• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Issues of Pesticides.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Toby.N. The Issues of Pesticides Pesticides are chemicals that destroy pests, weeds and diseases. The yields of crops may be dramatically increased when pesticides are used. Pesticides can be split into categories that are specific to the type of organism they are used to control: * Insecticides, for the control of insects. * Herbicides, for the control of weeds. * Fungicides, for the control of fungi. Many Farmers use pesticides to encourage healthy crop growth, prevent weed growth and prevent damage by pests and disease. This boosts commercial value of the crop but may mean the crops are not as healthy to consumers because traces of the chemicals are left in the plants. The use of chemicals to protect crops is not a new idea. Three thousand years ago sulphur was used by the Greeks to kill pests, and the Chinese used arsenic in AD 900. (Food, Farming and the Environment, Damian Allen and Gareth Williams, 1997) There are obvious advantages to using pesticides. The most vital of these is the effect on global food production. Estimates of the pest problem on a worldwide scale suggest that, without insect pest, world food production could be increased by about a third. ...read more.

Middle

For example fungicides can be important pollutants. Many of them contain either Copper or Mercury, as fungi are very sensitive to these two elements. Mercury is toxic to humans. Cases have arisen, for instance in Japan, where people have died as a result of eating fish and molluscs, which had accumulated high concentrations of Mercury (Advanced Biology, Michael Roberts etal, 2000). In addition, some insecticides are not broken down completely or very quickly once they have been applied. They remain in the environment for a long time this is known as persistence. When insecticides are not broken down they may persist in food chains. As the chemicals pass from one trophic level to another, they become concentrated, particularly in fat deposits of top carnivores such as birds of prey. This is called bioaccumulation. The effect may be quite dramatic, as with DDT, which is now found in virtually all animal tissue, in every food chain, and even the Antarctic snow (Food, Farming and the Environment, Damian Allen and Gareth Williams, 1997). However thanks to its use, millions of people survived who would other wise have died of malaria or starvation (Biology: Principles and Processes, Michael Roberts etal, 1993). ...read more.

Conclusion

In conclusion, pesticides are vital in order to increase global food production to meet the demand of the human population. This increases crop productivity has saved millions of people from starvation particularly in developing countries. The problem, however is that pesticides can be introduced into the environment with little knowledge of theirs effects on harmless or helpful organisms within the ecosystem. This can lead to 'bioaccumulation', 'pest resistance' and or 'pest replacement'. Coupled with the potential dangerous miss use of pesticides leading to so called 'direct killing', the use of pesticides has to seriously considered. Therefore it is my view that a compromise must be taken. Pesticides must be used in order to increase crop yield to a necessary amount. However, their effects must be well researched and their use must be responsibly controlled to prevent damage to the environment, ecosystem and human health. The use of pesticides is being regulated by introduction of new laws. In the UK, the law on the sale and use of pesticides was made stricter by the Food and Environment Act 1985 and the Control of Pesticide Regulations 1986 (Food, Farming and the Environment, Damian Allen and Gareth Williams, 1997). ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Living Things in their Environment section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

4 star(s)

****
A good summary of some of the key issues in this complex topic. Some specific relevant examples described in a little detail would have improved the quality of this essay. Some of the information sources are a little dated.

Marked by teacher Adam Roberts 30/07/2013

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Living Things in their Environment essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    The effects of disinfectants and antibacterial soap on bacterial growth

    5 star(s)

    On the other hand, control #1 had undergone a considerable increase in bacterial growth, and the entire dish was literally overrun with circular and puntiform colonies of yellow and white bacteria. There was no bacterial growth was detected on the regrowth plate inoculated from the BactiStat, Coverage, Lysol, and Enviroquat

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Taxonomy is the branch of biology that deals with the identification and naming of ...

    5 star(s)

    The monera kingdom consists of bacteria and blue-green algae. Bacteria are unicellular prokaryotes; this means that they do not have any membrane-bound organelles such as a nucleus. This separates them a great deal from eukaryotic organisms, such as plants and animals- whose cells contain a nucleus. Therefore bacteria are placed in their own kingdom know as the monera kingdom.

  1. Marked by a teacher

    A2 Biology Coursework -Investigation into the effect of different concentrations of antibiotics on the ...

    4 star(s)

    Replace the lid and refasten the lid with cello tape 27. Place this dish in an incubator at 25 degrees for 15 minutes. 28. Repeat procedures 25 to 27 for the other dishes. 29. After 15 minutes is over get a Petri dish and open the lid by cutting

  2. Marked by a teacher

    An Investigation into a Woodlice's Preferred Choice of Environment.

    3 star(s)

    This is true as woodlice tend to be found under rocks, stones and wood. It is clearly dark and damp underneath these, and would also be fairly warm as heat cannot be lost easily as wind may not pass easily underneath the wood etc, making it cooler.

  1. Describe the differences between natural ecosystems and ...

    (fallout pathway), and so the system is at this stage effectively closed. Phosphorus and potassium are both essential nutrients for plant growth, but nitrogen is required in the highest concentrations in the soil. The recycling of nitrogen through its complex cycle maintains the equilibrium in natural ecosystems between nitrate uptake and deposition.

  2. The importance uses of micro organisms.

    Millions live in the sea, where they are eaten by the sea life. A stony shell covers Protozoa's called foraminifers. When these organisms die the shells fall to the seabed and contribute to the development of limestone. Viruses are the smallest type of organism (ultramicroscopic organism).

  1. explain why Antarctica is so special and therefore why we need to protect it, ...

    The table below shows various metallic minerals, how they are formed and what they are used for. Minerals Possible Uses Iron Sedimentation Steel making Cobalt Hydrothermal Petroleum Refining, Pigments Chromium Magmatic Segregation Heat & Corrosion Resistant Steel Segregation Nickel Magmatic Segregation Stainless Steel, Heat & Corrosion-Resistant Steel Copper Hydrothermal Sedimentation Alloys with Tin (Bronze)

  2. The Effect Of Fertilisers On The Environment

    * to increase the proportion of crop available for human consumption. (Bowsher, 2004) Fertilisers will undoubtedly be needed as the world population 'has been predicted to reach 8.3 billion people by 2025' (Bowsher, 2004). But, will the effect on the environment due to increased usage, caused unprecedented problems?

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work