Causal Analysis Essay: WaterPollutionWater pollution is a growing problem inthe world today and has many causes. Marine dumping, leakage from landfills,industrial waste, and burning fossil fuels just to name a few. With the growingpopulation and lax regulations on waste management the environmental damage isgetting out of hand.
If nothing is done to address the causes of waterpollution the water supplies, livestock and farmlands are not the onlydetrimental damages that will be sustained.Much of the marine pollution isadmittedly accidental, some by natural disasters or products falling off of ashipping container. According to M. Casey with NBC News (2005, December, 19) “The2004 tsunami created enough trash in the Indonesian city of Banda Aceh alone tomake a three story high pile, covering 30 football fields. In Sri Lanka, volumeof waste dumped in lagoons and waterways is more than twice what generated bythe September 11th terrorist attacks, by U.
N. estimates.”The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is justone 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 GarbagePatch spans hundreds of miles in the middle of the Pacific Ocean containing anacumination of plastic, fishing lines, land debris, and other waste. There aremultiple garbage patches across the ocean.
National Geographic says, “No one knows how much debris makes up theGreat Pacific Garbage Patch. The North Pacific Subtropical Gyre is too largefor 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 debrisin the Great Pacific Garbage Patch comes from land-based activities in NorthAmerica and Asia. Trash from the coast of North America takes about six yearsto reach the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, while trash from Japan and otherAsian countries takes about a year.” (A.
Bertoli, 2014) Distributed over somuch of the ocean, the billions of pounds of trash is impossible to collect. Italso contains several different types of trash, including micro plastics thatare 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 Centerfor Biological Diversity released a shocking fact; that whether in the ocean orin other natural environments, plastics are ingested by birds, fish and otheranimals. Plastic consumed by animals causes permanent damage. The chemicalsthat can be found in plastics have been comprehensively researched and haveconfirmed negative effects on animals and humans alike. According to the BreastCancer Fund Listed below are just a few of them:§ Bisphenol A (BPA) is one of the most pervasive chemicalsin modern life.
It’s a building block of polycarbonate (#7 is oftenpolycarbonate) plastic and is used in thousands of consumer products, includingfood packaging. BPA exposure may disrupt normal breast development in ways thatpredispose women for later life breast cancer.§ Phthalates are a group of endocrine-disrupting chemicals found in PVCor #3 plastic. Phthalate exposure has been linked to early puberty in girls, arisk factor for later-life breast cancer. Some phthalates also act as weakestrogens in cell culture systems.
§ Vinyl chloride is formed in the manufacture ofpolyvinyl chloride (PVC) or #3 plastic. It was one of the first chemicalsdesignated as a known human carcinogen by the National Toxicology Program (NTP)and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). It has also beenlinked to increased mortality from breast cancer among workers involved in itsmanufacture.§ Dioxin is formed in the manufacture of polyvinyl chloride (PVC)or #3 plastic. Dioxin has been classified by the International Agency forResearch on Cancer (IARC) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as aknown human carcinogen, and is also an endocrine disruptor.§ Styrene can leach from polystyrene or #6 plastic and is found inStyrofoam food trays, egg cartons, disposable cups and bowls, carryoutcontainers and opaque plastic cutlery. It has been classified by theInternational Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as a possible humancarcinogen.According to Wikipedia (September, 2017) “Leakage from landfillsis commonly referred to as leachate.
Aleachate is any liquid that, in the course of passing through matter, extractssoluble or suspended solids, or any other component of the material throughwhich it has passed. Leachate is a widely used term in the environmentalsciences where it has the specific meaning of a liquid that has dissolved orentrained environmentally harmful substances that may then enter theenvironment. It is most commonly used in the context of land-filling of putrescibleor industrial waste.” The toxins frequently found in leachate can includemethane, carbon dioxide, organic acids, alcohols, aldehydes, and more.There are different technologiesavailable to combat landfill leachate. One is biological treatment, althoughleachate treatment is challenging due to the varying concentrations ofdissolved solids, colloidal organics, heavy metals and xenobiotics. Biologicallytreating landfills is a process using several different layers of filters to removethe different elements from the waste water. Second, is a chemical-physicalprocess, this process uses activated carbon precipitation, absorption, and ionexchange processes.
Massive amounts of toxic contaminantswhich can cause water pollution and other environmental damage are produced byindustrial waste. Lead, mercury, Sulphur, asbestos, and nitrates are just a fewof the pollutants found in industrial waste and with the lax regulationsenforced upon industries to properly dispose of their waste, they often drainwaste into the water systems which will eventually lead to the ocean. Thisprocess has the potential to change the color and composition of the water byraising the amount of minerals. This is also known as eutrophication and posesa threat to water organisms. Unplannedindustrial growth, lack of policies to control pollution and using outdatedmethods or technologies still being used are just some of the causes of waterpollution from industrial waste.The burning of fossil fuels into theatmosphere can also cause water pollution by expelling ash and toxic chemicalswhich then mixes with water vapor to produce acidic rain.
This rain can thenpollute water ways, farmlands, and livestock. Motor vehicles, ships, airplanesand large industrial operations such as incinerators and refineries are some ofthe major sources of nitrogen oxide emissions. Another nitrogen compound isammonia, predominantly used agriculturally is emitted into the air adding tothe toxic cocktail. The EPA (March, 2017) found that the presence of excessnitrogen in the atmosphere in the form of nitrogen oxides or ammonia isdeposited back onto land, where it washes into nearby water bodies.
Theseexcess nutrients contribute to pollution, harmful algal blooms andoxygen-deprived aquatic zones. Excess ammonia and low pH in these areas aretoxic to aquatic organisms and affect their survival.Water pollution is a growing problem inthe world today because marine dumping is causing the ocean waters to developlarge trash sites which are unable to reversed, leading to permanent harmcoming to the animals reliant on it. Leakage from landfills is leaching into thewater ways from industrial waste, and burning fossil fuels is causing acid rainto form and fall onto the farmlands, water and damaging aquatic zones. Unknown Author for the EnvironmentalProtection Agency (2017, March). The Sourcesand 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 https://greenlivingideas.
com/2015/04/24/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. Retrievedfrom http://www.nbcnews.com/id/10463953/ns/us_news-environment/t/tsunami-still-taking-toll-environment/#.Wlju16inFPY