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Science Chemistry Casestudy

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Introduction

Do the benefits of using pesticides outweigh the risks? By: Kaye Hin 10R Contents: Introduction Background Science Arguments For Arguments Against Conclusion References Do the benefits of using pesticides outweigh the risks? Introduction: In this case study I am going to find out if the use of pesticides are more beneficial and if these benefits will outweigh the risks. In the 1940s manufacturers began to produce large amounts of synthetic pesticides and their use became widespread. Some sources consider the 1940s and 1950s to have been the start of the "pesticide era." [2] Pesticide use has increased significantly since 1950 and 2.3 million tonnes of industrial pesticides are now used each year in farms. [3] Pesticides are used in intensive farms to control or destroy pests. They can be synthetic chemicals or natural substances. Different pesticides vary in their use on a certain crop. Different properties of pesticides can give a different impact on the environment. Pesticides are used to kill weeds, insects and to stop the spread of a disease. Many pesticides are harmful to sea creatures. They can pollute rivers, lakes and groundwater if used carelessly or disposed improperly. Scientists have linked declining numbers of farmland birds over the last 50 years to pesticide use in intensive farming. ...read more.

Middle

Also Pesticides help ensure that consumers have access to affordable food that is safer and more nutritious. Instead of hand weeding farmers can now use pesticides to protect their crops from weeds which has given farmer families across the world the choice to pursue education and opportunities away from farming, so improving quality of life and living standards. Pesticides can also help safeguard public health by controlling or eliminating pests that cause disease and property damage, which could be bad for our health. [4] Advantages of using pesticides: * Cost effectiveness: Pesticides are an economical way of controlling pests. They require low labour input and allow large areas to be treated quickly and effectively. * Flexibility: A suitable pesticide is available for almost all pest problems with variation in type, activity and persistence. * Quality, quantity and price of produce: Using pesticides means there is a plentiful supply and variety of high quality products at reasonable prices. * Prevention of problem: Pesticides are often used to stop the spread of pests in imports and exports. It also prevents weeds growing in gardens. * Protection of the environment: Weeds are controlled by herbicides, but without them, land would need to be cultivated, increasing land degradation. [3] "In the UK, we are becoming less self-sufficient in food. ...read more.

Conclusion

But on the other hand pesticides also can help and enable farmers to grow more per unit area which reduces pressures on forests and other uncultivated land, conserving natural resources and reducing soil erosion, which is also beneficial to the environment. [2] Using pesticides means there is a plentiful supply and variety of high quality products at reasonable prices which is important for future generations because according to an article "Britain must continue to intensify its farming practices to meet soaring demand for cheap food and prevent shortages, a leading agricultural expert said. Demand for bio fuels, booming economies of developing countries and climate change will put demand on food supplies that can only be met by intensive techniques", said Professor Bill McKelvey, head of the Scottish Agricultural College. [1] This article suggests that in order to meet this need we must use pesticides to produce mass productions of crops. In my opinion I think that pesticides should be used but at a minimal amount and be used cautiously because if it is used carelessly it can result in contamination of ground water and rivers, which can be catastrophic to aquatic life. Also farmers should try seeking alternatives to pesticides such as using natural safe substitutes [3]. References: 1. Guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2007/apr/18/foodanddrink.food 26/10/09 [1] 2. Crop Life http://www.croplife.org/issue.aspx?issue=053531b4-ca69-4179-9984-1222b16fea14&activity=314c0067-6e3a-4935-8f90-b446de526582 26/10/09 [2] 3. Miller GT (2004), Sustaining the Earth, 6th edition. Thompson Learning, Inc. Pacific Grove, California. Chapter 9, Pages 211-216. ...read more.

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