Description of the issue
Description of the issue:
Pesticide is a toxic substance that is widely being used today to control pests. It is harmful not only to their intended target, but also toxic to humans and other marine creatures.
Why it is a problem:
Besides causing bioaccumulation, which leads to biomagnification, pesticide also causes both permanent and temporary harms to human. Temporary effects include nausea, vomiting, whereas permanent effects may go as far as causing sterility and cancer. It is also believed that Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is more vulnerable to children that was largely exposed to pesticide.
Causes/history of the problem
Before Swiss chemist, Paul Müller discovered the first modern synthetic pesticide, dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) in the 1940s, the pesticides that are available are either too expensive or ineffective. DDT was then found to be effective against agricultural pests such as coddling moth, potato beetles, cotton bollworm, and tobacco budworms. It was also used to fight malaria and typhus.
Impact on the environment
DDT does not easily break down and it will concentrate and accumulate inside the fatty tissues of organisms. This phenomenon was called bioaccumulation. Besides, the effectiveness of pesticide slowly decreases as there are more species evolving and develop resistance to certain pesticide. Loss in crop has also increased from 7% to 13% from 1940 to 1984 and this is because the pesticide has killed non-targeted organisms, for instance the predators of the pests. Aerial application of pesticide has been proven ineffective as only 10% of the pesticide applied reaches the crop field, whereas only 0.1% to 5% of them reaches the intended target.
Case study or sample
In 1941, Western Australia was flooded by Argentine Ants that came from South America. The ants were a pest to the households and gardens. Back then, DDT or pesticides were not widely used. A campaign was held later in 1954 to eradicate the ants by spraying pesticides near the infestation area....