Untitled Essay Research Paper As long as

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Untitled Essay, Research Paper As long as the human race has been cultivating the soil, we have had to deal with other vegetationthat ends up competing with the crops. People have tried many methods to get rid of thesepesky weeds but they always seem to come back. This eventually led to development ofpesticides and herbicides. Herbicides allowed people to kill off the unwanted weeds. Over timethese herbicides became more and more specialized allowing them to only harm certain weeds asneeded such as broad leaf killers. One of these specialized herbicides known as hexazinone. Hexazinone is used in the blueberry industry. Since low-bush blueberries only grow lessthan a foot high at the most, a plant that grows taller than that can get unlimited sunlight. Theseplants will block

the sunlight from the blueberries and rob them of nutrients found in the soil. Thiscompetition will inhibit the growth of the berries. This means less production and money for thegrowers. Many growers in areas of Maine such as Washington county could not afford to keeptheir fields in business. Many acres of land went unused as a result of this and the local economywas quickly declining. In the early 1980’s all this changed. The herbicide hexazinone was introduced.Marketed by DuPont under the name Velpar, it was the savior to a dying industry. It was acheap and efficient way to rid crops of unwanted weeds. Many blueberry fields were reopenedwhich boosted the economy. This would be a great story if it ended there but unfortunately itdoesn’t because application was not

regulated. Small traces of velpar were discovered in acouple area wells. These traces were so small that they posed no threat to people, in fact theactual amount was about one half part per million. The problem came from the fact that the wellbelonged to a school. Parents found out about this and people began to panic. People in theblueberry industry and others who had knowledge of pesticides knew that these amounts weren’tconsidered harmful, but others didn’t agree. It’s pretty hard to explain to a group of concernedparents that the water their child is drinking only has small traces of toxins in it and is safe todrink. Once the environmental activists in the area got word of this a decision was made to try toban Velpar. This met heavy resistance from the blueberry

industry. After many hearings it wasagreed by both parties that Velpar shouldn’t be banned but should be regulated. The blueberryindustry decided to be in charge of regulate Velpar. They would control who had access to itand how it would be applied. They also put charcoal filters on wells which don’t allow Velpar topass through. It is hoped that by controlling application to prevent future leeching, and filteringout existing traces, the problem can be controlled. Hexazinone really is an amazing pesticide. When sprayed on crops it seeps into theground and is absorbed by the roots. Unfortunately the hexazinone that isn’t absorbed by theroots leaches through the sandy southern Maine soil into the ground water and we end up with asituation like the one described above. The

pesticide moves to the leaves where it blocks thephotosynthetic process. Without photosynthesis a plant literally starves and dies. The great thingabout hexazinone is that it doesn’t harm the blueberry plant. This means it can be applied directlyto the crop with great results. Hexazinone can also be sprayed in the spring when the plants donot have leaves and it will still kill them later on. The chemical formula for hexazinone is: 3-cyclohexyl-6-(dimethylamine)-1-methyl -1, 3,5-triazine 2,4(1H, 3H)-dione. Hexazinone is a crystalline solid and white in color. It has amelting point of around 115 degrees Celsius. It is soluble in water as well as various otherchemicals including chloroform, methanol, and benzene. Hexazinone is stable in aqueoussolutions at a pH of five, seven, and