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Biology Coursework Essay Title: Is chemical pest control a good thing? A pest is usually seen as an organism potentially hazardous to health and

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Sanna Ahsan 12SU Biology Coursework Essay Title: Is chemical pest control a good thing? A pest is usually seen as an organism potentially hazardous to health and is in competition with humans for space food or soil. Pesticides are any chemical or biological agent that kills plant or animal pests; herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, rodenticides, etc. are all pesticides. There are various types of chemical pesticides available such as contact pesticides which are sprayed directly onto the crop, systematic pesticides, which are sprayed on the crop but absorbed by the leaves and transported through the plant, and residual pesticides which are sprayed on the soil before the crop is planted. An ideal pesticide should: - Be specific-toxic only to the targeted organism - Not persist- but be unstable enough to break down into harmless substances and; - Not pass accumulate along the food chain I will now, using examples, assess the advantages and disadvantages of using chemical pest control, then come to a conclusion. Pesticides have been used for some time, and have been used in large amounts in most parts of the world to try and control human diseases however it has been debated whether or not they're seen as 'good'. There are a number of major pesticides used throughout the world one of which is Mercuric Chloride or more formerly known as Calomel. ...read more.


By the 1950s, in some uses, doses of DDT and other insecticides had to be doubled or tripled as resistant insect strains developed. DDT was oficially banned from the UK in 1984. However, many humans contain more DDT than is prmitted by many countried in food. Many studies however, have been conducted into researching the link between DDT and Cancer but such a link is yet to be proven. According to Silent Spring by author Rachel Carsons (Published 1962), she accused 'the chemical industry spreads disinformation and public officials accept industry claims uncritically'. Silent Spring is credited with the ultimate banning of the pesticide DDT in the United States. In the production and use of herbicides such as Agent Orange, the risk is far higher. Agent Orange (as well as Agents Purple, Pink, Blue and Green) contain dioxins which have caused serious harm to the health of exposed Vietnamese, South Koreans, Australians, New Zealanders, Canadians and Americans, as well as their children and grandchildren, as this powerful herbicide was used widely in the Vietnam War to uncover enemy base camps. Agent Orange contains 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) and 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4,5-T), which were first manufactured for use in controlling broad-leafed plants. When sprayed on crops such as wheat or corn, it selectively killed just the broad-leaf plants in a field, the weeds, leaving the crops relatively uneffected. ...read more.


Chemical pest control therefore in 'good' to a certain extent. In personal opinion even though chemical pest control seems to be somewhat effective, there are too many risks associated with it. If a pesticide is unharmful to humans it will be harmful to birds, if it is unharmful to birds it will be harmful to aquatic life, and so on and so forth. The extent of toxicity could be debated however it would be unethical to test such hypotheses on pregnant women for example, as they would be most susceptible to being harmed. Pests however are seen detrimental to health and the economy but there should be other means to try and combat it before deciding on chemical methods. Many pests have only become a problem because of the direct actions of humans. Modifying these actions can often substancially reduce the pest problem. Alternatives such as biological pest control, selective breeding or just leave crops to be untreated so food can be grown organically. Biological pest control is seen to be more economically friendly as well as healthier to the environment. Chemical pollutants toxicate the air and contribute to health hazards. Adults are susceptible to these effects, but children are even more likely to suffer negative effects from pesticide exposure because of their lower body weight, their less developed immune and detoxification systems, and the fact that they're still growing. In and around homes, children spend more time than adults on floors and lawns, where pesticide residues are often found in high concentrations. ...read more.

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