‘There’s so much misinformation swirling around the internet’: Are pesticides really safe and necessary?

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Credit: Chalgenius
Credit: Chalgenius

Here are 5 things you may not know about pesticides — from their long backstory to their development and testing to the broad range that is available today.

2. A brief history of pesticides

The first use of pesticides on record would be the Sumerian peoples of modern Iraq. Around 2500 BCE the Sumerians used sulfur compounds to repel and kill insects. About the same time, Egyptian and Chinese farmers were combining herbs and oils to the same effect. 

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4. How dangerous are pesticides?

Keep in mind that all pesticides are designed to kill some kind of living organism, and to that extent, all pesticides must be handled with care. The EPA is among the leading regulators of these products and tests them prior to their release to the public…  It’s estimated that bringing a brand new pesticide active ingredient into the U.S. marketplace costs about $180 million over eight to 10 years, most of which is spent on research… So U.S. consumers can put faith in the fact that the products, while lethal to some living substances at their allotted doses, have been tested for appropriate usage and their safety to humans. 

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