Planet  earth  is  being  endangered  by anthropogenic  activities  ranging from industrial  activities  to  seemingly innocous activities  such  as  use  of  herbicides  on  farms.There  are possibilities  that the  resources  of the  earth  may  not be  sufficient   to  sustain the  needs   of  future  generations.There  are  also possibilities  that the  earth may become in conducive for human habitation  due  to  emission of  dangerous  gases  and  the rising global  temperature.

As  a  result of  these,there  is  a  need  for  all  hands  to  be  on  deck to ensure  that recommendations  made during the Earth Summit in Brazil  in 1992  are  implemented  on  a  global  scale  to ensure  that  the  earth  is  preserved  for the  currrent and  future generations.


The  thoughts coursed  through  my mind  as  I sprayed  the  herbicide  on the   grasses  in front of  my house. I was  wondering  about  the long term  effects  of  the  herbicide  on the  food  web. The  short  term  goal  was  to kill  the  weeds , but the  long term  effects could be  devastating. The herbicide might remain in the ground for some time unchanged. If it  rains  before  the  herbicide is  broken  down into safe  elements, then  the  run-off  water   might carry the  poison into the  nearest  water  bodies from where  it  could  travel limitless  distances  causing  extensive  pollution as  it travels among the  water bodies.

Apart  from the  effect of run-off water, the  herbicide  can  seep where  it  is   till it reaches  underground  water. The polluted underground water can flow through underground channels till it reaches more water bodies resulting in catastrophic consequences. Worse  still, the  underground  water  could be  pumped up via  wells  and  boreholes resulting  in literal consumption of  poison if  the  water  is  not  treated. A case related  to  this  was  the  discovery  in Wake Forest, North  Carolina, United  States that  families  have  been  drinking from private  wells  contaminated  with a carcinogenic chemical  called Trichloroethylene. A  manufacturing  company  had  dumped  the  chemical  in the  area  and   it found  its  way into  the underground water.  This poisonous water was consumed for years by innocent residents of the area.

Another  chilling scenario that  could play out is  if consumables  like vegetables are  planted  on the  soil  on which the  herbicide  is  applied, then, there  are  possibilities  that  traces  of  the  herbicides  can  find  their  way into the  vegetables. This has been confirmed scientifically with the analysis of heavy metal content of plants growing on polluted soils. The implication is that people who consume   such products are dying, albeit slowly.

It is  amazing how  such  a  simple task as  the  application of  a  herbicide  can  have  such  grievous  actual and  potential consequences. Life  expectancy in  many countries  of  the  world is  shrinking  because  of undue  exposure  to chemicals. I remember  once  watching  a  man handle  a  drum of  caustic  soda  with only rubber  hand gloves  as  protection! That  section of the  company was  aptly called ‘house  of death’. The  task  given to the  man was  clearly  a suicidal one. Unfortunately, this case  is  not an isolated  one.

In developing countries, it is common  to  see  companies  paying  lip service  to health, safety and  environment guidelines. Highly toxic  effluents  are  discharged  directly into water bodies while  the  regulators  look the other  way. People over rate the ability of the environment to  act as  natural  sink  for man-made  pollution. Flowing streams, for example, have  the  ability of  self-purification. However, this ability depends on  factors  such  as  water temperature,pH, volume of waste, access  of  sunlight through the water body, speed  of  the water, chemical content of the  water  and  so  on.

The  fact  is that  there  is  a  limit  to the  amount  of  waste  that  can be processed  per  unit  of  time  by nature. If the  ideal volume  is  exceeded, then ,the  waste  could  be  retained  in the environment  for undesirable  period  of  time, hazardously  affecting  fauna  and  flora.


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AKINDIYA, A. (2018). SAVING THE DYING PLANET EARTH. Afribary. Retrieved from

MLA 8th

AKINDIYA, AKINWALE "SAVING THE DYING PLANET EARTH" Afribary. Afribary, 29 Jan. 2018, Accessed 13 Jun. 2024.


AKINDIYA, AKINWALE . "SAVING THE DYING PLANET EARTH". Afribary, Afribary, 29 Jan. 2018. Web. 13 Jun. 2024. < >.


AKINDIYA, AKINWALE . "SAVING THE DYING PLANET EARTH" Afribary (2018). Accessed June 13, 2024.