Health Risk of Pesticides

Pesticides include toxic substances that are released into the environment to eliminate living things such as; insects, weeds, rodents, fungus, and others. The use of pesticides is very common as they are used everywhere: in agricultural fields, streets, and homes. Thus, humans are constantly in contact with pesticides as they are in the air, water, and the food. This essay sheds light upon the health risks originating from the use of pesticides.

Despite the presence of toxic substances in pesticides, they are continuously used in open environments and no steps are taken to ensure isolation of humans from these substances. There have been several research papers that have attempted to bring the issue to light however despite these attempts, pesticides are still openly used without giving any due consideration to human health. In May 2010, researchers from University of Montreal and Harvard University found out that pesticides used on fruits and vegetables are responsible for increase in the risk of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children. The widespread use of pesticides has made it nearly impossible to eliminate toxic substances from food. Thus, the situation has transformed into a dilemma where on one hand, it is essential to use pesticides to keep pests from causing damage, and on the other hand, it is also necessary to ensure that air, water, and food remain free from the residue of pesticides.

Health risk of pesticides can be placed on a wide continuum ranging from acute impacts like nausea to significant impacts such as cancer. Some of the acute health impacts caused by pesticides may include: headaches, dizziness, skin and eye irritation, and fatigue. In addition to acute health impacts, there may be some chronic health consequences arising from continuous exposure to pesticides in air, water, and food such as; autism spectrum disorders (ASD), leukemia, non-Hodgkins lymphoma, and various types of cancer. Studies conducted by National Cancer Institute show that American farmers exhibit large instances of the diseases mentioned above. It was concluded that continuous exposure of farmers to the pesticides results in the development of these diseases.

It can be concluded that health risk of pesticides varies depending upon the frequency of exposure. While acute health risks do not cause any significant harm, the chronic health impacts originating from exposure to pesticides gives rise to the question whether pesticides are doing more harm than good. Considering the health impacts caused by pesticides, it is essential that regulatory authorities take steps to make pesticides safer for use.

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