Insecticide abuse. What can I do?
This year I spent my holidays in Vienna. The city is so beautiful! … with its spectacular buildings, museums, realizing that Vienna was the center of the European world from around 1400 to 1950.
And also realize that it is a city that has practically no insects nor birds. Some pigeons and crows. There are no small birds.
Do we realize the consequences of the extensive use of insecticides?
It seems to me that for about a century there has been a great orgy to kill. Especially in Europe we are obsessed with cleanliness. What do we kill? what scares us: the other, the different, the one who does not agree, the one who is free, … the fear … To what? Especially the insects. It is possible that it is due to the distancing that the human being has suffered from nature, living in « clean » cities, without plants or animals, unless they are « pets » dewormed, vaccinated, castrated, tied or in cages …
The latest research is increasingly making evident the evidence that neonicotinoids are affecting birds and bees much more widely than previously thought. The research is studying the more subtle long-term effects of insecticides, rather than direct instantaneous deaths. Nigel Raine, an expert on pollinator conservation at the University of Guelph, found that neonicotinoids affect the ability of bumblebees to find and collect food. Luckily, the European Parliament has banned herbicide and pesticide products that affect insects and bees.
According to the Pesticides Action Network, pesticides are the only chemicals conceived by humans and intentionally released into the environment to kill or harm other living organisms.
This had already been studied by the German scientist Fritz Haber during the First World War.
Fritz Haber is known for the « Haber law ». What is the Haber law? The Haber law is an equation that allows to calculate the toxicity of gases, that is, their effectiveness and their lethal power. That is, the Haber law expresses the relationship between the gas concentration and the exposure time necessary to cause the death of a living being. The amount C present in a cubic meter of air is expressed in milligrams and multiplied by the time T expressed in minutes that is necessary to obtain a lethal effect in the living being that inhales the air. The smaller the product C x T, the greater the toxicity of the gas. Attention: You also noticed that exposure to a weak concentration of toxic gas over a long period has the same lethal effect as exposure to a high dose over a short period. Or what is the same, that the exposure to 1 minute of 100 mg / m3 is equivalent to 10 minutes of 10 mg / m³ (1 × 100 = 100, like 10 × 10 = 100).
This law inspired the creation of one of the fundamental tools for the evaluation and management of chemical risks: The lethal dose 50 or LD 50. It was officially invented in 1927 by the British John William Trevan and is an indicator of toxicity that measures the dose of chemical needed to kill half of the laboratory animals (usually mice and rats) in the form of inhalation, ingestion or cutaneous application. This lethal dose is expressed in units of mass of substance related to the body mass of the exposed living being (mg / kg).
Unfortunately, regulatory agencies only use the first part of their law to evaluate the toxicity of pesticides, and forget the long-term effects.
In relation to birds, the question is whether neonics are such an effective insecticide that they are killing the aquatic insects that birds need to eat. The published studies found greater annual decreases of insectivorous birds in the areas with higher imidacloprid concentration in surface waters. An analysis of 800 published studies, called Task Force on Systemic Pesticides, concluded that, yes, chemicals are having widespread effects on ecosystems around the world beyond their intended function to kill pests of certain crops.
In the UK, the Soil Association’s Keep Britain Buzzing campaign highlights the threat that bees face and encourages everyone to take action to protect them. The association wants all neonicotinoid pesticides, widely used in agriculture and in domestic gardens, to be prohibited. Organic agriculture friend of bees should be promoted.
The association aims to show that everyone can make a difference by simply changing their buying habits and wants to help bee populations recover by ensuring that there are plenty of domestic and agricultural habitats friendly to bees throughout the world. United Kingdom.
And what can I do to change these circumstances?
1. Buy bio products to eat