Cotton is the most vastly used natural fibre in history. It's soft, durable, versatile, and simply beautiful!
But cotton does have its issues too, and it can be quite nasty when it's not grown organically.

Bugs love cotton!

So in order to fight them, conventionally grown cotton uses more pesticide than any other single crop. Only 2.5% of all agricultural land on the planet is dedicated to growing cotton, but it utilizes 16% of all insecticide!

Fertilizers and more fertilizers!

Conventionally grown cotton uses chemical fertilizers to increase the production yield per acre, especially Nitrogen. It has simply become the go-to in conventional cotton farming, as dealing with a commodity is all about lowering costs.

“OK, but we don't eat cotton, so what's the harm?”

The pesticides and fertilizers used in cotton farming are really brutal. They impact the environment and human health in so many ways that we don't need to eat cotton in order to be affected.

People's health - Farmers

Farm workers’ exposure to certain pesticides used in cotton cultivation have been linked to a broad range of chronic health effects, such as impaired neurobehavioral function, respiratory problems, diabetes and others.

People's health - Nearby population

As pesticides and herbicides are mostly applied via spraying, these chemicals easily travel through the air and reach nearby communities. In some regions, people living in cotton cultivation areas are used to having “cotton flu” seasonally - a series of symptoms caused by the increase of chemicals levels in the air.

Environment - Chemicals runoff

Runoff of the chemicals present in pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers contaminate rivers, lakes, wetlands, and even reach the oceans. Meaning that water we take from rivers and lakes to supply our cities may be contaminated as well.

Environment - Greenhouse gases

Nitrogen fertilizers are one of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions, as they release nitrous oxide (N2O)- a greenhouse gas 300 times more potent than CO2.

Environment - Wildlife

Wildlife is heavily affected by pesticides and runoff contamination. Chemicals end up being digested by birds and insects from surrounding areas, which then develop chronic diseases.
Water contaminated by chemicals runoff impact fresh water and marine wildlife, causing problems to their health as well.

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