How Can Pesticides Affect Your Health Adversely?
WHAT ARE PESTICIDES?
Pesticides can be referred as chemical or synthetic compounds that are used in order to kill, control or repel pests, including insects, fungi, rodents, unwanted plants or vegetation (weeds). More than 1000 types of pesticides are used globally to control pests. Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), dlyphosate, acephate, deet, propoxur, metaldehyde, boric acid, diazinon are several examples of pesticides.
Pesticides can be classified in accordance to the types of pests they kill:
- Insecticides: used to kill a variety of insects.
- Herbicides: used to kill weed or unwanted vegetation.
- Rodenticides: used to kill rats and mice.
- Bactericides: used to kill or inhibit the outspread of bacteria.
- Fungicides: used to kill or inhibit the growth of molds and mildew.
- Larvicides: used to kill larvae.
DO YOU KNOW HOW WE TAKE PESTICIDES IN INDIRECT MANNER?
Most people don’t know that they are consuming pesticides in an indirect manner and these pesticides harm their health accordingly. The ways through which pesticides get enter into our body are:
Farmers spray pesticides on crops to protect that from insects, fungi, rodents, unwanted plants or weeds. But once these pesticides are sprayed on crops, it is very difficult to remove them even after thorough washing of the harvested crops. Pesticides easily enter in our body when we consume these crops in various forms / recipes. It is the most common method of consuming pesticides without actually knowing their actual amount.
People inhale pesticides as they got mixed with gases in our environment, especially in the factories and food industries. People working in pesticide manufacturing industries are more prone to inhale pesticides and get affected by them.
No one has an idea that pesticides get easily absorbed in our skin and find its way to our body. Farmers are most affected with this problem as now-a-days they often use more pesticides for spraying on their crops. Pesticides can also be absorbed by our eyes and thus affect vision & harms our health.
HARMFUL EFFECTS OF PESTICIDES
1. Impact on Environment
Contamination of soil, turf, water and other vegetation can be done by pesticides. Pesticides kill insects and unwanted plants, but also can be toxic to a host of other organisms including birds, beneficial insects or other beneficiary plants. Insecticides are known to be the most toxic types of pesticides, but at many times herbicides can also risk the life of beneficiary organisms.
2. Surface Water Contamination
Contamination of surface water can be done through over spilling from pesticides treatment of plants or from contaminated soil. Several types of pesticides get mixed into water and harm the species of fishes and many other water living organisms.
3. Air Pollution
Pesticides contribute a lot to pollute the air. The particles of pesticides spread into the air and then contaminate it. Whenever the living organisms inhale this contaminated air, the chances of infection increases. Pesticides used in crops are blown out by wind to nearby areas affecting the health of the organisms all around, whether it is animals or human beings.
4. Soil Pollution
One of the major causes of soil pollution is the use of pesticides in large quantities. The use of pesticides in an excessive amount can reduce the quality of soil and affect the micro-organisms living in soil. These can even kill the beneficial organisms already present in the soil.
5. Impact on Human Beings
Continuous consumption of pesticides may lead to filling our body with toxins which give rise to many life threatening diseases. Toxicity may be acute or chronic in nature depending upon the intake of the amount of the pesticides by an individual.
Acute Toxicity Leads to
- Irritation in Respiratory Tract
- Allergic Reactions
- Irritation in skin or eyes
- Loss of consciousness
- Extreme weakness in body
Chronic Toxicity Results in
- Parkinson’s disease
- Reproductive system dysfunctioning
HARMFUL EFFECTS OF PESTICIDES ON MALE AND FEMALE REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM
As we already discussed the harmful effects of pesticides on human health as a whole, now we will specifically describe its major effect on male and female reproductive health. Pesticides are well known as endocrine interrupters thus, they can disturb the reproductive health in both genders. Some pesticides imitate the hormones that play a role in the reproduction and block their chain of functioning.
TOXICITY ON MALE REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM
- Some pesticides kill or inhibit the growth of spermatozoa (sperm cells) which reduces the semen quality and becomes responsible for infertility in males.
- Numerous pesticides alter the structure of DNA, causing mutations in genes which results in birth defects.
- Impairment in spermatogenesis.
- Pesticides show toxic reactions on male reproductive system affecting the sertoli, testes and leydig cells.
- Imbalancing hormones
- Altering the testicular weight.
TOXICITY ON FEMALE REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM
- Interrupt physiology of ovary in females
- Disturb the synthesis of hormones
- Disturb follicular maturation
- Prolong pregnancy time
- Incessant consumption may cause abnormal menstrual cycle
- Low weight of newborn babies
- Miscarriage or premature Birth
- Increases the chances of endometriosis (disorder in which endometrial tissue grows outside of uterine cavity in women)
So, as we clearly explained, pesticides can affect both males’ and females’ reproductive systems and can also disturb the endocrine system. Thus, it is necessary to be more aware regarding the usage of pesticides in our surroundings for any purpose as it can even risk our life.