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Tox Town - Environmental health concerns and toxic chemicals where you live, work, and play
Crop Fieldsen español

Why are crop fields a concern?

An estimated 88,000 U.S. farmers each year produce $100 billion worth of crops, including corn, soybeans, hay, wheat, and cotton. Successful crop production may use or produce materials that can have harmful environmental and health effects.

Plant nutrients are essential for crop production and come from fertilizers, manure, and sometimes sewage sludge. If these materials are improperly applied to crop fields, they can wash off the fields with rain or melted snow. This agricultural runoff can cause water quality problems both locally and downstream. Overuse of fertilizers can contaminate groundwater, lakes, rivers, and streams. Excess nutrients in lakes, rivers, or other bodies of water can cause harmful algae blooms.

If pesticides are used on crop fields, farm workers can be exposed to them. Pesticides can leach into the soil and contaminate groundwater, lakes, rivers, and streams.

Other concerns with crop fields include particulate matter, which is emitted into the air from tilled fields. Propane is sometimes used for weed control in corn, soybeans, cotton, tobacco, and strawberries.

Safety concerns on crop fields include tractor, vehicle, and machinery accidents.

This description is based on the information found in the Web links listed with this topic.


Web Links from MedlinePlus (National Library of Medicine)
Farm Health and Safety
Fungal Infections
Heat Illness
Hypothermia
Pesticides
Sun Exposure
Wounds and Injuries

More Links
Crop Production (Environmental Protection Agency)
Droughts and Health (National Library of Medicine)
Food Safety Begins on the Farm - An Overview of Good Agricultural Practices (University of Florida IFAS Extension)
Harvest Safety (University of Maine Cooperative Extension)
Nutrient Management and Fertilizer (Environmental Protection Agency)

Chemicals in Crop Fields
Are these chemicals in MY community?
Ammonia
Methane
Methanol
Particulate Matter
Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)
Pesticides
Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
Propane


Last Updated: May 22, 2014

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