If the word has the suffix -cide in it, then you know it’s about killing something. Pesticides are designed to eliminate insects, fungus, bacteria and other things that fed or nuisance on crops. Farming is a business and some of the farming companies are bottom-line entities in business to make money at any cost. Pesticides are being used to ensure that they will get the crop yield demand every season, no matter how it affects the environment and as well as the consumers.
Pesticides intend to kill and because their mode of action is not specific to one species, they often harm organisms other than pests, including humans. The World Health Organization estimates that there are 3 million cases of pesticide poisoning each year and up to 220,000 deaths, primarily in developing countries. The application of pesticides is often not very precise, and unintended exposures occur to other organisms in the general area where pesticides are applied. Children, and indeed any young and developing organisms, are particularly vulnerable to the harmful effects of pesticides. Even very low levels of exposure during development may have adverse health effects.
Pesticide formulations contain both “active” and “inert” ingredients. Active ingredients are responsible for killing the pests, and inert ingredients help the active ingredients to work more effectively. These inert ingredients may not be tested as thoroughly as active ingredients and are seldom disclosed on product labels. Solvents, which are inert ingredients in many pesticide formulations, may be toxic if inhaled or absorbed by the skin.
Farmers, their families and other persons who uses chemical pesticides regularly are at greatest risk for achieving toxic level in their bodies. The danger will spread out to larger areas, as the pesticides are carried in the wind, leave residues on produce, remained inside the animals and ran off into open water.
Pesticide exposure can cause a range of neurological health effects such as memory loss, loss of coordination, reduced speed of response to stimuli, reduced visual ability, altered or uncontrollable mood and general behavior, and reduced motor skills. These symptoms are often very subtle and may not be recognized by the medical community as a clinical effect. Other possible health effects include asthma, allergies, and hypersensitivity, and pesticide exposure is also linked with cancer, hormone disruption, and problems with reproduction and fetal development.
All pesticides have the potential to be harmful to humans, animals, other living organisms, and the environment if used incorrectly. The key to reducing health hazards when using pesticides is to always limit your exposure by wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and use a low-toxicity pesticide when available. Reading the label and practicing safe work habits will minimize hazards from the use of pesticides or just use different natural methods on eliminating various pests like concoctions and by using biological agents that feed on harmful pests to achieve a chemical-free environment and to avoid the horrors of pesticides.