October 24, 2011
Pesticides were a big hit when it was discovered in the 1930’s by Paul Muller it was a big deal because he was a big help with insects and covered a wide range of insects. The other two things that people liked were that when it was sprayed it lasted for a long time and also did not wash off with the rain. Mr. Muller was given the Nobel Peace Prize in the 1948 for his discovery. Society at that time did not know the effects that Pesticides would have on the environment, they just knew that it helped with their pest problem and crop and that was all that mattered and later on the effects of using pesticides was discovered.
How did pesticides affect our environment if affected our air, water, plants, crop, and live stock. When pesticides were sprayed the wind can blow it in the air and it would land on other plants or surfaces and if you had contact with it, it would harm you. Also, when it’s sprayed on plants it gets into our soil, and that can in turn affect our water because when it the plants are watered or it rains the toxin that is in the soil can get into our streams and our drinking water. Our live stock could be affected because if they are eating the crop or the plants that we have sprayed with it that can in turn affect them and if we that live stock it can affect us.
A scientist by the name of Rachel Carson wrote a book called “Silent Spring”, in 1962 and made people aware of the effects of pesticides in our environment she discovered that birds were dying because when they were eating worms and insects that were exposed it. She discovered that they were two principles related to the indirect toxicity, one of the was Bioconcentration and would accumulate in organisms especially in fatty acid. Second principle was Biomagnifications and it would increase up the food chain. DDT had been exposed not only were it was sprayed but at long distances because it was traveling.
One of the outcomes of this exposure it that Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was created and they were put in place to set regulations and standards for Pesticides and help companies be accountable for them to test and produce pesticides that decreased the effects on the environment. Pesticides are still harmful if not use appropriately but companies and society is now are more aware what affects they have on our environment. New pesticides are also being created that are Organic that are more plant based and they are known to be friendlier to the environment but even with these new pesticides it does not mean that they are all good for all plants.
No matter what pesticides you decide to use for your crops, to kill living organisms, insects you have to educate yourself on the effects it will have on our environment. Just because it states that is Organic it doesn’t mean that in the long run it will not have an adverse effect. Sometimes as society we make changes not knowing how it will change our Eco-System in the future that is why agencies like the EPA were created but they are also having a hard time regulating companies and are having to impose fines. The best thing to do is to read labels and research what you are using in your crop or what you are putting in your mouth.
Withgott, Jay and Brennan,Scott. (Fourth Edition), Environment: The Science behind the stories