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Final Draft

  1. 1. Pesticides and CFCs, Like all things there is a good and bad side to new inventions By Rebecca Lugo Inventions such as pesticides and CFCs were invented by humans to improve the lives’ of mankind. Some of these inventions gives off a chemical discharge which then resides in the earth, no one can be sure if these chemicals will be dangerous to the environment. The earth has remained a somewhat stable environment because it has a livable balance of chemicals that work together protecting and regulating. Subtracting chemicals from the earth will disrupt it’s natural flow. Like all things there is a good and bad side to new inventions such as pesticides and CFCs; ( Pesticides have a very logical purpose for being created and used. The human populations is in constant growth and decay, but new strides in technology have caused longevity and procreate to improve more then it has in the past. A steady flow of food is required to satisfy a population with a now longer life span. Crop “pests” such as insects endanger a large crop output, crops that are necessary to be produced. A easy alternative for farmers are chemicals that kill these pests; insects, funguses, plants and animals. Insects such as mosquitoes can also carry dangerous dieses, making pesticides helpful in exterminating them from certain human populated areas for their own protection, and to prevent the dieses from spreading. Surprisingly here are several categories of pesticide such as herbicides and insecticides that are specialized to kill only a certain type of organism. It is easy to get lost in the number of pesticides that are currently in use. The list for Insecticides alone is quite large, and each has a certain specialty and dangerous effect to name a few; Alkyl phthalates, Benzyl Benzoate, boric acid and Borates, Chlordimeform, Chlorobenzilate, cyhexatin Diethyltoluamide, and Biologicals.(EPA) Pesticides are mainly sprayed directly on to crops or placed by hand onto the plant soil to later be watered. Depending on the girth of land that needs to be covered, pesticide may be administered in spray form by plane.
  2. 2. When looking at pesticides from a health standpoint they just don’t make sense. (EPA) Farmers are literally spraying or throwing poisonous chemicals onto the food the general public will be eating. Although some chemicals can be washed away, many cannot, all chemicals listed in the paragraph above have a level of toxicity. If these chemicals are sprayed on food crops or the dirt surrounding them some amount of the chemical will be absorbed into the plant. Ingesting plants that contain these chemicals can be very dangerous, and some pesticides such as Alkyl phthalates does not have an antidote. Most pesticides that do have treatments relies mainly on the rate or ability to recover based on body function to clear the chemicals from you body, so a large doses of pesticide exposure could cause some one sever bodily harm. Some pesticides have been known to cause birth defects if put in contact with humans or animals directly. Many pesticides have been banned for general use in many countries such as Canada and India. Some pesticides have been regulated by the government to only be used for certain crops such as the chemical carbofuran. Carbofuran was once used to kill the common pest grasshoppers, due to it’s level of toxicity birds in the area of carbofuran sprayings began dying out, this chemical is now limited to only potato and corn crops. .(EPA) Crop farmers and the life surrounding sprayed crops are also in danger of illness to pesticides. Sprayed pesticides have been known to kill not only rats and insects (Pests normally targeted for pesticide use) but also squirrels, rabbits, cats, birds, and dogs. Birds are effected the most from pesticide use; the same insects that are being killed by pesticides are the main food source for bird. Because of this fact it is very likely that a pesticide dazed insect covered with very poisonous chemicals could become an easy looking target of prey for birds. Pesticides killing large quantities of insects also tampers with the natural food chain. With less bugs to eat the more birds there will be dying from starvation. William C’s article “Over kill” states that; In an attempt to control the spread to the West Nile virus (a disease which spreads rapidly due to its mosquito carriers) in New York, a massive spraying of the pesticide Anvil 10 + 10 was let loose on several new York towns to kill the possible mosquito carriers. This particular spray Anvil 10 + 10 had many side effects because unlike crop pesticides this spray was administered over towns of people. Anvil 10 + 10 was the spray meant to kill mosquitoes, but as a result the residents were faced with the pesticides numerous side effects. Humans exposed to Anvil 10 + 10 have been known to have the side effects of prostate cancer, miscarriage, asthma, creates toxic harm to vital organs and the nervous system; liver, kidney, skin, itching and blisters, nausea, vomiting, breast cancer in women, and lowers sperm count in men. Spraying these chemicals over a community was a very sloppy strategy to control the West Nile virus. (EPA) Before the immense demand on crops leading to pesticide use, farmers had other strategies to get rid of common crop pests. One type of defense is planting
  3. 3. different crops. Crops can be planted together in patches with different types of crops such as corn and green peppers, the reason for this is to make it more difficult for the animals or insects that eat only one crop to find it when there are so many different crops surrounding the ones they feed off of. Most pests searching for the correct crop will either give up or die off before finding it. There are also a number of plants which naturally repel certain insects. The repellent is usually in the form of an aroma that wards off one type of insect. As an example Pennyroyal, spearmint, southernwood, and tansy repel ants, not that ants are a large crop threat. Mites can be warded off by onion, garlic, chive plants. Cabbage moth insects can be repelled by mint, hyssop, rosemary, southernwood, thyme, sage, wormwood, celery, catnip and nasturtium. There is at least one plant, if not more that also repel aphids, Borers, Colorado potato beetles, Cucumber beetles, Cutworms, Slugs, and Whiteflies. ( When these insect fighting plants are planted next to crops preyed on by pests the plants work as a very efficient barrier of defense. The reason most farmers do not use one of these techniques is due to the planting hassle of these other plants. It would be quite difficult to plant individual guard plants in a very large crop. Machines are used to plant the seeds in large crops, the machines would not know which seeds to plant with which crops. As for the crop defense plants, it is also true that these plants would need different treatment and attention than the crop plants to stay alive, this could create more problems for the farmers. Everyone can lessen the demand for pesticide grown produce by going green, one can buy organic greens from a local market to help out. CFCs are the chemical compound chlorofluorocarbons. This chemical was invented by Thomas Midgley. Not much was known about cfc’s at the time. In 1928 Cfc’s were put to use, the were developed for the use of refrigerator cooling agents. ( Refrigeration before CFCs was very dangerous, the refrigerators were either toxic or more often then not explosive. Today CFCs are more commonly found in aerosol canned products such as hair spray. Chlorofluorocarbon is highly unstable. Their particles instead of moving steadily like most chemical compounds, CFCs tend to move quickly and violently. Because CFCs are in a spray form their particles are free to travel up through the atmosphere and eventually to the ozone layer when released. CFCs in the ozone layer continue their spastic movement knocking around the other particles in the ozone creating holes. CFCs do not dissipate from the ozone layer for at least one hundred years. (Ciesin) The ozone layer is an invisible protective layer of chemicals around the earth. These Chemicals block UV rays from the sun so they may not effect the earth at a high intensity. UV rays are the cause of skin cancer, and blindness in both humans and animals. ( The melting of the polar ice caps, and global warming are also the partial after math of UV rays. Global warming is defined as a dramatic increase or decrease in the earths temperature, and has caused many environmental problems. (Danny M Fisher) CFCs contribute to global warming, but carbon exhaust from power plants and automobiles are also to blame. (APIS) These factors could inevitably lead to the earths destruction. The area of the earth most effected by ozone is Australia. Australia has by far ( the larges hole in the ozone layer resting on top of it. It has
  4. 4. been reported that Australia has one of the larges ozone holes over it, this could lead to an increase in blindness do to the over exposure of UV rays, with no eye protection the wildlife’s eye sight could be greatly effected. (Shivam Nethralaya) CFCs are still present in some hair sprays, the government once realizing the threat has since regulated the output of CFCs lessening them by twenty percent from what they were in 1986. Those products which still have these chemicals will continue to release them into the ozone layer were they will remain destroying the ozone layer for one hundred years. (Ciesin) Hairspray products that do not contain CFCs will be clearly labeled with a small stamp on the back of the product stating “Does not contain CFCs” or “CFC free“. While looking for a suitable hair spray to buy at target I happened upon a Herbal essences hair spray which smelled very nice. I turned over the can to check for a “Does not contain CFCs“ label, yes, I was sixteen and cared that much. The label was not present so being the strange semi activist I was (Hey I even bought cruelty free shampoo) I wrote down the “for questions or comments” information. I later went to the companies, which will remain anonymous, website. The sites layout looked as if it was geared towards teenage girls decorated with colorful swirls. The question and comment section required I give my age and email before I could submit my question which asked why their product contains chlorofluorocarbons when the chemical so obviously hurts the environment. I didn’t understand why companies would still use CFCs when other companies have no trouble making hair spray without CFCs. It turns out that at the time someone would have to be at least twenty five to comment on this companies products. I found this out through process of elimination because the comments section refused to accept my question until I had gone through all the ages possible. My battle to comment finally ended when I selected twenty five and retyped my comment for an uncounted number of times finally taking my comment. I found that whole experience rather annoying, a website that looked geared towards teens had just refused their target audience from asking questions and giving comments was just ridiculous. Several weeks later I received a response to my question via email. The response stated in my email clammed that the government had long since regulated the use of CFCs. To me this answer was not very convincing, did they meaning the company felt it was okay to use CFCs simply because the government was allowing it even though the chemicals hurt the environment? This thought disgusted me, and I have avoided this companies products ever since. CFCs are unneeded in hair spray products, and should be eliminated
  5. 5. completely from products that do not really need them in order to work correctly because even if we get rid of Chlorofluorocarbons completely at this current date they will still remain destroying the ozone layer for 100 more years before the ozone is free of them. I do not feel that any human advance in technology has been truly one hundred percent effective in the job it was set out to fulfill. (Ciesin) Books or Ebooks: Taylor & Francis, Environmental toxicology assessment [electronic resource]. London: 1995. Earthscan, The pesticide detox [electronic resource] : towards a more sustainable agriculture. London; sterling, VA: 2000 Academic journals:
  6. 6. "Pesticide incident At mound School [Ventura County Edition]". Los angeles Times November 2, 2009: P. B12. “Horizon Organic; New Yourk Ramily Receives Organic Farming Award”. Sciences module. October, 2009. Recently published articles: P., Mcmichael. "A food regime analysis of the 'world food crisis'". ABI/INFORM Flobal 2009: 281-295. J., Fairchild, A., Allert, K., Feltz, K., Nelson. “An Ecological Risk Assessment of the Acute and Chronic Effects of the Herbicide Clopyralid to Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)”. Environmental Contamination and Toxicology November 3, 2009: 725-731. Floaters: "Pesticides | US EPA". EPA. November 2, 2009 < > "Pesticides | US EPA". EPA. <> "Pesticides | US EPA". EPA. <> "Pesticides | US EPA". EPA. <pesticide prevention:> “CFCs and Ozone Depletion”. CIESIN. <> C, Willam. "OVERKILL: Why Pesticide Spraying for West Nile Virus May Cause More Harm Then Good". Toxics Action Center and. November 16, 2009 <>. Graeme O'Neill “Ozone Argument Has A Big Hole In It”. < argument-has-a-big-hole-in-it/> "Overview- Chlorofluorocarbons". APIS Air pollution Information system. Tue Nov 17 01:36:09 EST 2009 <> “10 Useful Inventions that went bad” Listvers. July 19, 2009 <htttp://> “Plants that repel insects” thrifty Nov 29, 2009 <>
  7. 7. “ULTRAVIOLET RAYS“. Shivam Nethralaya. November 29, 2009 <> Danny M Fisher “Define Global Warming” ezinearticles. Nov 29, 2009 <> “Leaded Gasoline, Freon, and Chlorofluorocarbon” Nov 29, 2009 <http://>