Pesticides – “Boon or Bane”

Introduction

Pesticides are used around the globe by farmers to carry out mass production of crops. Pesticides are used to protect crops from pests. Pesticides are also used to control weeds and insect infestation. No human is protected against the exposure to pesticides. It kills millions of people every year.

Farmers because of lack of awareness thought of “If little is good, a lot would be better”. This is the reason for this havoc caused by pesticides.

Impact of pesticides on plants, animals and human health

The exposure of pesticides is deadly to animals as it not only affects the body it also affects their behaviour too. There have many cases where these pesticides have been seen to cause birth defects in children, neurotoxicity thereby affecting the brain functions, endocrine system disruption, harmful effects have been seen in reproductive health of women as well and is now being considered a major reason behind cancer. Farmers are most likely to develop long term brain damage and suffer from mild cognitive dysfunction. Pesticides also affect children with brain damage and development problems. When a pregnant woman is exposed to pesticides, it would affect her unborn baby with oral cleft, neural tube defects, heart defects and limb defects.

Pesticides contain three chemicals that are rated as group 1 carcinogens which cause cancer. After studies of animals, evidences showed a connection between glyphosate (Insecticide) and rare kidney and pancreatic cancer. Studies on cells showed an unusual changes to DNA when it was exposed to glyphosate.

Pesticides also impact plants although they are used to protect the plants from pests. The nutritional value of the food and the soils health is compromised. Pesticides also infect the fruits and vegetables as it is sprayed to protect them from insects and other pests. Pesticides are used to kill pests and not to harm our body.

After reading about bio-pesticides, I see them as better alternatives to pesticides as they are natural and less toxic than chemicals. Biopesticides are made up of microorganisms like bacteria that are present in soil which have properties like fertilizers and pesticides which act by increasing the growth of the plants and protecting them from insects and pests. Only a little is needed to be used, as it breaks down easily, thereby causing less pollution. Biopesticides only target pests and closely related organisms.
Summary
Pesticides can become deadlier than a weapon if one keeps on using them without any check. They not only harm our environment but pollute the soils and reduce their fertility thereby impacting plant growth. Plants after sometime will not be able to grow which will then cause the extinction of life on earth. Pesticides can be good if used properly and that is possible only if person using it is well educated and carries out the same under strict monitoring.

                                                                                
                                                                                By: Aarnav
                                                                                Grade: VII-A

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