“We farm workers are closest to food production. We were the first to recognize the serious health hazards of agriculture pesticides to both consumers and ourselves.”
Cesar Chavez, Activist
17 Agricultural Pollution Facts & Stats You Should Know
Agricultural pollution is a big problem that has to be addressed by politicians as well as by private persons worldwide.
It can have severe adverse effects on a variety of animals and plants and also on us humans.
In this article, a variety of facts and stats related to agricultural pollution is given.
List of the most important Agricultural Pollution Facts & Stats
- Agricultural pollution is often due to excessive use of fertilizers and pesticides.
- Fertilizers and pesticides often contain many harmful substances, including Cadmium, Fluoride, heavy metals and even radioactive components, which may pollute our soil and groundwater if used excessively.
- The use of contaminated water in agriculture can lead to agricultural pollution and also to groundwater and soil pollution.
- Improper animal management may also contribute to agricultural contamination since often, large numbers of animals are kept on a relatively small space, which may in turn lead to the use of excessive amounts of antibiotics in order to keep the animals healthy. However, the use of antibiotics may turn into health issues for humans since we may become antibiotic-resistant if we eat this kind of meat.
- Manure can lead to significant agricultural pollution and may eventually also turn into groundwater pollution if it is not treated in a proper manner.
- As at 2019, 14.5% of all human-made greenhouse gas emissions were due to agricultural global livestock emissions.
- From these total greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture, around 65% are due to cattle farming.
- Overall, according to the EPA, agricultural processes are responsible for 24% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
- Inappropriate land management may lead to a loss of fertility and therefore to a long-term reduction in crop yields.
- Agriculture is responsible for a significant amount of greenhouse gases on a global scale, especially for the emission of methane.
- Agricultural pollution can lead to severe human health effects. This could be due to antibiotic resistance or also through the contamination of the groundwater which humans will eventually drink through the use of tap water.
- Agricultural pollution may lead to the eutrophication of rivers and lakes since fertilizers lead to an increase of nutrients in the water, which leads to an increase in algae. This in turn can lead to the death of many fishes and other water organisms since oxygen levels decrease if the amount of algae increases.
- Agricultural contamination also contributes to air pollution since in big agricultural companies, a significant number of machines are used which emit large amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.
- Agricultural processes may also lead to the destruction of ecosystems. For instance, this can be observed in the Amazon Rainforest where large areas of land are cut or burned down with the intention to get more space for farming since it is more profitable for locals compared to selling wood. However, this behavior leads to vast destruction of ecosystems which in turn may lead to endangerment or even to the extinction of many animals and plants.
- It is crucial that there have to be stricter regulations when it comes to agricultural practices on a global scale in order to fight agricultural pollution.
- Farmers also have to improve their processes so that less manure and fertilizers are used in order to protect the groundwater and the soil.
- Moreover, fewer antibiotics should be used to prevent antibiotic resistance for humans.
About the author
My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people of all ages about our environmental problems and how everyone can make a contribution to mitigate these issues.
As I went to university and got my Master’s degree in Economics, I did plenty of research in the field of Development Economics.
After finishing university, I traveled around the world. From this time on, I wanted to make a contribution to ensure a livable future for the next generations in every part of our beautiful planet.
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