Why Is Insecticide Bad For The Environment?
While insecticides continue to be an important and growing component of controlling insects and pests in and outside landscape and agriculture, environmentalists are more concerned with its’ bad effect on our Environment. Numerous studies have brought out the adverse effect of using insecticides on the environment. It has become a burning issue nowadays.
There are many causes why insecticides are thought to have a bad effect on the environment. Firstly, they cause different sorts of pollution-
Soil Pollution: Insecticides like DDT and BT Toxin directly mixes with the soil. These insecticides contain chemicals that last for several months and thus pollute the nearby soil.
Water Pollution: Insecticides are most harmful to nearby water sources. They cause water pollution in two ways-
- Many insecticides run off to the nearby rivers, canals or ponds. For instance, insecticides used in a paddy field night run off to the pond nearby it ending up polluting the water.
- Through a process called leeching, insecticides get mixed with groundwater and pollute them. It makes the groundwater unsanitary.
Air Pollution: Volatilization is a process through which insecticides turns into gas and vapor ending up mixing with our air. As different chemicals mix with the air, the air gets polluted.
One of the most adverse effects of insecticides is that it stops the reproductive system of many wildlife animals. A recent scientific study by IRRI found that Atrazine causes reproductive problems in the frogs that affect the frog’s biological goal, which is to survive to reproduce.
DDT Effect: Classified as class 2 insecticide, DDT is considered as one of the most harmful insecticides for the environment. Scientists have named it the DDT Effect. It reportedly has a half-life of 2-15 years making it one of the most lasting chemicals. Unfortunately, it is the most used insect killers around the world. It often runs off to nearby water sources and creates havoc for aquatic and invertebrate species. Due to its low decay rate and ability to affect all wildlife, it filters through the entire food chain and affects nature.
Wildlife Extinction: A study by Offord researchers found that five most recent events of extinction of wildlife happened mainly for insecticides. In 1998, scientists identified that amphibians have been reducing rapidly. They claimed that a Fungus, a direct side-effect of using pesticides, has a strong correlation behind this extinction.
A more recent study showed that the population of Honeybees has dropped by 29%-36% each year around Europe and America. The study identified the use of pesticides in agriculture responsible for it.
Dying Plants: Over the last few decades many plants have gone to extinction. Due to the overuse of pesticides, nearby air and soil pollution has stopped the natural pollination process of many plants. As birds are dying, drinking the insecticide affected water, they have stopped coming close to those affected areas. It eventually resulted in stopping the natural pollination process causing the extinction of many plants.
Moreover, most plants use Nitrogen as a growth chemical, but pesticides often get mixed with Nitrogen so it becomes hard for the plants to extract Nitrogen from the air. It has badly affected their growth.
These are just some of the most common examples of why insecticides are bad for our environment. It’s high time we became conscious of the adverse effect of insecticides on our environment.