Water Pollution and the Environment
Water pollution can affect many aspects of life; including but not limited to marine and human life, and our environment. The causes of water pollution are mainly human induced, and this is why we must learn where it’s coming from in order to make the change.
Fertilizers from farms can run into bodies of water, increasing nutrient levels, which in turn leads to an “algae bloom.” This algae bloom absorbs all of the oxygen in the water, which leaves very little to no oxygen for the rest of the marine life, causing them to die and possibly become extinct; messing up the food chain. This algae may sometimes release toxins that contaminate the water, causing mortalities among marine life, as well as the animals (and possibly humans) that consume the water.
Another pollutant may be heavy metals from factories that build up and flow into our bodies of water. These metals affect the fish and rest of marine life, risking the flow of the flood chain, and causing changes in animal communities.
Sulfate particles from acid rain make water more acidic, which in turn can reduce sunlight that is penetrating the water’s surface. Without much sunlight being absorbed into plants, photosynthesis is disturbed, causing less oxygen to be made within the water.
However, if we take a look at the non-chemical water pollution, we see that solid waste is another issue. This waste accumulates, causing rivers and lakes to flood. Flooding often leads to soil erosion around streams and rivers, causing less vegetation and opportunities for crops.
So as you can see, water pollution may take a heavy toll on our environment. Everything is interconnected; from marine/human life being risked, all the way to our opportunities to grow our own foods. We must take a look at, and help treat all aspects of water pollution, instead of just trying to fix one certain part of it.
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Water Pollution Effects on Humans
Humans have established communities and flourished around sources of clean, drinkable water since the beginning of time. It’s vital to our survival.Freshwater sources around the world are threatened by water pollution. Not only are we managing our resources poorly through wastage, we are also thoughtlessly dirtying it. People all around the world are drinking untreated water, and there bodies are reacting to it.Water-borne diseases account for the deaths of 3,575,000 people a year.That’s equivalent to a jumbo jet crashing every hour, and the majority of these are children. Infectious diseases can be spread through contaminated water. Some of these water-borne diseases are Typhoid, Cholera, Paratyphoid Fever, Dysentery, Jaundice, Amoebiasis and Malaria.
The main sources of water pollution are the following:
- Discharge of untreated Raw Sewage from households and factories
- Chemicals dumped from Factories
- Agricultural run-offs that make their way into our rivers and streams and groundwater sources
- The rising use of synthetic organic substances
- Oil Spills
- Acid Rain caused by the burning of Fossil Fuels
- Human littering in rivers, oceans, lakes and other bodies of water. Harmful litter includes plastics, aluminum, glass and Styrofoam
Chemicals in the water is one of the biggest issues of water pollution.Pesticides can damage the nervous system and cause cancer because of the carbonates and organophosphates that they contain. Chlorides can cause reproductive and endocrinal damage. Nitrates are especially dangerous to babies that drink formula milk. It restricts the amount of oxygen in the brain and cause the “blue baby” syndrome. Lead can accumulate in the body and damage the central nervous system. Arsenic causes liver damage, skin cancer and vascular diseases. Flourides in excessive amounts can make your teeth yellow and cause damage to the spinal cord. Petrochemicals even with very low exposure, can cause cancer.
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