The Pros And Cons Of Pesticides

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The Agriculture Revolution has allowed mankind to evolve at a much faster pace than before. The introduction of pesticides has been a miracle to most societies, because it has stopped the spread of some diseases, produced mass quantities of food for starving people, and it has given the world more variety in their agriculture than they have ever seen before. As years progress, the benefits are outweighed by the hazards. Pesticides have spread havoc over our ecological system and our own personal health. Alternatives are being created as the world’s technology advances, but the immediate threat is upon us and our future generations. It is up to us, as an individual, to educate ourselves so we can begin to make changes for a healthier future.…show more content…
The combination of certain carbon atoms can lead to the creation of lethal chemical concoctions. One of the most well known of these elixirs is the chemical known as dichloro-diphenyl-trichloro-ethane, otherwise known as DDT. In 1948, Swiss chemist Paul Muller won the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for discovering the effects of DDT as an efficient pesticide. He had discovered that DDT was “not merely poison, it: destroyed enzymes that protect the body, blocks oxidation of air to the blood, malfunctions certain organisms, and initiates in certain cells the slow and irreversible change that leads to malignancy” (Carson, 1962, 10). The use of this product and other similar chlorinated hydrocarbons exploded soon after as a form of insect…show more content…
The world openly embraced toxic concoctions like: DDT, DDD, PBC, endrin, aldrin, methyl bromide, diazinon (to name a few). Approximately one billion pounds of pesticides are applied annually in the United States, with 4.4 billion applications in yards and gardens (Phillips, 2002) (See Figure 1). Some were miracle crop saviors in the form of pesticides, others were fertilizers and herbicides, but the advantage in the war on pest eventually had a heavy price to pay. Some of the benefits of using pesticides for agriculture are: they saved farmers millions of dollars in crop loss, it kept the price of certain foods within reason, and pesticides helped provide food for thousands of starving people. Do the benefits outweigh the consequences of it as a carcinogenic chemical? According to The National Academy of Sciences (1978), the process of pesticide decision making is indeed a complicated matter: The complex issues relating to benefits and risks are at the heart of the controversy that has surrounded the EPA since the Agency banned most uses of DDT. For example: if a pesticide could save thousands of lives from a vector-borne disease, such as malaria, but may also cause ten deaths from cancer, should EPA permit its use? (p.

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