Agrochemicals and their Effects on the Environment


They are the generic name given to chemicals (fertilizers, pesticides, insecticides, etc.) used in agriculture to facilitate plant growth and protection. In short, they are agricultural chemicals.

Although initially, they were used to improving crop production, overuse of chemicals has now started affecting the environment. Apart from the obvious effects on crops and the food chain, Agrochemicals have a wide area of application. Due to these many uses, they seep into the surrounding land and water bodies, therefore having a widespread effect.

Regarding their impact on crops, excessive use of such chemicals generates a significant amount of residues. These residues cause nutrient imbalance and quality-reduction of agricultural produce. The residues lead to long-term ill effects on the health of organisms that consume them. For example, pesticide residues in food have been linked to being one of the causes of asthma in humans.

Effect on Soil:

  • They may kill helpful bacteria
  • Increase nitrate content in the soil
  • Alter pH levels
  • Kill soil organisms
  • Unnatural growth effects
  • Residual effects

Effect on Water:

  • Make water unfit for consumption.
  • Agrochemicals in water diffuse with larger water bodies to promote the growth of algae.
  • Excess chemicals lead to Eutrophication.
  • Leads to water pollution, thereby affecting aquatic animals.
  • Alters the chemical properties of water.

Effect on Air:

  • Pesticide particles diffuse with air, altering their nature.
  • Wind drifts carry polluted air to other parts, thereby spreading their ill effects.
  • Depending on weather conditions, more amount of spray may evaporate.
  • Air polluted in this way is inhaled by surrounding living organisms having drastic effects on their health.

Stay tuned with BYJU’S to learn more about Agrochemicals and their Effects on the Environment.


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