Sericulture is generally a very positive type of farming, helping to generate income, reuse agricultural waste as compost, and conserve water in areas that have large needs of all employment, rich soil, and water.
Unfortunately, there are negative environmental impacts as well. Pollution of water and soil from chemicals and dyes used in the silk-making process contaminate drinking water and over long periods of time, can do a lot of damage to the very soil that allows farmers to produce the silk. The use of pesticides to prevent damage to the mulberry trees that the silkworms feed on is also of concern, largely because international pesticide regulations are generally less strict than those in the US and Canada.
Another adverse effect of sericulture is its health problems for workers who weave and dye the silk. Due to unsafe working conditions, constant handling of chemicals, and generally lacking safety requirements and gear, many workers report headaches, chemical burns, ulcer, chronic coughs, and gastrointestinal pain.
In addition to the other mentioned detrimental effects, the silkworm pupae must also be killed in the production of the silk with 5500 silkworms required to produce just one kg of silk.
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