suppress particular species of pests. These pests may comprise insects, rodents, plants, molds, and fungi. In farming, pesticides are applied on fruit and vegetables to raise yields. Pesticides are used in gardens and homes to destroy insects and weeds. At homes pesticides are used against flies, cockroaches, termites, and wood boring insects. Notwithstanding the beneficial effects of pesticides, they underwent serious reevaluation. Pesticides are toxic and can cause serious health problems. Professionals advocate for reasonable awareness to the dangers of pesticides.

What are the disadvantages of pesticides for environment?

Pesticides are detrimental for the environment and produce considerable damage to ecosystems. Insecticides and herbicides may be harmful for non-target species. Pesticides pollute air, water and soil. Carried by the wind, pesticide suspensions contaminate other areas. Pesticides affect considerably natural biological equilibrium. Pesticides diminish biodiversity, reduce nitrogen fixation, contribute to the disappearance of pollinators, threaten fish, and destroy bird and animal habitats. Pets may also become affected by strong pesticides.

What is pesticide resistance?

The use of some pesticides may contribute to the development of resistance among the target pests. Extensive herbicide use resulted in genetic modifications in some weeds with resistance to pesticide compounds. The use of the same herbicides in some areas for many years led to the development of immunity to the herbicides among targeted plant species. Resistance makes weed control considerably difficult.

What are the disadvantages of pesticides for health?

Particularities of working conditions expose some people to dangerous concentrations of pesticides. Farmers, pesticide applicators, veterinarians, forestry, horticultural, and park workers may contact with pesticides in their professional environment. Several millions of cases of pesticide poisoning are registered every year. Risks of poisoning depend on toxicity, dose, period of exposure, and sensitivity. Pesticides may cause neurological and psychiatric complications, brain tumors, cancers, spontaneous abortions, stillbirths, and birth defects. Pesticide exposure is damaging to the immune system. The endocrine system is particularly sensitive to pesticides. Many pesticides are endocrine disrupters and can produce detrimental effect upon hormonal balance of human body.

How to circumvent disadvantages of pesticides

To avoid numerous disadvantages of pesticides one can use several approaches:

  • Consume food grown in ecologically favorable conditions.
  • It is good to wash and peel fruit and vegetables.
  • Grow your own food.
  • Do not consume only raw vegetables, but cook them.
  • Meat must be cooked carefully.
  • Avoid fat foods and trim fat from meat because some pesticides can accumulate in fat tissue.
  • Avoid areas sprayed with pesticides.
  • Those who are exposed to pesticides professionally must use proper protective measures.

Positive and negative effects of chemical pesticides

Bad effects of chemical pesticides

The chemical pesticides cause the chemical pollution for the soil, the water & the air, they cause serious health risks such as cancer, the nervous system diseases and the reproductive problems in people who exposed to the pesticides through home and garden exposure.

They can damage the agricultural land by harming the beneficial insect species, the soil microorganisms, and the worms which naturally limit the pest populations and maintain the soil health.

The pesticides are the toxic substances which released into our environment to kill the living things, They kill the weeds, the insects, the fungus, the rodents and others.

Chemical pesticides

The use of chemicals helps to increase the productivity but they affect on the human health and safety, they can cause many types of cancer in the humans such as leukemia, the brain, the bone, the breast, the ovarian, the prostate, the testicular and liver cancers.

The children who live at homes where their parents use the pesticides are twice as likely to develop brain cancer versus those that live in residences in which no pesticides are used, The children can not fight the toxic pesticides into their systems as they have not developed their immune systems, the nervous systems, and detoxifying mechanisms completely.

Short exposures to some pesticides may kill or sicken the wildlife, They are toxic to the living organisms, They cause air pollution when they are suspended in the air as the particles are carried by the wind to other areas, They reduce the concentrations of plant nutrients in the soil such as nitrogen and phosphorous, They weaken the plant root systems and the immune systems.

Many bees and butterflies are lost, they are the pollinators which do cross-pollination naturally, they play an important role in the plant cycles and evolution, and the plants that are fertilized using pesticides grow faster.

They are used in farming to control the pests, While all pesticides can harm the humans, the insecticides and the herbicides cause most human poisoning, The chemical pesticides affect the humans by the ingestion, the inhalation & the dermal absorption.

Benefits of chemical pesticides

The crop protection technologies affect on the cost of food, Where without them, the food production would decline, Many fruits and vegetables would be in short supply and the prices would rise.

They are used to control the termites, the roaches, the ants, the rats & other pests, they allow the consumers to have high-quality crops that are free of insect blemishes and insect contamination.

They are used to protect the gardens, the public parks, playing fields, the lakes and the ponds for public enjoyment, Aflatoxins attack the agricultural crops, and the insect control is necessary to prevent its passage from the insect to the plant, and Aflatoxin is a carcinogen.

Aflatoxin can cause liver cancers to the humans, it causes lower the body’s normal immune response, and it can impair the growth in the children, The crop protection chemicals are used to control the insect damage that leads to aflatoxin contamination.

The harmful effects of toxic chemicals in the environment

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The disadvantages and advantages of pesticides Essay

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A pesticide is a material used to kill or reject a pest. Pesticides have disadvantages and advantages. They are able to restrain pests, but it can also kill other organisms as well. Not only do they affect animals but they can effect us, as humans. A pesticide is a biological, physical, or chemical agent used to kill plants or animals that are harmful to people. The name pesticide is generally applied only to chemical agents. Examples of different pesticides are known as, herbicides nematicides and rodenticides.

There has been concern regarding the effects of chemical pesticides on human and on the environment.

ADVANTAGES

The advantages of pesticides are; to improve crop quality and supply and greatly improved Human health around the world. Pesticides improve crop production and harvest productivity. Pesticides also prevent diseases found in fresh fruits and vegetables as well. Chemical pesticides now go through thorough and expensive test before government registration and release. Pesticides sprayed onto crops can be washed off.

So it is very rare to get poisoned by vegetables you eat. Poisonous and possible health effects have been verified.

New types of pesticides makes the use of herbicides or fertilizers possible and there is no damage to the crops. Now many fruit and vegetable growers use fewer pesticides to protect their crop from pests, so it is better for the farmers health. With the use of pesticides more crops grow on our land. The more crops we grow on our land, the more we can gain from exporting our produce to other countries.

DISADVANTAGES

The disadvantages of using the pesticides are; for instant,pesticdes cause a number of pollution problems through spray drift on to surrounding areas direct contamination of users or the public and as residues on food. “The World Health Organization” (WHO) estimated in 1999 that 20,000 people die annually worldwide from pesticides poisoning incident.However, many consumers are concerned about the effects of pesticide residues in foods, especially for infants, whose systems have weaker resistance levels to poisons than adults.

Another disadvantage is that pesticides can be cause cancer for anyone who are often expose the pesticides. In 1986, the US issued a report that the chemical could also cause birth defects. Humans are often exposed to pesticides usually as a result of exposure, such as accidental inhalation, on the job. Concerns have been made for farm workers in other countries. The protective safeguards are not enough and their health is being threatened by the continued use of pesticides that are known health hazards. That is why people that using or applying the pesticides should be very careful on handling the chemicals. Proper attire is required on handling the pesticides.

CONCLUSION

In Conclusion there are many disadvantages and advantages to pesticide use. The main disadvantages to pesticides is that they are very hazardous to your health if used incorrectly. We know that many people have concerns about the uncertain effects of pesticides. However, we really need pesticides for the growth of our economy. We need fruits and vegetables to live and sometimes weeds, pests and other diseases make it harder for us to get proper nutrition. Now a days, there are hazardous chemicals in everything from shampoo to toothpaste. We cannot avoid the use of chemicals in everyday products. Yet, we can make ourselves aware of the use of pesticides and use them wisely.

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Advantages And Disadvantages of Pesticides

Some of the Advantages and Disadvantages of Pesticides are as follows. So let us check it out some information on advantages and disadvantages to know more about pesticides. Different types of pesticides are available such as herbicides, insecticide, fungicide, nematocide etc., are available in the market.

Advantages of Pesticides

  1. Cost Effectiveness : Pesticides are inexpensive to buy and producing good results without costing a lot of money.
  2. Crop protection : They are used to protect standing crops in the field from pests and other harmful insects.
  3. Control pests : It can also be used to control household pest. They are also used to control pest such as rodents, insects etc., causing damage to various animals, books, stored foods, wooden articles etc.,
  4. Greater yields : It helps in increasing the yield and productivity of crop plants in the field by controlling pests population.
  5. Effective and rapid : Pesticides works better and faster than other alternatives.
  6. Increase food supplies : Pesticides helps to reduce food losses and ensures adequate food supply and increases food production.
  7. Flexibility : The method of using pesticides is easy and flexible to use.
  8. Used to kill weeds : Pesticides are also used to kill unwanted plants or weeds which is grown in the field.
  9. Prevention of Problems and disease : Pesticides can also be used in various public health programmes for controlling the growth of mosquitoes which may cause yellow fever or malaria. It is also used to kill houseflies, cockroaches, lice, poisonous insects to prevent disease caused by it.
  10. Protects Food : Pesticides are also used to protect food grains which is stored in godowns.
  11. Save human lives : Pesticides helps to contribute and enhance human health by controlling the disease spread by rodents and insects.

Disadvantages of Pesticides

  1. Reduction of beneficial species : The chemicals used in pesticides are slightly harmful and kills beneficial species of interest and reduces their population.
  2. Residues in foods : When pesticides are applied to food crops , residues of pesticides may remain on or in food and may be harmful to the body if it is availabel in higher level.
  3. Kill natural pest enemies : Sometimes pesticides may also eleminates natural enemies of pests such as predators and parasites, leads to increase in population of pests.
  4. Resistance : Promotes genetic resistance.
  5. Poisoning hazards : The pesticides used are hazardous and poisonous which may have toxic effect on infants, childrens and adults if they comes in contact with the body.
  6. Ground water Contamination : Pesticeds can easily enter in soil, rivers, and lakes and contaminates the ground water.
  7. Drift of sprays and Vapour : It can drift outside of the area of where was sprayed.
  8. Pollutes the environment : The chemicals used in pesticides may released in air, water and soil easily and pollutes the environment.
  9. Pesticides can harm wildlife and people.
  10. Sometimes pesticides may harm different types of organisms which are not pests.
  11. Some pesticides are persistant.
  12. Pesticides may accumulate and enter in food chain
  13. Health risks to both human as well as animals.

Pros:

1. Availability: They are easily available and you can buy them from any local stores and some in supermarkets. There are a variety of pesticides in the market making them more affordable.

2. Enough food supply: Since pesticides are used to kill pests and other organisms that eat crops, farmers are able to harvest more food crops thus, increasing their productivity.

3. Pest eradication: Pesticides helps kill unwanted pests that destroy crops and plants. You can also use pesticides to kill some species that affect forests and trees.

4. Reduce food cost: Pesticides has led to the reduced cost of production and reduced prices of products. Pesticides reduce losses on food crops and increase harvesting of the farm produce thus, making it easier for farmers to lower the prices of products.

5. Cost-effective: Pesticides are a cheaper way to prevent crops damage control the spread of pests in your garden.

6. Safe: We have different types of pesticides in the market and some of them have environmentally- friendly herbicides which are less harmful. There are no toxic chemicals found in the pesticides making them safe.

7. Save lives: Spraying pesticides save millions of lives from insect-transmitted diseases like Malaria, sleeping sickness, Yellow fever, and typhoid.

8. Conserve the environment: It helps reduce deforestation, curb soil erosion and conserve natural resources by enabling to farmers produce more crops per unit area with less tillage in the area.

9. Secure food storage: After harvesting of crops, pesticides are used to control molds and rodents in stored products. This extends the product life and prevents huge losses.

10. Increase food production: Crop protection has enabled transformed farmers in developing countries to be food producers by growing two to three crops per year.

Cons:

1. Environmental threat: Fipronil and neonicotinoids chemicals contained in the pesticides can result in environmental pollution. The chemicals can affect wildlife and plant tissue like the roots, flowers, and nectar.

2. Accidental ingestion: If humans ingest the chemicals in pesticides, they can be harmful to their health and even cause death. Farmers should be careful when using them and always wear gloves and wash hands after use.

3. Food poisoning: The water used in pesticides can be contaminated with viruses and other pathogens and when ingested, they can lead to food poisoning.

4. Groundwater contamination: Continuous use of some high dosage chemical products in pesticides leads to groundwater contamination.

5. Reduce the number of pollinators: Pesticides affects bees and butterfly pollinators reducing their number. This leads to the unstable supply of fruits, vegetables, and seeds since some of them rely on animal pollination.

6. Reduction of beneficial species: Pesticides affects non-target organisms and other parasites essential for crops growth. It changes the natural system and biological balance in the crops.

7. Genetic resistance: Continuous use of pesticides in a particular area will make the pests adapt to the environment and they will be resistant to the pesticide. This forces farmers to use strong chemicals which are more harmful.

8. Bioaccumulation: Synthetic pesticides cannot be broken down and are permanently stored in plants or organisms resulting in bioaccumulation. When bees and other animals feed on the plants, these pesticides are transferred to them.

9. Acute effects: It can cause dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and headaches to those handling the pesticides.

10. Risk of cancer: Pesticides exposes farmers to the risk of cancer. Exposure to insecticides at home and other herbicides leads to an increased risk of blood cancer among the children.

  • A pesticide is commonly used to kill or control pests found in nature, including insects and animals. Homeowners may often use pesticides to kill insects that have made their way indoors or to control bug populations in outdoor gardens.

    Of course, since pesticides are considered harmful chemicals, they can contribute to a number of health and environmental hazards that should be considered before using pesticides at home:

    Pros of Pesticide Use

    Yes, using chemical pesticides does provide its advantages to safely control insect populations in a home. By keeping a home free from creepy, crawly critters, it can actually help to prevent the spread of disease and bacteria that many insects carry, including cockroaches.

    Although several diseases spread by pests are now considered to be antiquated, the use of pesticide has spared the American population from the spread of serious illness, including typhoid, yellow fever, and malaria.

    In an agricultural setting, pesticides are often necessary for commercial farming to protect valuable crops from being lost to insect damage. In order for farmers to make a profit, outside of an organic setting, pesticide is often used to prevent insects from destroying crops, especially produce.

    Cons of Pesticide Use

    One of the main concerns with at-home pesticide use is the improper handling of chemicals that could put family members in danger, especially young children and pets. For starters, the use of pesticide over time could spread carcinogens throughout a house to potentially cause cancer in a number of organs. Nonetheless, several other factors that can contribute to cancer must be taken into account as well, including family history, diet, and lifestyle.

    In a household that uses over-the-counter pesticides, children risk exposure and could be affected by pesticide poisoning if chemicals are swallowed at any time. If a child were to ingest pesticides, it could lead to serious internal damage and even death if they don’t receive immediate medical attention.

    When pesticides are used at home over the long term without any regulation, a family is at risk for a number of health issues that could include respiratory disorders, birth defects, skin irritation, infertility, developmental delays, and much more.

    While it’s difficult to eliminate the use of pesticides altogether, especially for household extermination, it’s more important than ever before to consult professionals for pesticide use in the home. A Birmingham pest control company with years of experience will know how to properly handle hazardous chemicals to get rid of an insect infestation without endangering small children.

    The Pros & Cons of Pesticides and Fertilizers

    Pesticides and fertilizers are an important way to increase the amount of food we produce, which has a direct effect on lowering prices in stores. But many pesticides and fertilizers are poisonous, not only to humans, but other species of animals and plants. So there has to be a balance between the benefit of using them and the risk to the surrounding areas.

    What are pesticides?

    A pesticide is a substance used to kill unwanted plants, fungi, insects or animals. Pesticides are used in many different environments, from gardens, houses, shops, farms etc. and there are thousands of different products available.

    Typically, the majority of pesticides used these days have been artificially created by researchers and mass produced. The very nature of their use means that some of them can be extremely hazardous, and can pollute the air, the land, other crops, waterways. They can even kill wild animals, domestic pets and humans. Pesticides are available in three different forms; powders, liquids and aerosols. They can be grouped according to the types of pests they kill, the method of application or the chemical content.

    The pros of using pesticides and fertilizers

    In the majority of cases, pesticide use is the only way to control organisms that cause diseases. Using pesticides can actually benefit human health by eliminating outbreaks of disease, due to rodent or insect invasions. Buildings are protected by pesticide use as they prevent the spread of termite infestations.Pesticides are not only used to kill unwanted pests, they can be used to sterilise drinking and recreational water. They are used as a strong disinfectant, most importantly in hospital operating rooms, and to sterilise surgical instruments.

    The pesticide industry provides employment for a wide range of society, from distribution, dealers, and commercial applicators, pest controllers, all of whom pay their taxes and contribute to local and state economies. Using pesticides allows a wider range of food, at affordable prices, through a broader selection of retailers.

    The cons of using pesticides and fertilizers

    Recent studies show that sustained use of certain pesticides are causing a significant amount of damage to a ‘wide range of beneficial invertebrate species’. They also state that they are a ‘key factor in the decline of bees’.

    There has always been concern about the use of neonicotinoids and fipronil, but only now has a full analysis shown a clear threat to the environment, similar to that of the now banned DDT. The Task Force on Systemic Pesticides, an independent group of international scientists, found that systemic pesticides are different to most other pesticides in one crucial factor. Unlike most other pesticides that tend to remain on the surface of the plant, systemic pesticides are ingested by the vascular system of plants. They are then transported throughout all the plant tissues, the leaves, the stem, roots, flowers, as well as the nectar and pollen.This means that the chemicals in these pesticides can be found extensively within the environment, in the air, water and land. They are also able to persist and build up, particularly after repeated applications.

    Research has shown that neonicotinoids and fipronil disrupt neural transmissions in the central nervous system of some organisms. This has a particularly adverse effect on invertebrates but also some vertebrates. The most affected types of organisms are earthworms, but a close second are bees. Further studies have shown that high concentrations of neonics negatively affected the bee’s longevity, individual navigation, food collection, navigation, and resistance to disease. Bees are one of the most important insects that help to pollinate our plants. Pollination fertilises the plant so that it grows and produces food. Through pollination, at least 30% of the world’s food is created. Without bees to pollinate and fertilise our plants, many, including essential food crops, would die off. Many pesticides have now been banned from use, because of the negative impact they have had on bees.

    Should we use pesticides?

    Pesticides are a cheap and affordable way to control weeds and insects in the environment. In Third World countries, it may be considered essential to use pesticides as this is much preferred to famine. However, in more wealthy countries, perhaps the onus should be on research to develop less poisonous pesticides, in order to protect our surroundings.

    For more information on the global effects of pesticides see the following report Systemic Pesticides Pose Global Threat to Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.

    Image Source: Pesticide Spraying

    21 Pros and Cons of Natural Pesticides vs. Synthetic Pesticides

    If you need to use pesticides, you might be confused as to which one you should choose. As you can tell, there is a lot of talk about “going green”, and whether you should use natural or synthetic pesticides. I get questions all the time from people who are confused whether one choice is better and safer than the other.

    So, should you use natural or synthetic pesticides? Some pesticides have less dangerous chemicals if they are considered natural. This doesn’t mean that all synthetic ones are harmful, or that all natural ones are safe. Before deciding to use a certain pesticide, make sure you research its’ safety.

    And today, we’re going to go in-depth about some of the pros and cons concerning the use of both natural and synthetic pesticides. After all, you want to choose the best pesticide to suit your needs, while still making sure you are using a product that is both safe and effective.

    Table of Contents

    What is Better: Natural or Synthetic Pesticides?

    It can be hard to define what is better when you are choosing pesticides. When choosing a pesticide, you have to ask yourself what better looks like for you. For example, you may need to go with natural pesticides if you are planning to cultivate an organic garden.

    Or if you need immediate relief from pesticides, a fast-acting synthetic formula might be better for you. But in recent years, so-called natural, or “organic”, pesticides have been growing in popularity. This has caused a boom in the natural pesticide market.

    What are the major differences between natural and synthetic pesticides?

    Mainly, they are extracted and synthesized through different methods. If a product is natural, it is either extracted directly from the ground, plants, or animals. If a product is synthetic, that means that it is cooked up by artificial means in a laboratory. However, this doesn’t necessarily make natural pesticides better than synthetic ones by any means.

    How harmful are pesticides?

    What you should also know, is that certain chemicals are more dangerous to both animals and humans than others are. It’s very important to make sure you choose something that is safe, and this will depend upon the product and the chemicals used. Do not sacrifice your health in order to just get a product that is more readily available, or cheaper.

    Your choice of pesticide may also be depending on whether or not you have children or pets. Both could be harmed if they got into and consumed certain chemicals. If you have a child or pets, make sure you research the pesticide you are purchasing is safe for them to be around. Otherwise, you might end up having to make a trip to the emergency room, or the emergency veterinarian.

    When you go to use any pesticides, make sure to use precautions. Wear goggles, use gloves, prevent contact with your skin, and don’t breathe anything in. Keep the number of the local poison control center on hand in case of an emergency.

    What are natural (organic) pesticides?

    This class of pesticides can also be called “organic”. As we said before, these products are derived from the ground, plants, or even animals. While they have been heavily promoted in recent years, you might be wondering what the pros and cons of natural pesticides are.

    5 Benefits of Using Natural Pesticides

    #1 They are more friendly to the environment

    Using natural pesticides is one way to stay “organic” and reduce your carbon footprint. Generally, pesticides created from natural means are much more friendly to the environment.

    This means you will be more likely to go “green” if you are using natural pesticides versus the use of synthetic ones.

    #2 Natural pesticides work better over the long run

    Natural pesticides work better over the long run because pests are less likely to develop a tolerance to them. This means that over a long period of time, these pesticides will be more effective than ones pests have developed a resistance to.

    #3 Natural pesticides are healthier

    The use of natural pesticides may be healthier for you, your pets, and your children. This is especially true if you are using pesticides on a food garden, like ones with vegetables and fruits that you intend to consume.

    #4 Natural pesticides can be better for the quality of your soil.

    This results in better overall plant growth. It may also mean less chances of contamination. This is a big part of why natural pesticides are considered a solid step in the direction of going green.

    #5 “Going green”

    If you are trying to maintain a reputation for your business that you are “going green”, you can started by using pesticide

    5 Cons of natural pesticides

    However, nothing is ever completely perfect, especially when it comes to the use of pesticides. So, here are some of the cons of using natural pesticides.

    #1 Natural pesticides may be more costly than synthetic ones

    Unfortunately, many people who want to use only natural products may not be able to afford them. This is part of why synthetic pesticides still remain popular.

    #2 Some products may be less effective

    Some natural products may be much less effective than synthetic ones. This largely depends on the ingredients used in the pesticide.

    #3 Delay

    When you use natural pesticides, it may also take much longer for them to work than with conventional synthetic products. And with the delay, you might see an increase in pests during this time.

    #4 You may require more knowledge to properly use them

    These natural chemicals may not be as strong as their laboratory-grown counterparts, so this means that you may require more knowledge to properly use them. This is so you are able to make sure they are effective enough to work.

    #5 Not as many companies offer natural chemicals yet

    Fortunately, this is starting to change in recent years. But for people who live in certain areas, this may mean that these products can be less accessible.

    NB! You should not assume that it is completely safe

    It is also important to note that just because a product is labeled as “natural”, you should not assume that it is completely safe for humans, pets, or the environment. Before using a natural pesticide, you must thoroughly research the chemicals that are used in it. You should consult any warning labels that you see on the bottle.

    When using natural pesticides, you should take any of the same precautions that you do with synthetic ones. And as always, call your local poison control center if you accidentally consume or breathe in any natural chemicals.

    Now that we have discussed the pros and cons of natural pesticides, it’s time to move onto the pros and cons of synthetic ones.

    What are Synthetic Pesticides

    Synthetic pesticides have gotten a bad rap in recent years, but do they really deserve it? After all, almost everything is made up of chemicals, no matter whether they are considered natural or derived from artificial means.

    6 Benefits of Using Synthetic pesticides

    Let’s break it down and look at some of the pros of using synthetic pesticides.

    #1 They are readily available

    Synthetic pesticides are usually readily available in most stores. That means wherever you are, you may be able to find them in a store near you.

    #2 Synthetic pesticides may be fast-acting

    These pesticides may be fast-acting. That means that once you spray or otherwise apply them, you won’t have to wait very long for pests to be deterred or exterminated.

    #3 Synthetic pesticides are made to be strong and effective

    That means that once you use them, you can generally consider your problem solved as long as the brand is reputable.

    #4 They are cost effective

    If your budget is not very large, you may want to consider buying synthetic pesticides. Since they are more readily available, they are usually more cost-effective as well.

    #5 Synthetic pesticides reduce malaria and West Nile Virus

    Numerous pests spread diseases, some of which are deadly. The use of highly-effective synthetic pesticides has been associated with reducing diseases such as malaria and West Nile Virus.

    #6 You will have more choice between multiple products

    Because of so many brands of synthetic pesticides existing, you will have more choice between multiple products and chemicals. This will allow you to compare products in order to make the best choice for yourself and your property.

    More brands of pesticides also means that synthetic pesticides protect against more kinds of pests than natural pesticides do.

    5 Cons of synthetic pesticides

    Now, clearly there are also cons to using synthetic pesticides

    #1 Many synthetic chemicals can cause significant health problems

    Many synthetic chemicals can cause significant health problems to human beings and pet animals. In fact, some chemicals are considered so dangerous that they have been banned by the EPA or in some entire countries.

    Workers that apply the synthetic pesticides are most at risk of health complications. If you do choose a synthetic pesticide, avoid getting it on your skin or in your eyes. You should also never breathe it in.

    #2 Synthetic pesticides can be harmful to the environment

    Depending on the chemical, synthetic pesticides can be harmful to the environment, and are not very conductive to a mission of going green.

    #3 Pests may develop a tolerance to certain chemicals over time

    This means that the longer you use these particular pesticides, the less likely they are to work. It can also mean that certain species of pests can evolve to be completely resistant to certain chemicals

    #4 Contamination of soil and water resources

    Contamination of soil and water resources is a major potential problem with synthetic pesticides. If you have a well for your water, you may want to reconsider your use of synthetic pesticides. You don’t want to risk contaminating your drinking water, or poisoning yourself and others.

    #5 Pets could potentially be harmed

    If you have pets in the area, they could potentially be harmed or killed by exposure to synthetic pesticides. Dogs and cats are difficult to keep out of things, and they also have more sensitive systems that human beings.

    Best natural and synthetic pesticides to buy

    Now that we’ve discussed an exhaustive list of pros and cons for both natural and synthetic pesticides, I’ve decided to list some top choices in each category. I am going to list the top natural pesticide and the top synthetic pesticide that I’ve found on Amazon.

    Dr. Killigan’s Insect Buster

    As far as natural synthetics go, the Insect Buster from Dr. Killigan is advertised as being both natural and safe. It also boasts almost 400 total reviews, with most being positive in nature. The Insect Buster dispenses both Diatomaceous Earth and other natural insecticides. This product is easy to use, and features a sturdy, effective design. This product also comes with a satisfaction guarantee.

    Demon Max Insecticide Pint 25.3% Cypermethrin

    Looking for a synthetic pesticide instead?

    The main chemical ingredient is Cypermethin. When mixed with water, this bottle will make about 32 gallons of spray. This particular pesticide offers complete control for over 20 species of pests. This product is advertised as not being a risk for leaking into your water supply.

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