Should Farmers Use Safer Pesticides?
Imagine walking down the street and seeing everything dead. Not one thing alive. The trees and flowers are either dead or almost dead because many pollinators are gone. Almost half the world is in hospital beds, suffering from a pesticide-related disease. The air and water is dirty and lifeless, filled with chemicals. Animals lie down on the ground, dead. What do you think when you picture this moment? What do you feel? Do you want this to happen? The truth is that it could, but we can stop it. Something even more startling is the cause, something that we use on a daily basis. Pesticides. Surprisingly, pesticides approximately kill at least 220,000 people per year, pollute our world, and kill pollinators and many other animals.
Pesticides have been a big topic in the world for the past years. Should we ban them keep them, or make another decision? Pesticides are basically chemicals that we spray on crops to keep away unwanted pests such as diseases, insects, and weeds. Some people think that they help us so we should keep them, and some people think that they harm us so we should get rid of them. My belief is that farmers should use safer pesticides, instead of getting rid of them all together.
The first reason that we should start using safe pesticides, is because normal ones damage the environment. Pollution is a big part of this. Pesticides can harm water, air, and more. They contaminate water when they flow off out of crops into streams, rivers, oceans, lakes, and any body of water. Of course, many animals live in water, such as fish. When these animals drink and swim in the polluted water they can become very sick, and even die. It can also contaminate groundwater, which is one of the main sources we get drinking water. When we drink this water, we drink the chemicals that pesticides have. Do you want dangerous chemicals in your body?
Pesticides pollute through the air, too. Then, animals breathe the air, animals such as frogs and bats. First, let's talk about frogs. Specifically, one pesticide and its effects on frogs. It is called atrazine, and about seventy-five million gallons of it gets poured on crops annually. It then travels into the water, where frogs and tadpoles live. It impacts them in many negative ways, but there are two major ones. When male tadpoles swim and drink the water that atrazine has infected, they can turn into females, which changes their way of life. In nineteen ninety-eight, scientists found a fungus that was created by pesticides. It had been killing frogs. Pesticides can cause problems in a frog's immune system, too. They also affect bats, and in two thousand six, lots of bats were found dead on a cave floor. Scientists have made a reasonable belief of why this occurred, because because the pesticides weakened the bats' immune systems.
The final way that pesticides harm the environment is through the soil. Crops and food need healthy soil to grow, and pesticides take away healthy minerals from it. In nineteen forty through nineteen ninety-one, it was found by professionals that the amount of pea few essential minerals in fruit and vegetables that we need to survive had decreased by about 76%. This major change was because of pesticides. If we start using organic, healthier pesticides, we can bring back a healthier, more nutritious, soil.
The second reason we should start using safe pesticides, is because they harm bees and many other pollinators. Here's the deal. I bet that the person reading this, most likely is scared of bees, or tenses up whenever they're around. They might want to kill a bee if they see one, and that makes sense. Who wouldn't be scared of something that can hurt you? But we can't just keep killing bees, because they are important, and we actually wouldn't be able to survive without them. If bees were gone, more than one third of the food on earth would be gone, and some foods that you'd definitely miss. These include many fruits, nuts veggies, many spices and more. Who could say goodbye to freshly picked strawberries, carrots, tomatoes, apples, blueberries, or lettuce. Sadly, there is one thing that we'd have to say goodbye to that many people cherish. Something so mouthwatering and delicious, some people be devastated if it went away. Chocolate.
Now that you understand how important bees are, I can explain what pesticides are doing to them. In recent years, bees have been dying off in great amounts, and some believe they are headed for extinction. There are many beliefs as to why this is happening uch as a superorganism location, and weather, but the main one is pesticides. They have major impacts on bees and studies have shown negative effects in bees that consumed or were in contact with pesticides. When they go to pollinate crops, they pick up some of the pesticides, then later consume it. Pesticides can also spread to nearby wildflowers if they are used incorrectly, which bees then recieve.
Pesticides can give bees worse navigation and make them unable to learn. This means that bees won't be able to learn to fly, therefore not being able to pollinate. They can also damage their wings, making not able to fly as well, or even fly at all. Pesticides cause bees death, and makes the colony fall apart. They can even damage the bee's reproductive system, which then makes them unable to produce more bees and keep the species going. Pesticides were made to attack pests, not pollinators, so why are we letting them?
The third and final reason is because they harm human health. Of course as I have explained, pesticides harm many animals and insects, but they harm us, too. As well as in our water, pesticides also appear on the fruits and vegetables we eat. In fact, when you eat an ordinary, non-organic apple, you are also eating at least thirty different pesticides that have been sprayed on it. Many stay on even when you wash it. Many people get organic fruits and vegetables, because they think there are no pesticides on them. Actually, there are still quite a few. Maybe not as many, but still some. When we consume these chemicals, they go into our body and stay there, poisoning us over a long period of time.
You can develop many diseases from them. Some of the common ones are Alzheimer's disease, ADHD, and even cancer. Some pesticides can result in birth defects, too. It harms the nervous system and many other systems, gives you asthma, and leukemia. Pesticides cause deaths, injuries, and more. Surprisingly, in two thousand two, sixty-nine thousand children ended up poisoned by pesticides. That was just in the United States. Imagine what the numbers could be in all the countries combined. There are also over two hundred thousand deaths per year, stated by the World Health Organization.
Of course, as any other argument, there is an opposing side to this. Some people think that we should keep pesticides, rather than stop using them. They argue that pesticides are good because they control weeds, keep out unwanted bugs and pests that eat the crops, and prevent plant diseases. Obviously, nobody can say that its a bad thing to prevent things on its own, but it is knowing the impacts. As I have told you, there are very negative effects on the environment, pollinators, and people. They also argue that we would lose billions of dollar if we stopped using pesticides from crop loss. They have good reasons to support their side, but pesticides still damage our lives. Actually, there is a solution to these things. There are safer pesticides that can still get the job done, and many you can make by yourself, rather than spending money on them. Some of these are a garlic spray (which you can make at home very easily), an oil spray(which you can also make at home), and even toads! Yes, toads can even be used as a "pesticide." They eat many off the plant-eating insects you may find in your garden, and are very helpful.
Pesticides are extremely dangerous to us, our environment, and pollinators, and that is why I have chosen to support using safer ones. Thinking back to the horrible, lifeless world at the beginning of this text, we can now imagine a completely fresh, happy, beautiful world. That is the impact that using safer pesticides creates.
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