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Pesticides are poisons. As such, there are many ways that pesticides can be harmful. Although pesticides are usually used to kill a particular target pest, many will also kill or harm species that the farmer or other user is not targeting. For example, pesticides applied to crops might be washed into streams or lakes and harm fish, beneficial insects, birds, or even find their way into drinking water sources.

Advantages of using pesticides
  • Cost effectiveness: Pesticides are an economical way of controlling pests. They require low labour input and allow large areas to be treated quickly and effectively. It has been estimated that there is a four-fold return on every dollar a farmer spends on pesticides.
  • Flexibility: A suitable pesticide is available for almost all pest problems with variation in type, activity and persistence.
  • Quality, quantity and price of produce: Using pesticides means there is a plentiful supply and variety of high quality products at reasonable prices. Modern society demands nutritious food free from damage caused by pests and flowers which look untouched. This would be very difficult without pesticides.
  • Prevention of problem: Pesticides are often used to stop the spread of pests in imports and exports, preventing weeds in gardens and protecting house and furniture from destruction.
  • Protection of pets and humans: Under the blanket of pesticides is pet flea products, fly and insect spray and other household products which make life bearable.
  • Protection of the environment: Currently, weeds are controlled by herbicides, but without them, land would need to be cultivated, increasing land degradation.
Disadvantages of Pesticides
  • Reduction of beneficial species: Animals which interact with the targeted pest can also be affected by he chemical application. The reduction in these other organisms can result in changes in the biodiversity of an area and affect natural biological balances.
  • Drift of sprays and vapour: Pesticides can affect other areas during application and can cause severe problems in different crops, livestock, waterways and the general environment. Wildlife and fish are the most affected. Taking special note of weather conditions can reduce drift.
  • Residues in food: There is the possibility of pesticides in human food, either by direct application onto the food, or by bio-magnification along the food line. Not all levels are undesirable but unnecessary and dangerous levels must be avoided through good agricultural practice.
  • Ground water contamination: Chemicals can reach underground aquifers if there is persistent product use in agricultural areas.
  • Resistance: Overuse of the same pesticide can encourage resistance in the target pest.
  • Poisoning hazards: Pesticide operators can risk poisoning through excessive exposure if safe handling procedure are not followed and protective clothing is not worn. Poisoning risks depend on dose, toxicity, duration of exposure and sensitivity.
  • Other possible health effects: As pesticides used now have been through rigorous testing, most health problems stem from misuse, abuse or overuse.

Pesticide can keep bugs and stuff off of your plants but when it rains it comes off and flows into rivers killing fish and other aquatic animals.
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โˆ™ 2010-05-29 07:21:42
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