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Three factors determine the severity of a pollutant: its chemical nature, its concentration and its persistence. Some pollutants are biodegradable and therefore will not persist in the environment in the long term. However the degradation products of some pollutants are themselves polluting such as the products DDE and DDD produced from degradation of DDT
Types of pollutants
Pollutants that the environment has little or no absorptive capacity are called stock pollutants (e.g. persistent synthetic chemicals, non-biodegradable plastics, and heavy metals). Stock pollutants accumulate in the environment over time. The damage they cause increases as more pollutant is emitted, and persists as the pollutant accumulates. Stock pollutants can create a burden for future generations by passing on damage that persists well after the benefits received from incurring that damage have been forgotten.
Fund pollutants are those for which the environment has some absorptive capacity. Fund pollutants do not cause damage to the environment unless the emission rate exceeds the receiving environment's absorptive capacity (e.g. carbon dioxide, which is absorbed by plants and oceans). Fund pollutants are not destroyed, but rather converted into less harmful substances, or diluted/dispersed to non-harmful concentrations.
Notable pollutants include the following groups:
- Heavy metals
- Persistent organic pollutants
- Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
- Volatile organic compounds
- Environmental xenobiotics
Zones of influence
Pollutants can also be defined by their zones of influence, both horizontally and vertically.
The vertical zone is referred to whether the damage is ground-level or atmospheric. Surface pollutants cause damage by concentrations of the pollutant accumulating near the Earth's surface Global pollutants cause damage by concentrations in the atmosphere
Pollutants can cross international borders and therefore international regulations are needed for their control. The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, which entered into force in 2004, is an international legally binding agreement for the control of persistent organic pollutants. Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers (PRTR) are systems to collect and disseminate information on environmental releases and transfers of toxic chemicals from industrial and other facilities.
The European Pollutant Emission Register is a type of PRTR providing access to information on the annual emissions of industrial facilities in the Member States of the European Union, as well as Norway.
Clean Air Act standards. Under the Clean Air Act, the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) are standards developed for outdoor air quality. The National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants are emission standards that are set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) which are not covered by the NAAQS.
Clean Water Act standards. Under the Clean Water Act, EPA promulgated national standards for municipal sewage treatment plants, also called publicly owned treatment works, in the Secondary Treatment Regulation. National standards for industrial dischargers are calledEffluent guidelines(for existing sources) andNew Source Performance Standards, and currently cover over 50 industrial categories. In addition, the Act requires states to publish water quality standards for individual water bodies to provide additional protection where the national standards are insufficient.
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Answers:The best way to prevent land pollution is to recycle. Here are a few other ways you can reduce land pollution: #Reuse any items that you can #Buy biodegradable products #Store all liquid chemicals and waste in spill-proof containers #Eat organic foods that are grown without pesticides #Don t use pesticides #Use a drip tray to collect engine oil #Buy products that have little packaging #Don t dump motor oil on the ground The number one way to prevent air pollution is to walk or bike more and drive less. This will prevent fossil fuels from polluting the air. Here are some other ways to prevent air pollution: *Carpool or join a ride share with friends and coworkers *Don t smoke *Keep your car maintenance up-to-date *If you have to drive, do your errands at one time *Don t buy products that come in aerosol spray cans *Avoid using lighter fluid when barbecuing outside *When you drive accelerate slowly and use cruise control *Always replace your car s air filter *Use a push or electric lawnmower rather than a gas-powered one *Don t use harsh chemical cleaners that can emit fumes *Inspect your gas appliances and heaters regularly The best way to prevent water pollution is to not throw trash and other harmful chemicals into our water supplies. Here are a few more ways you can prevent water pollution: $Wash your car far away from any stormwater drains $Don t throw trash, chemicals or solvents into sewer drains $Inspect your septic system every 3-5 years $Avoid using pesticides and fertilizers that can run off into water systems $Sweep your driveway instead of hosing it down $Always pump your waste-holding tanks on your boat $Use non-toxic cleaning materials $Clean up oil and other liquid spills with kitty litter and sweet them up $Don t wash paint brushes in the sink
Answers:1) Human s folly is the biggest reason why marine animals are brought to the brink of extinction, polluting the sea with oil spills, chemical waste, over harvesting and poachers. A clear example is the critically endangered Leatherback turtles; decades ago they flood the shores of Terengganu with nesting females that drew thousands of tourists. Irresponsible fishermen with their drift nets cast to trap stingrays, inadvertently trap and cause the deaths of these turtles. Adding to the turtles' misfortunes, the turtle eggs were collected by locals to sell in the markets. The locals claim that these eggs have aphrodisiac and beautifying properties although there is no scientific proof for these claims. 2) Human s dietary would definitely be affect; as most people should know DHA and Omega-3 plays a very important role in our lives, it help prevent fatal heart attacks and offer other heart benefits. Docosahexaenoic acid is an essential fatty acid which cannot be manufactured in our body and must be obtained daily through our diets. DHA is highly found in fishes like salmon, tuna, sardines and lots more with research suggesting that we can gain lots of health benefit from fish oil alone. Without the fishes we will be facing an ocean of stinky algae, beach closure, coastal flooding and it is even harder to imagine trying to get past those algae and check out what s underneath, a destroyed visual impaired marine eco-system. Well on the sad contradiction, after the extinction of these marine animals, our generations of descendants down the line could probably not have to worry about oil issues anymore. 3) Education and marketing campaign to raise awareness of marine issues to the public is very important to sustain the existence of these life animals. It should be a long term commitment. Not so long ago, Hayden Panettiere put her life on the line to save a pod of dolphins headed for slaughter in Japan, she did it out off sheer love for dolphins but here heroin act was appreciated by the world and I though it would be a good way to raise awareness this way either a show or genuinely (preferred). Her act not only educates world wide fans but most importantly the fans in Japan, the youngster crowd would view it as eating dolphins is wrong and to stop these cruelty if not this generation or the next. I think that beside every countries effort to conservation there is still a necessity in enforcing strict rule to fishing activities. In many Third World Country if only the government would imply just 1 simple rule; under-grown measurement fishes should be set free or else be ready to get FINED. I believe it would create a big impact with a small action like that. 4) Plastic is a non-biodegradable pollutant, they don t rot away but just stays under the seabed waiting to hook a silly fish and suffocate it to death. Plastics could also clog up the engine motors and thus if serious could cause unwanted oil spills. It could also suffocate the coral causing increased reef erosion and freeing up spaces for more algae to grow and fishes to shy. http://elseachng.wordpress.com/
Answers:About Plastic Pollution Plastic is one of the few new chemical materials which pose environmental problem. Polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride, polystyrene is largely used in the manufacture of plastics. Synthetic polymers are easily molded into complex shapes, have high chemical resistance, and are more or less elastic. Some can be formed into fibers or thin transparent films. These properties have made them popular in many durable or disposable goods and for packaging materials. These materials have molecular weight ranging from several thousands to 1,50,000. Excessive molecular size seems to be mainly responsible for the resistance of these chemicals to bio-degradation and their persistence in soil environment for a long time. Plastic in the environment is regarded to be more an aesthetic nuisance than a hazard, since the material is biologically quite inert. The plastic industry in the US alone is $ 50 billion per year and is obviously a tempting market for biotechnolo gical enterprises. Biotechnological processes are being developed as an alternative to existing route or to get new biodegradable biopolymers . 20% of solid municipal wastes in US is plastic. Non-degradable plastics accumulate at the rate of 25 million tonnes per year. According to an estimate more than 100 million tonnes of plastic is produced every year all over the world. In India it is only 2 million tonnes. In India use of plastic is 2 kg per person per year while in European countries it is 60 kg per pe rson per year while that in US it is 80 kg per person per year Causes Of Plastic Pollution Plastics are used because they are easy and cheap to make and they can last a long time. Unfortunately these same useful qualities can make plastic a huge pollution problem. Because the plastic is cheap it gets discarded easily and its persistence in the environment can do great harm. Urbanisation has added to the plastic pollution in concentrated form in cities. Plastic thrown on land can enter into drainage lines and chokes them resulting into floods in local areas in cities as experienced in Mumbai, India in 1998. It was claimed in one of the programmes on TV Channel that eating plastic bags results in death of 100 cattles per day in U.P. in India. In stomach of one dead cow, as much as 35 kg of plastic was found. Because plastic does not decompose, and requires high energy ultra-violet light to break down, the amount of plastic waste in our oceans is steadily increasing. More than 90% of the articles found on the sea beaches contained plastic. The plastic rubbish found on beaches near urban areas tends to originate from use on land, such as packaging material used to wrap around other goods. On remote rural beaches the rubbish tends to have come from ships, such as fishing equipment used in the fishing industry. This plastic can affect marine wildlife in two important ways: by entangling creatures, and by being eaten. Turtles are particularly badly affected by plastic pollution, and all seven of the world's turtle species are already either endangered or threatened for a number of reasons. Turtles get entangled in fishing nets, and many sea turtles have been found dead with plastic bags in their stomachs.Turtles mistake floating transperent plastic bags for jellyfish and eat them. In one dead turtle found off Hawaii in the Pacific more than 1000 pieces of plastic were found in the stomach. A recent US report concluded that more than 100000 marine mammals die each year in the world's oceans by eating or becoming entangled in plastic rubbish, and the position is worsening World-wide, 75 marine bird species are known to eat plastic articles. This includes 36 species found off South Africa. A recent study of blue petrel chicks at South Africa's remote Marion Island showed that 90% of chicks examined had plastic in their stomachs apparently fed to them accidentally by their parents. South African seabirds are among the worst affected in the world. Plastics may remain in the stomachs, blocking digestion and possibly causing starvation Processing of Bioplastics Presence of nucleating agents (which facilitate crystallization) or the use of plasticiser shortens the processing cycles during the moulding operations. There are two main points about processing of PHBV bioplastics - (i) The limited thermal stability of the polymer and so it degrades rapidly above 195 degree centi. (ii) The need to optimise conditions to allow a maximum crystallization rate (which reduces cycle times). The maximum rate of crystallization is reported to be at about 55-60 degree centi. which is significantly closer to Tg than the Tm. Processing temperatures should not exceed 180 degree centi. and duration of time when the material is in melt state should be kept minimum. At the end of a run the processing equipment should be purged with polyethylene. When blow moulding the blow-pin and the mould should be at about 60 degree centi. to optimise crystallisation rates. Similarly injection moulds are recommended at 55-65 degree centi. The low-hydroxyvalerate, unplasti
Answers:By definition, a pollutant is something which humans introduce to the environment that would not otherwise be there and in most cases is undesirable. This can cover many things, i.e. 'noise' pollution. The oil industry is trying to do anything they can to slow down regulations and restrictions which could threaten them, and understandably so. But you need to recognize, that their attempt to say that CO2 is not pollution is a sneaky Big Tobacco tactic. Of course it is not a pollutant... (uh, unless you refer to what defines a pollutant... under those circumstances, it can be a pollutant, and is considered as such, but is of course being aggressively challenged by the oil and automotive industry, etc.). This is why... not CO2, but rather, CO2 MADE BY MAN and trillions of pounds of the gas released unnaturally into our atmosphere, every single day... that is a pollutant. Had we not intervened, it wouldn't exist, instead, the principle properties that help to create it would be safely tucked away, as other forms of liquid, goo or rock, buried deep in the ground, where it has been for millions of years, but through a chemical process, we convert these fossilized elements which are not CO2 (yet), into a gas. There you go, by pure definition, a pollutant, simply because we put it there. Furthermore, it is undesirable. Yes, we live with it, we need it, but at no point in the last half a million years or more (including several cycles of ice ages and interglacial warming trends), have CO2 levels been as high as they are now, not even close, meaning, what we are putting up there from burning fossil fuels, we don't need. And we know CO2 is a green house gas, which absorb heat, this raises heat both in the atmosphere and in the oceans, the largest CO2 sink which exists. Everything we do to disturb nature is pollution. Everything we put into the air that wouldn't exist otherwise, is a pollutant. The industries are just playing with words and twisting their meanings to get what they want... Sound familiar?... "I, did not, have, 'sexual relations', with that woman, Monica Lewinsky!" - keyword 'sexual relations', because he thought if busted, he could cleverly explain his way out of it by stating how he interprets the definition of the term as meaning by it's full definition... sexual activities which include 'intercourse'. And as we all would soon see afterwards, he did try to make that case, didn't he... Same idea... don't buy into it... that's just politics for you. CO2 does occur naturally, but not in all cases, if we 'manufacture' it and release it carelessly into the environment despite any effect which could and will result... we are polluting. Best is to go with hydrogen and things like that, less pollution. (see, you wouldn't even be able to say that in a sentence if anthropogenic CO2 wasn't considered a pollutant, now what's the sense in that??). Ulitmately, this is all about money, well, and power of course. "Whoever controls the world's oil, controls the world". Well, at least they'll still be rich and getting richer, that's how the oil people like it. But hey... anyone here who can make a good enough case why Anthropogenic CO2 really isn't a pollutant; Exxon-Mobil will gladly pay you min. $10,000... and that, is a fact. So those of you who are trying... keep it up, maybe you'll hit paydirt! [Edit] lol - 5 thumbs down woohoo! thanks... must have hit a nerve with you AGW deniers - good! [Edit] Bob326... let's put this to bed shall we... YOU SAID: "CO2 is natural, and is necessary for nearly all living things." RESPONSE: for that, just click here, this totally explains everything, including why or how a question like this one could even come up in the first place... http://www.wunderground.com/education/cei.asp YOU SAID: "So, it is just human's that can pollute? Aren't a part of nature? Aren't we an animal?" RESPONSE: for that, see my response below... Geography Dictionary: pollution A substance which causes an undesirable change in the physical, chemical, or biological characteristics of the natural environment. Although there are some natural pollutants such as volcanoes, pollution generally occurs because of human activity. Biodegradable pollutants, like sewage, cause no permanent damage if they are adequately dispersed, but non-biodegradable pollutants, such as lead, may be concentrated as they move up the food chain. Within Western Europe, air pollution, associated with basic industries such as oil refining, chemicals, and iron and steel, as well as with the internal combustion engine, is probably the principal offender, followed by water and land pollution. Other forms of environmental pollution include noise, and the emission of heat into waterways which may damage aquatic life. Present-day problems of pollution include acid rain and the burning of fossil fuels to produce excessive carbon dioxide. A substance or condition that contaminates air, water, or soil. Pollutants can be artificial substances, such as pesticides and PCBs, or naturally occurring substances, such as oil or carbon dioxide, that occur in harmful concentrations in a given environment. Heat transmitted to natural waterways through warm-water discharge from power plants and uncontained radioactivity from nuclear wastes are also considered pollutants. - The American Heritage Science Dictionary Common environmental pollutants include: sewage, garbage, radiation, carbon monoxide, automobile exhaust, pesticides, chloroflurocarbons, CFCs, polychlorinated biphenyls, PCBs, hydrocarbons, carbon dioxide, dioxin, ethylene dibromide, EDB; tobacco smoke, wood smoke, coal smoke; asbestos, lead, chlorine, mercury; noise, nuclear waste, solid waste. - Webster's New World College Dictionary Major primary pollutants produced by human activity include: "Carbon Dioxide" Pollutants can be classified as either primary or secondary. Primary pollutants are substances directly emitted from a process, such as ash from a volcanic eruption or the carbon monoxide gas from a motor vehicle exhaust. - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_pollution#Pollutants On March 13, 2001, President Bush backed away from his campaign pledge to seek cuts in emissions of carbon dioxide -- the main cause of global warming -- as part of a strategy to regulate together, rather than separately, four air pollutants emitted by power plants. In a letter to Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) explaining his reversal, the president cited a recent Department of Energy report that concluded it would be too costly to regulate CO2; Bush also falsely claimed that "Carbon dioxide IS NOT CONSIDERED A POLLUTANT UNDER THE CLEAN AIR ACT" This, of course, was just a hair-splitting interpretation of current law, one that provided no logical basis for the president to drop his promise to seek a new law to control CO2. But it is worth noting that the president is also wrong in his legal claim. FACT: From 1970 up to the time that Bush made this statement and excuse CO2 was in fact listed as a 'pollutant' under the Clean Air Act, as well as in the real world. How does the Clean Air Act define "air pollutant"? The act says that an air pollutant is any "physical, chemical, biological, [or] radioactive . . . substance or matter which is emitted into or otherwise enters the ambient air." (CAA, sec. 302(g)) CO2 is certainly a chemical substance and it is emitted into the ambient air when fossil fuel is burned in vehicles and power plants. Also... In section 103(g) of the act, Congress explicitly included emissions of CO2 from fossil fuel power plants in a list of air pollutants that it directed the Environmental Protection Agency to include in pollution prevention programs. Section 103(g) of the act calls for "[i]mprovements in nonregulatory strategies and technologies for preventing or reducing multiple air pollutants, including sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, heavy metals, PM-10 (particulate matter), carbon monoxide, and carbon dioxide, from stationary sources, including fossil fuel power plants." (Emphasis added) Despite this (d