Insecticides Essay

An insecticide is used to kill insects. There are many kinds of insecticides,
but organic insecticides are the most commonly used (World Book, 1999). Organic
insecticides are split into three different categories: Chlorinated hydrocarbon
insecticides, organophosphate insecticides, and carbamate insecticides (World
Book, 1999). In this paper, I’ll explore how toxic each of these insecticides
are, how they affect wildlife, humans, and the environment, and what we can do
to help. WHY USE INSECTICIDES? Some insects, like white flies and mosquitoes,
can carry deadly diseases that affect crops, animals and humans. Insects can
cause about 5.5 billion dollars in crop and live stock losses every year. Some
of the diseases they cause are Cattle Fever and Sheep Scab. The insecticides are
used to kill insects and protect livestock (World Book, 1999). Insecticides can
also be used on flea treatments for cats, dogs, and other animals (Ackerman,
1996). WHAT ARE ORGANIC INSECTICIDES? Organic Insecticides are the most commonly
and widely used insecticides. They are synthetic substances made from carbon,
hydrocarbon insecticies, organophosphate insecticides (World Book 1999).

Chlorinated hydrocarbon insecticides, also know as “organic
chlorines”, contain chlorine atoms (World Book 1999). Common members of
this group are Acaralate, Acarol, Aldrin, BHC, Chlordance, Chlorobenzilate, DDT,
dicofol, dieldrin, endosulfan, endrin, heptachlor, kepone, lindane, methoxychlor,
mirex, perthen, TDE, and toxaphene (Hamm 1982). They’re persistant because after
being used once, they can still affect living things for several years. This is
because they don’t break down chemically so they’re found in soil, animal and
fish tissue, plants, and water (Hamm, 1982). These, and all persistant
insecticides, are trying to be replaced and restricted because they kill bird,
fish, and other animals (World Book, 1999). Organophospahte Insecticides contain
phosphorus atom (World Book, 1999). Common members of this group are Abate,
azinphosethyl, azinphosmethyl, Bidrin, bromophos, bromophosethyl,
carbophenothion, and chlorfenvinphos (Hamm, 1982). They are used on food because
they don’t leave harmful deposits behind (World Book, 1999). This is because the
breakdown rapidly into harmless components. They also break down in the presence
of water. They have less environmental danger than chlorinateed hydrocarbons
which is why they’ve almost replaced them for side scale usage (Hamm 1982).

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However, they are poisoness to people. One type of organophosphate, paratheion,
is used to kill mites and aphids on fruit trees and vegetables. Another kind,
malathion, are less dangerous to apply, so they’re widely used by farmers (
World Book, 1999). Carbonates are the last kind of organic insecticide. They are
made from carbamic acid which is CO2NH3 (Hamm, 1982). They also contain one or
more amino groups that are of one nitrogen atom and two hydogen atoms. They
don’t leave harmful deposits in food but some are harmful to warm blooded
animals (World Book, 1999). Common members of this group are aldicarb, BUX,
carbaryl, carbofuran, dimetilan, formetanate, methiocarb, methiocarb, methomyl,
propoxur, and zectran. These are relatively new and might eventually replace
organophosphates (Hamm, 1982). HOW TOXIC ARE THEY? Carbamates contain the
insecticide Sevin. Sevin has a low toxicity. It is effective against many
insects that are resistant to other pesticides. Caramates also include the
insectide Baygon, or Propoxar. Propoxar is highly toxic and has a long residual
life. It’s effective against cockroaches, ticks, and other difficult insect and
arachnid species (Hamm, 1982). Carbamates don’t leave harmful deposits in food (
World Book, 1999). The Chlorinated Hydrocarbon contain the insecticide DDT. DDT
is moderately toxic and was once one of the most widely used insecticides but
are now greatly restricted because it stays in soil and in water food chans
(Hamm, 1982). They also endanger animals like birds and fish and they
contaminate the food that people eat. Since 1972, the U.S. Government phased out
all use of DDT, but it’s still used in other countries (World Book, 1999).

Organophosphates and carbamates carry some of the same risks. They are both
commonly used and both have a high incidence of acute toxicity in animals and
humans. Both insecticides are used in flea treatments for pets. They’re more
dangerous than the other commonly used insecticides like pynethrins and
pyrethoids. Symptoms of insecticide poisoning include: pinpoint pupils, blurred
vision, tightness in chest, sweating, excessive tear production, salivation,
nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea. Cardio vascular and
neurological problems can also occur. Problems with the nervous system are
decreased alertness, sleep disorders, memory loss, and paranoia. Long term
effects can occur in the immune system, nervous system, and reproductive system.

HOW CAN WE HELP? Some people are trying to change by using more natural
insecticides. Once insecticide is cow urine. It’s used on cotton and protects it
from whiteflies. It also works as a fertilizer. The iron, potassium, and
magnesium in it makes the grow better (Hecht, 1998). Another natural insecticide
is chilli powder. The only problem with this is it can affect people’s eyes and
skin (Hecht, 1998). Other insecticides are red pepper, Bacilluss Thuringienisis
(B+), and garlic juice. B+ comes from a naturally occuring bacteria. You can
make your own insecticide if you mix 2 tablespoons of red pepper and six drops
of dish detergentent into a gallon of water, let it sit overnight, and then stir
it throughly. That can protect cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and
collards (Long, 1998). There are many different kinds of insecticides. One group
of these are organic insecticides. There are three different types of organic
insecticides. Each type has different insecticides, but they are all dangerous.

Some of them are replacing each other and some are so dangerous they’re trying
to be phased out. Some people are trying to help by using natural things that
don’t have so many risks. CONCLUSION I found that this topic was kind of hard to
research. At first, I thougght it would be easy, but it wasn’t. I found most of
my information in books and encyclopedias because the internet and periodicals
barely had anything I could use.

1. Ackerman, Lowell:

Pet Healthe Initiative, Inc. 1996 2. HAMM, James G.: The Handbook of Pest
Control. Toronto: Fitzhenry ; Whiteside Limited, 1982. 3. Hecht, David
;Georges Badiane. “Benign Urine” New Internationalist, Junew 1998,
12-16 4. Long, Cheryl. “Defeat Pests with Hot Pepper” Organic
Gardining, March 98:10 5. “DDT” The World Book Encyclopedia. 1999 6.

“Insecticides” The World Book Encyclopedia. 1999 7.

“Pesticides” Webster’s New World Encyclopedia, 1992


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