Risks and Benefits of Pesticides

Risks and Benefits of Pesticides

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Risks and Benefits of Pesticides

The use of pesticides has made it possible for farmers to increase their yields. Food crops such as rice, maize, and wheat have increased in production because of these chemicals. Their use has also increased farmers’ income, and, at the same time, led to a reduction in food prices. People in poorer countries can enrich their diets because the use of pesticides has increased the quantity of vegetables, fruits, and other healthy crops produced successfully. If pesticides were not utilized, there would be less food in the market, less competition in farming, and food insecurity, all of which would result in hunger.

The use of pesticides has adverse effects on the environment and human health. It has led to the development of pest resistance, which means that farmers have to use pesticides that are increasingly powerful (Richardson, Roy, & Shalat, 2014). Pesticides are also responsible for the loss of natural pollinators such as bees, and they cause harm to livestock (Popp, Peto, & Nagy, 2013). Moreover, these chemicals contaminate groundwater, an act that can reduce the water available for human consumption.

In matters concerning public health, the use of pesticides is a risk factor for the development of diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. In fact, Parkinson’s disease is frequently associated with exposure to any form of pesticides (Pezzoli & Cereda, 2013). The risk to human health depends on the category of chemicals used as well as the rates of exposure. Individuals who use pesticides directly, such as farmers, are greatly exposed to the adverse risks of pesticides. However, considering the environmental risks, as well as other threats to human and animal health, the use of pesticides is not justified. It is possible to find alternative means of increasing crop yields and protecting crops from disease that are safe for the environment.


Pezzoli, G., & Cereda, E. (2013). Exposure to pesticides or solvents and risk of Parkinson disease. Neurology, 80(22), 2035-2041.

Popp, J., Peto, K., & Nagy, J. (2013). Pesticide productivity and food security: A review. Agronomy for Sustainable Development, 33(1), 243-255.

Richardson, R. J., Roy, A., & Shalat, L. S. (2014). Elevated serum pesticide levels and risk for Alzheimer disease. JAMA Neurology, 71(3), 284-290.

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