Skip to main content

How Does Agricultural Pollution Affect our Health and Society

Developing means of farming and agriculture is the reason humans can live in the world today. It is a necessary means of survival, without which there would be famines all over the world.

Several human health problems and premature deaths are linked to agricultural pollution.

Pesticides, ammonia, heavy metals, fertilizers, and oils from farms and farm machinery destroy and kill animals, and aquatic life, and health problems when they enter drinking water.

So, now we will discuss the effect of Agricultural Pollution on our Health and Society:

The History of Industrial Agriculture

For most of our history, humans were hunters. We fished in the ocean, hunted on land, and collected wild-growing fruits, seeds, and plants.

Modern agriculture was born just 12,000 years ago when we began to grow wild wheat and barley in the Fertile Crescent of the Middle East. Agriculture transformed our way of life, giving us more consistent food supplies, and allowing the growth of civilizations.

In the thousands of years since, agriculture has undergone tremendous horizontal growth, meaning that humans have set aside more and more land to grow food.

In fact, the amount of land used for agriculture increased nearly sixfold in just a few centuries, between 1700 and 1980.

1. Pesticides and Fertilizers:-

Modern-day pesticides & fertilizers have to deal with the local pests that have existed for hundreds of years. It also affects the quality of the food we eat.

Pesticide application releases ammonia, nitrate, phosphorus, and many other pesticides that affect air, water, animals, and human beings.


Once they have been sprayed, it does not disappear completely. Some of it mixes with the water and seeps into the ground.

As a result, the local streams that are supplied with water from the ground become contaminated, as do the animals that eat these crops and plants.

2. Contaminated Water:-

Contaminated water used for irrigation is one additional source of pollution. Dirty water is not good for crops' health and for our health.

Much of the water we use comes from groundwater reservoirs, canals, and through the rains.


While plenty of it is clean and pure water, other sources are polluted with organic compounds and heavy metals. This happens due to the disposal of industrial and agricultural waste in local bodies of water.

Scroll to Continue

As a result, the crops are exposed to water, which has small amounts of mercury, arsenic, lead, and cadmium dissolved in it.

3. Can Reduce Long-term Agricultural Yields:-

Many farmers don’t realize the long-term effects of consistently using these different types of toxic chemicals.

In this sense, the soil fertility, produce quality, and ecological balance is impacted which can in the long-term reduce the overall agricultural yields.

Perhaps, it is the reason farmers are moving back to traditional manures and organic farming methods.


The farmers remain in the soil for years, they have the potential of contaminating waters and plants and kill soil microorganisms as well as beneficial insects.

4. Destroys Biodiversity:-

The persistent use of chemical products in agricultural production degrades and destroys the soils, animals, plants, waters, and wildlife.

So, we need to kill insects without dangerous chemicals. If we want to save our agricultural land then our responsibility is to use another safe way of killing insects.


Furthermore, pesticides can kill beneficial insects, soil microorganisms, birds, and some rare small species like butterflies which have far-reaching effects on biodiversity.

Since these chemicals remain in the soils for many years.

5. Heavy Metals:-

The use of fertilizers, manure, and other organic wastes containing heavy metals such as arsenic, cadmium, mercury, and lead can also lead to an accumulation of these heavy metals in the soil.

Heavy metals can cause crop failure and poison livestock from contaminated water or food.

When these substances are washed into waterways or leach into groundwater sources or get absorbed by plants and are eventually consumed by animals and humans affecting their health or even causing premature deaths.


When these substances are washed into waterways or leach into groundwater sources or get absorbed by plants and are eventually consumed by animals and humans affecting their health or even causing premature deaths.

Related Articles