Physical Science 101
( Earth Science )
Nor-aliya D. Balt
Sheila Mae Rosete
Mr. Tristan Babaylan
The Earth’s environment is in a sorry state, with no hope of getting it better any time soon. Wherever one looks, one encounters pollution in all its forms. Forests are disappearing. Green areas around cities are being replaced by concrete buildings. Waste products are being dumped indiscriminately. Water is too toxic to consume. The air is unfit for breathing in. Global warming has become a menacing issue. There are concerns about how long life ion earth, is going to survive. The human race is at the brink of a self-created disaster. Truly, there is a surfeit of environmental problems today. The activities as well as the lifestyle of human beings too plays an important role in how the surroundings or environment is affected. Till date, it is one of the major factor that has affected the environment of the earth as it is in constant conflict with it. Here, we tried to choose and study two environmental problems that are practically the major problems in today’s generation. First problem is the water pollution.
Water pollution is any chemical, physical or biological change in the quality of water that has a harmful effect on any living thing that drinks or uses or lives (in) it. When humans drink polluted water it often has serious effects on their health. Water pollution can also make water unsuited for the desired use. It is the presence in water bodies (including surface water and groundwater) of toxic chemicals and/or biological agents that exceed what is naturally found in water and may pose a threat to human health and/or the environment. Additionally, water pollution may include chemicals exclusively introduced into the water bodies due to human activities, in which case any amount of those chemicals detected in water denotes pollution, regardless of the harm they may pose to human health and the environment. Many of the chlorinated solvents commonly used in industry (such as PCE, TCE, 1,1,1-TCA) are examples of such chemicals polluting our waters exclusively due to human activities. Another example is MTBE (Methyl-tert-butyl-ether), a gasoline oxygenate that is currently banned in the U.S. Regardless of their provenance, the chemicals or biological agents causing water pollution are generically referred to as water pollutants. Any water body can become polluted, regardless on its size and/or location. This includes lakes from remote areas or huge water bodies such as Colorado river. This is due to the atmospheric transport of pollutants over large areas and deposition with precipitation water. Basically, the groundwater and surface water including swimming pools, ponds, lakes, creeks, rivers, seas, and oceans may become polluted. Obviously, the bigger the water body is, the shorter the time required for natural cleaning the pollution and recovery. This is mostly due to the quick diffusion and dissipation of contamination and due to the faster natural degradation and attenuation processes. There are several classes of water pollutants.
* First category are disease-causing agents. These are bacteria, viruses, protozoa and parasitic worms that enter sewage systems and untreated waste. * A second category of water pollutants is oxygen-demanding wastes; wastes that can be decomposed by oxygen-requiring bacteria. When large populations of decomposing bacteria are converting these wastes it can deplete oxygen levels in the water. This causes other organisms in the water, such as fish, to die. * A third category of water pollutants is water-soluble inorganic pollutants, such as acids, salts and toxic metals. Large quantities of these compounds will make water unfit to drink and will cause the death of aquatic life. Another class of water pollutants are nutrients; they are water-soluble nitrates and phosphates that cause...
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