YOLO COUNTY NEWS

Letters

Pesticides can do great harm

By From page A12 | March 02, 2014

My name is Emily Jiang and I am part of my school Nature Bowl team. I am currently working on an enviromercial. That is an environmental report on a local issue. My issue is biomagnification and bioaccumulation of legacy pesticides.

Just to be clear, biomagnification is concentration on how a toxin moves up a food chain. Bioaccumulation is concentration on how a toxin gets from the environment to the first organism in a food chain. Legacy pesticides are a group of banned pesticides that include dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), the chlordanes and dieldrin. So if you put them together, it equals an amazing but deadly link.

Here’s an example: If a sufficient amount of DDT was sprayed on a marsh to control mosquitoes, then plankton will eat that, and then a clam will eat that plankton and then a gull will eat that clam. But by then the amount of DDT in that gull will be lethal, killing that bird.

You see now how big of a problem this is. But many people don’t. They think when they spray a pesticide onto some grass, or on a marsh, at most it will harm a small insect. That can cause a huge blowout, which will end up harming a much larger and threatened organism.

There are plenty of ways I am going to help. The best way will be to raise awareness. But what you can do is to tell your friends how big of a problem this is, and have them tell their friends. Hopefully, this will make people think twice about using dangerous and powerful pesticides like the legacy pesticides.

Thank you very much for taking part in helping our society.

Emily Jiang

Davis

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