As the world’s population increases, so does the demand for food. Various agricultural practices are being used to meet that demand. Agriculture production has increased as a result of advanced technologies, the use of agricultural chemicals, and the introduction of newly developed crop varieties. Pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers are examples of agrochemicals that are used to manage the ecosystems of agricultural sectors. These chemicals are used to protect crops from pests, insects, and weeds while also increasing productivity. Many tons of these chemicals are applied each year to protect crops from targeted organisms while also increasing production rates. Despite the fact that these chemicals are beneficial to agricultural productivity and thus help to meet the ever-increasing demand for food, the consequences of their use cannot be ignored.
Even though farmers use it for a good cause, it pollutes and contaminates the environment. This is not only bad actually for the soil, but it is also hazardous to animal and human health. Unfortunately, only 5% of it reaches the targeted organisms and the rest of the 95% remains in the environment. Spraying these chemicals can cause them to drift and contaminate nearby surfaces.
The use of these agrochemicals has been linked to changes in the human endocrine and immune systems, as well as the possibility of cancer. Farmers come into direct contact with these harmful chemicals because they might not always wear personal protective equipment when spraying. As a result, the chemicals enter their bloodstream during inhalation, causing harm to their eyes, skin, and respiratory system. When pesticides and fertilizers are sprayed, they are transferred directly or indirectly into fruits and vegetables, posing a health risk to humans. When fertilizer leaches into the groundwater, it can contaminate it with nitrate, which is extremely harmful to human health. Many pesticides are used on crops, with organophosphate being the most commonly used pesticide due to its low environmental persistence, but when used directly on vegetables, these pesticides can cause abdominal pain, vomiting, headache, nausea, dizziness, and skin problems. It can also get accumulated in the human body and cause cancer.
To protect humans from these harmful chemicals, various measures should be implemented. There are different methods to convert these harmful chemicals into less toxic compounds which should be followed. Because they have extremely dangerous consequences. There is an urgent need to protect our earth by transitioning our current agricultural system to organic farming. It is an environmentally friendly agricultural approach that eventually leads to good human health.