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Home arrow Health arrow Best practices for environmental health : environmental pollution, protection, quality and sustainability
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Grains, Soybeans, and Hay

Grains include corn, millet, barley, buckwheat, wheat, oats, rice, sorghum, and malt. Grains can become contaminated with molds during the storage process. Dust from the grains can become explosive during storage. Grains may be contaminated by pathogens present in the soil, in agricultural water or processing water, in manure used as fertilizer, and from animals in or near the fields or harvesting or storage areas. Fusarium mycotoxins may be produced on various cereals and other crops and cause illness in people and animals. (See endnote 29.) Worker health and proper sanitation is also a potentially serious problem.

Other major crops are soybeans and hay. Soil preparation for the crops may result in major soil erosion, water erosion, and wind erosion, leading to problems in surface bodies of water. The use of genetically modified seeds which may make crop production more efficient may also increase resistance to pesticides as well as the development of weeds. The management of nutrients from chemical fertilizers, manure, and sewage sludge if done improperly can lead to substantial contamination of surface bodies of water and also groundwater supplies. Sprayers used to disperse chemicals, although efficient, can cause toxic chemicals to enter the ambient air.

Irrigation systems may operate inefficiently and produce waste water while also creating drainage problems. Improper drainage may contaminate the land, water, and wetlands. Improper harvesting may create substantial dust clouds and lead to contamination of other crops, land, water, and air. Storage of fertilizer and chemicals including pesticides can lead to contamination of air, water, and land.

 
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