Dangers of PesticidesTinora Jr. High SchoolSamara BaldridgeMr. EtzlerAFNR1/?/18 “Four children died after someone at their home sprayed water on a previously applied pesticide, causing a reaction that produced toxic phosphine gas, officials in Amarillo, Texas, said.” In this scenario, aluminum phosphate was sprayed under a family’s mobile home. After a few people living in the home fell ill, they decided to try wash it away. When this chemical comes in contact with water, it emits a toxic gas that the family unknowingly inhaled. (Yan, Holly. “Texas pesticide deaths: Chemical may have sickened, but cleanup was fatal.” CNN, CNN, 3 Jan. 2017, cnn.com) One child died at the scene, while the other three were taken to the hospital where they sadly passed away also. This is just one case out of many. State regulations of pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, and other chemicals are much too lenient in the lust for money. In 1984, Endrin was banned from the United States. This is because it had a variety of side effects, including dizziness, convulsions, and vomitting. (“Endrin.” Wikipedia. Wikipedia Foundation, 9 Sept. 2017 and Web. 4 Jan. 2018. Mergel, Maria. “Endrin.” Toxipedia. Zen Foundation, 18 Sept. 2009. Web. 4 Jan. 2018.) But the dangers of pesticides aren’t limited to people. These unregulated chemicals can cause damage to the environment. This means it affects our soil, food, and water. When impacted water or foods are ingested by humans, it can cause cancer, Alzheimer’s, ADHD, and more. (Jakuboski, Samantha. Nature News, Nature Publishing Group, 25 July 2011 and Lah, Katarina. “Effects of Pesticides on Human Health.” Toxipedia, 6 May 2011)”Pesticide exposure can be linked to cancer,… …birth defects and developmental changes in a wide range of species. Exposure to pesticides can also alter an organism’s behavior, impacting its ability to survive.” (“Impacts of Pesticides on Wildlife.” Beyond Pesticides) This means that there’s a higher risk of species becoming endangered in areas where their food is covered in chemicals. This is because the pesticides impact their ability to survive, therefore resulting in their deaths at mass rates, especially if the species has a common feeding ground. Also, the death of our honeybees could be linked to the use of pesticides. “Research showing that they sicken or kill bees and other pollinators means neonics could soon lose their grip in North America.” Says Alison Moodie at the Guardian. As if injuring ourselves and our animals wasn’t enough, these chemicals are also killing off important insects.I understand that pesticides protect our crops and make foods cheaper, but we need to start looking at it from a different angle- what’s happening to the things we’re protecting them from. Birds, bees, fish, and small mammals can get contaminated. This can cause a domino effect when bigger creatures eat befouled animals. Even the statistics are in favor of banning more pesticides. According to a forecast of hopital inquiries, about 20,000 people come in for pesticide poisoning. Luckily, only about 20-40 die. This is just including the people who actually go to the hospital. Many cases still go unknown, making the whole ordeal scarier.
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