Pesticides help eliminate pest infestations. In agriculture, pesticides assist in protecting the crops from damage by insects, weeds, or rodents. Farmers all over the world use pesticides to help eliminate pests and improve plant yield. Although pesticides are suitable for the health of crops, they harm the environment aggressively.
Pesticides have a significant effect on the environment. When pesticides are applied to a piece of land, they are moved by water or wind to other surrounding environments, and this has led to up to 95% of pesticides the failure to reach the target pest. When the pesticides are applied to the land, they are detrimental to plant and animal life.
Pesticide components are usually very harmful and can depreciate drop yields. Below are some of the adverse impacts of pesticides on the environment and how they continue to cause an imbalance on the ecosystem.
1. Effects of Pesticides On Soil
The most significant effect of pesticides on the soil is the loss in biodiversity. This causes loss of fertility and the general quality of the soil. Crops cannot grow well on low-quality soil. Organic matter is also removed from the soil, which affects the soil’s water retention. Overall, applying pesticides has significant adverse effects on the soil that In turn, affects plant yields. Good soil is required for crops; the results of the pesticides make the soil unfavorable. This makes the use of fertilizers necessary to revoke the damage.
2. Effects of Pesticides On Water
When pesticides are applied to plants, the move towards the soil and eventually penetrate groundwater. This water washes away into riverbanks and streams, polluted with pesticides. Humans often use the water found in rivers and Streams. Pollution of this water by pesticides can lead to several infectious diseases amongst people and animals due to the consumption of this water.
3. Effects of Pesticides On Air
When the wind carries the pesticides, it contaminates the air. The pollution of air by pesticides causes irrevocable damage to the ecosystem. The air pollution due to pesticides also has adverse effects for people breathing the air and plant and animal life. To avoid this, areas with crops in need of pesticides should have windbreaks and buffers to prevent the pesticides from polluting the air.
4. Effects of Pesticides On Wildlife
Pesticides are known to cause pollinator decline. Pollinator decline is a reduction in the bee population, reducing pollination in turn. Apart from bees, other animal populations are also affected by pesticides. This because, pesticides reduce plant growth, which in turn depleted the food sources for wildlife.
Pesticides pose to e a great hazard to the environment. Extinction of precious animals is imminent due to the chemical component in pesticides that make them harmful. The use of pesticides needs to be controlled, and laws need to be placed to ensure the safety of the environment.
5. Effects of Pesticides On Human Life
Pesticides also have adverse effects on the health of people. These include :
- Exposure can occur to people when applying pesticides or exposed to areas with pesticides, and this is severely detrimental to the health of people affected.
- Acute toxicity due to pesticides exposure causes allergic sensitization, nausea, headache, and seizures, and it may also cause death
- Chronic toxicity has long term effects and is usually associated with Parkinson’s disease, depression, asthma and attention deficit, and hyperactivity disorder.
- One may also get cancer due to pesticides.
- Pregnant mothers and babies are more vulnerable to pesticide infection and exposure.
Although pesticides are useful for enhancing plant yields and kill all potential pests infestations, they also have severely detrimental effects. Pesticides affect non-target organisms, especially animal life and air and soil pollution. The use of pesticides is a danger to the ecosystem, along with the plant, animal, and human life. It is imperative to use pesticides appropriately in a manner that does not affect the environment or people.
The government should also pass laws on the use of pesticides that protect the environment. Most pesticides hardly achieve the goal of eliminating targeted pests and instead affect the soil, water, or wildlife. Extinction of animal life is imminent if this problem is not rectified. Aquatic life is also highly in danger as pesticides pollute water bodies.
Alternatives to Using Pesticides
You may seek other methods of getting rid of pests without the use of pesticides. These include:
- Manual removal of pests
- Application of heat
- Use of traps and lures
- Support of pest predators
These methods help you eliminate your pest problem without having adverse effects on the environment. Simple solutions like water sprays for bats are better alternatives.
You may also consider safe methods of using pesticides. This can be the use of buffers and windbreakers to ensure pesticides do not pollute the air and are contained to the target area. This will help eliminate your pests all while conserving the environment.
It is imperative to conserve your environment by the use of methods that are environmentally friendly and do not promote further degradation of the ecosystem — research on the various pesticides and how they affect the environment. Also, make sure you are using pesticides and other chemicals appropriately. Appropriate use ensures the conservation of the environment, along with plant and animal life. Laws to protect the environment should also be in place to help with environmental preservation.
In conclusion, the use of pesticides has adverse effects on the environment. Wildlife is severely affected as food reserves are depleted, the soil loses its biodiversity along with wit water retention, which causes a reduction in plant yields. Aquatic life is also harmed as there is water pollution. Water pollution also affects the plant, animal, and human life and facilitates the spread of infectious diseases. Pesticides also have severe effects on the air and the health of people in general.
It is imperative to take into account everything in this article as it highlights the severe adverse effects pesticides have on plant, human, and animal life. Check out better ways to conserve the environment.
Salman Zafar is an ecopreneur, consultant, advisor, speaker and journalist with expertise in waste management, waste-to-energy, renewable energy, environment protection, conservation and sustainable development. His geographical areas of focus include Asia, Middle East, Africa and Europe. Salman is the Founder of EcoMENA, a popular voluntary organization based in Qatar. He is also the Founder and CEO of BioEnergy Consult, a reputed consulting firm active in biomass, waste-to-energy and waste management segments.
Salman is a professional environmental writer with more than 350 popular articles to his credit. He is proactively engaged in creating mass environmental awareness in different parts of the world.
Salman Zafar can be reached at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org