The application of pesticides has become a controversial topic due to claims that some products can damage the environment and even get into the food chain. As an example, it has been estimated that about 2.5 million tons of pesticides are used on crops each year. The worldwide damage caused by pesticides reaches $100 billion annually. One of the reasons for the damage is the high toxicity and nonbiodegradability of pesticides. Pesticides that are applied directly to the soil may be washed off the land into nearby bodies of surface water or may percolate through the soil to lower soil layers and groundwater. When this happens, the pesticide becomes a pollution hazard and is highly toxic to humans and other organisms.
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