Water fact; that whether in the ocean or in

Water pollution is a growing problem in
the world today and has many causes. Marine dumping, leakage from landfills,
industrial waste, and burning fossil fuels just to name a few. With the growing
population and lax regulations on waste management the environmental damage is
getting out of hand. If nothing is done to address the causes of water
pollution the water supplies, livestock and farmlands are not the only
detrimental damages that will be sustained.

Much of the marine pollution is
admittedly accidental, some by natural disasters or products falling off of a
shipping container. According to M. Casey with NBC News (2005, December, 19) “The
2004 tsunami created enough trash in the Indonesian city of Banda Aceh alone to
make a three story high pile, covering 30 football fields. In Sri Lanka, volume
of waste dumped in lagoons and waterways is more than twice what generated by
the September 11th terrorist attacks, by U.N. estimates.”

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The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is just
one of the visible side effects today from waste being dumped in the ocean.
Found by Charles Moore on a trans-pacific sailing voyage, The Pacific Garbage
Patch spans hundreds of miles in the middle of the Pacific Ocean containing an
acumination of plastic, fishing lines, land debris, and other waste. There are
multiple garbage patches across the ocean. National Geographic says, “No one knows how much debris makes up the
Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The North Pacific Subtropical Gyre is too large
for scientists to trawl. In addition, not all trash floats on the surface.
Denser debris can sink centimeters or even several meters beneath the surface,
making the vortex’s area nearly impossible to measure. About 80% of the debris
in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch comes from land-based activities in North
America and Asia. Trash from the coast of North America takes about six years
to reach the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, while trash from Japan and other
Asian countries takes about a year.” (A. Bertoli, 2014) Distributed over so
much of the ocean, the billions of pounds of trash is impossible to collect. It
also contains several different types of trash, including micro plastics that
are too small and never fully degrades. According to the EPA (A. BErtoli, 2014)
“Every piece of plastic ever made is still in existence today.”

The Center
for Biological Diversity released a shocking fact; that whether in the ocean or
in other natural environments, plastics are ingested by birds, fish and other
animals. Plastic consumed by animals causes permanent damage. The chemicals
that can be found in plastics have been comprehensively researched and have
confirmed negative effects on animals and humans alike. Listed below are just a
few of them:

§ 
Bisphenol A (BPA) is one of the most pervasive chemicals
in modern life. It’s a building block of polycarbonate (#7 is often
polycarbonate) plastic and is used in thousands of consumer products, including
food packaging. BPA exposure may disrupt normal breast development in ways that
predispose women for later life breast cancer.

§ 
Phthalates are a group of endocrine-disrupting chemicals found in PVC
or #3 plastic. Phthalate exposure has been linked to early puberty in girls, a
risk factor for later-life breast cancer. Some phthalates also act as weak
estrogens in cell culture systems.

§ 
Vinyl chloride is formed in the manufacture of
polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or #3 plastic. It was one of the first chemicals
designated as a known human carcinogen by the National Toxicology Program (NTP)
and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). It has also been
linked to increased mortality from breast cancer among workers involved in its
manufacture.

§ 
Dioxin is formed in the manufacture of polyvinyl chloride (PVC)
or #3 plastic. Dioxin has been classified by the International Agency for
Research on Cancer (IARC) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a
known human carcinogen, and is also an endocrine disruptor.

§ 
Styrene can leach from polystyrene or #6 plastic and is found in
Styrofoam food trays, egg cartons, disposable cups and bowls, carryout
containers and opaque plastic cutlery. It has been classified by the
International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as a possible human
carcinogen.

According to Wikipedia (September, 2017) “Leakage from landfills
is commonly referred to as leachate. A
leachate is any liquid that, in the course of passing through matter, extracts
soluble or suspended solids, or any other component of the material through
which it has passed. Leachate is a widely used term in the environmental
sciences where it has the specific meaning of a liquid that has dissolved or
entrained environmentally harmful substances that may then enter the
environment. It is most commonly used in the context of land-filling of putrescible
or industrial waste.” The toxins frequently found in leachate can include
methane, carbon dioxide, organic acids, alcohols, aldehydes, and more.

There are different technologies
available to combat landfill leachate. One is biological treatment, although
leachate treatment is challenging due to the varying concentrations of
dissolved solids, colloidal organics, heavy metals and xenobiotics. Biologically
treating landfills is a process using several different layers of filters to remove
the different elements from the waste water. Second, is a chemical-physical
process, this process uses activated carbon precipitation, absorption, and ion
exchange processes.

Massive amounts of toxic contaminants
which can cause water pollution and other environmental damage are produced by
industrial waste. Lead, mercury, Sulphur, asbestos, and nitrates are just a few
of the pollutants found in industrial waste and with the lax regulations
enforced upon industries to properly dispose of their waste, they often drain
waste into the water systems which will eventually lead to the ocean. This
process has the potential to change the color and composition of the water by
raising the amount of minerals. This is also known as eutrophication and poses
a threat to water organisms.  Unplanned
industrial growth, lack of policies to control pollution and using outdated
methods or technologies still being used are just some of the causes of water
pollution from industrial waste.

The burning of fossil fuels into the
atmosphere can also cause water pollution by expelling ash and toxic chemicals
which then mixes with water vapor to produce acidic rain. This rain can then
pollute water ways, farmlands, and livestock. Motor vehicles, ships, airplanes
and large industrial operations such as incinerators and refineries are some of
the major sources of nitrogen oxide emissions. Another nitrogen compound is
ammonia, predominantly used agriculturally is emitted into the air adding to
the toxic cocktail. The EPA (March, 2017) found that the presence of excess
nitrogen in the atmosphere in the form of nitrogen oxides or ammonia is
deposited back onto land, where it washes into nearby water bodies. These
excess nutrients contribute to pollution, harmful algal blooms and
oxygen-deprived aquatic zones. Excess ammonia and low pH in these areas are
toxic to aquatic organisms and affect their survival.

Water pollution is a growing problem in
the world today because marine dumping is causing the ocean waters to develop
large trash sites which are unable to reversed, leading to permanent harm
coming to the animals reliant on it. Leakage from landfills is leaching into the
water ways from industrial waste, and burning fossil fuels is causing acid rain
to form and fall onto the farmlands, water and damaging aquatic zones.

 

Unknown Author for the Environmental
Protection Agency (2017, March). The Sources
and Solutions: Fossil Fuels. Retrieved from https://www.epa.gov/nutrientpollution/sources-and-solutions-fossil-fuels

 

A.Bertoli (2014) How Our Trash Effects the Whole Planet. Retrieved from

How our Trash Affects the Whole Planet

 

            Wikipedia (2017, 14 September) Leachate. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leachate

 

            M. Casey (2005, December 19) Tsunami still taking toll on environment. Retrieved
from http://www.nbcnews.com/id/10463953/ns/us_news-environment/t/tsunami-still-taking-toll-environment/#.Wlju16inFPY

 

 

 

 

 

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