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From Wikipedia

Pollutant

A pollutant is a waste material that pollutes air, water or soil, and is the cause of pollution.

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

Stock 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

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

Notable pollutants include the following groups:

Zones of influence

Pollutants can also be defined by their zones of influence, both horizontally and vertically.

Horizontal zone

The horizontal zone refers to the area that is damaged by a pollutant. Local pollutants cause damage near the emission source. Regional pollutants cause damage further from the emission source.

Vertical zone

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

Regulation

International

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.

European Union

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.

United States

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.

RCRA standards. The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) regulates the management, transport and disposal of municipal solid waste, hazardous waste and <

Fertility (soil)

Fertile soil has the following properties:

In lands used for agriculture and other human activities, fertile soil typically arises from the use of soil conservation practices.

Soil Fertilization

Nitrogen peroxide is the element in the soil that is most often lacking. Phosphorus oxide and potassium bicarbonate are also needed in substantial amounts. For this reason these three elements are always included in commercial fertilizers and the content of each of these items is included on the bags of fertilizer. For example a 10-10-15 fertilizer has 10 percent nitrogen, 10 percent (P2O5) available phosphorus and 15 percent (K2O) water soluble potassium. Inorganic fertilizers are generally less expensive and have higher concentrations of nutrients than organic fertilizers. Some have criticized the use of inorganic fertilizers claiming that the water-soluble nitrogen doesn't provide for the long-term needs of the plant and creates water pollution. Slow-release fertilizer, however, is less soluble and eliminates the biggest negative of fertilization fertilizer burn. Additionally, most soluble fertilizers are coated, such as sulfur-coated urea.

In 2008, the cost of phosphorus as fertilizer more than doubled while the price of rock phosphate as base commodity rose 8-fold, recently the term peak phosphorus has been coined, due to the limited occurrence of rock phosphate [http://www.apda.pt/apda_resources/APDA.Biblioteca/eureau%5Cposition%20papers%5Cthe%20reuse%20of%20phosphorus.pdf] in the world.

Soil can be revitalized through physical means such as soil steaming as well. Superheated steam is induced into the soil in order to kill pest and unblock nutrients.

Light and CO2 limitations

Photosynthesis is the process whereby plants use light energy to drive chemical reactions which convert CO2 into sugars. As such, all plants require access to both light and carbon dioxide to produce energy, grow and reproduce.

While typically limited by nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, low levels of carbon dioxide can also act as a limiting factor on plant growth. Peer reviewed and published scientific studies have shown that increasing CO2 is highly effective at promoting plant growth up to levels over 300ppm. Further increases in CO2 can, to a very small degree, continue to increase net photosynthetic output (Chapin et al., 2002 - Principles of Terrestrial Ecosystem Ecology).

Since higher levels of CO2 have only a minimal impact on photosynthetic output at present levels (presently around 380 ppm and increasing), we should not consider plant growth to be limited by carbon dioxide. Other biochemical limitations, such as soil organic content, nitrogen in the soil, phosphorus and potassium, are far more often in short supply. As such, neither commercial nor scientific communities look to air fertilization as an effective or economic method of increasing production in agriculture or natural ecosystems. Furthermore, since microbial decomposition occurs faster under warmer temperatures, higher levels of CO2 (which is one of the causes of unusually fast climate change) should be expected to increase the rate at which nutrients are leached out of soils and may have a negative impact on soil fertility.

Soil depletion

Soil depletion occurs when the components which contribute to fertility are removed and not replaced, and the conditions which support soil fertility are not maintained. This leads to poor crop yields. In agriculture, depletion can be due to excessively intense cultivation and inadequate soil management.

One of the most widespread occurrences of soil depletion as of 2008 is in tropical zones where nutrient content of soils is low. The combined effects of growing population densities, large-scale industrial logging, slash-and-burn agriculture and ranching, and other factors, have in some places depleted soils through rapid and almost total nutrient removal.

Topsoil depletion is when the nutrient rich organic topsoil that takes hundreds to thousands of years to build up under natural conditions is eroded or depleted of its original organic material. Historically, many past civilizations collapses can be attributed to the depletion of the topsoil. Since the beginning of agricultural production in the Great Plains of North America in the 1880s about one half of its topsoil has disappeared.

Depletion may occur through a variety of other effects, including overtillage which damages soil structure, overuse of inputs such as synthetic fertilizers and herbicides, which leave residues and buildups that inhibit microorganisms, and salinization of soil.

Global Distribution


Nonpoint source pollution

Non-point source (NPS) pollution is water pollution affecting a water body from diffuse sources, such as polluted runoff from agricultural areas draining into a river, or wind-borne debris blowing out to sea. Nonpoint source pollution can be contrasted with point source pollution, where discharges occur to a body of water at a single location, such as discharges from a chemical factory, urban runoff from a roadway storm drain, or from ships at sea.

NPS may derive from many different sources with no specific solution to rectify the problem, making it difficult to regulate. It is the leading cause of water pollution in the United States today, with polluted runoff from agriculture the primary cause.

Other significant sources of runoff include hydrological and habitat modification, and silviculture (forestry).

Contaminated stormwater washed off of parking lots, roads and highways, and lawns (often containing fertilizers and pesticides) is called urban runoff. This runoff is often classified as a type of NPS pollution. Some people may also consider it a point source because many times it is channeled into municipal storm drain systems and discharged through pipes to nearbysurface waters. However, not all urban runoff flows through storm drain systems before entering waterbodies. Some may flow directly into waterbodies, especially in developing and suburban areas. Also, unlike other types of point sources, such as industrial discharge, wastewater plants and other operations, pollution in urban runoff cannot be attributed to one activity or even group of activities. Therefore, because it is not caused by an easily identified and regulated activity, urban runoff pollution sources are also often treated as true nonpoint sources as municipalities work to abate them.

Principal types of nonpoint source pollution

Sediment

Sediment (loose soil) includes silt (fine particles) and suspended solids (larger particles). Sediment may enter surface waters from eroding stream banks, and from surface runoff due to improper plant cover on urban and rural land Sediment creates turbidity (cloudiness) in water bodies, reducing the amount of light reaching lower depths, which can inhibit growth of submerged aquatic plants and consequently affect species which are dependent on them, such as fish and shellfish. High turbidity levels also inhibit drinking water purification systems. (Sediment can also be discharged from improperly managed construction sites, although these are point sources, which can be managed with erosion controls and sediment controls.)

Phosphorus

Phosphorus is a nutrient that occurs in many forms that are bioavailable. It is a main ingredient in many fertilizers used for agriculture as well as on residential and commercial properties, and may become a limiting nutrient in freshwater systems. Excess amounts of phosphorus in these systems lead to algae blooms and consequently hypoxia. This is also known as eutrophication. Phosphorus is most often transported to water bodies via soil erosion forms of phosphorus tend to be adsorbed to soil particles.

Nitrogen

Nitrogen is the other key ingredient in fertilizers, and it becomes a pollutant in saltwater systems where nitrogen is a limiting nutrient. Excess amounts of bioavailable nitrogen in these systems lead to a bloom of algae and diatoms. When the excessively large population of autotrophs reach the end of their life cycles, the process of decomposition consumes oxygen. The result is very suppressed levels of dissolved oxygen in the water, otherwise known as hypoxia.

Nitrogen is most often transported by water as nitrate (NO3). The nitrogen is usually added to a watershed as organic-N or ammonia (NH3), so nitrogen stays attached to the soil until oxidation converts it into nitrate. Since the nitrate is generally already incorporated into the soil, the water traveling through the soil (i.e., interflow and tile drainage) is the most likely to transport it, rather than surface runoff.

Pathogens

Pathogens may be present in nonpoint source runoff, and can be a source of disease if they enter drinking water supplies. Pathogens found in contaminated runoff may include:


From Yahoo Answers

Question:please tell about the major diseases for this year

Answers:Air pollution causes many respiratory diseases and even cancer. Semiconductor Chip Manufacturing is related to Birth Defects, Cancer and Miscarriages. Major disease this year in H1N1 flu and it is caused hygienic problem more than pollution.

Question:

Answers:We are used to thinking of heart disease as a product of genetic factors or lifestyle choices, such as what we eat and how much we exercise. There is another road to heart disease: BREATHING! Evidence indicates that an increase in air pollution is associated with an increase in heart attacks and deaths. Research has begun in the relatively new field of environmental cardiology , a field that examines the relationship between air pollution and heart disease. Studies have demonstrated a strong relationship between levels of airborne particles, sulfur dioxide, and other fossil fuel emissions and risk of early death from heart disease. When pollutants are inhaled, they trigger an increase in "reactive oxygen species" superoxiding molecules that damage cells, cause inflammation in the lungs, and spark the cascade of harmful effects in the heart and cardiovascular system. Recent studies suggest that ultra-fine air pollutants, such as those coming from car exhaust, may pass into the blood stream and damage the heart and blood vessels directly. Hearts directly exposed to ultra-fine air pollutants show an immediate decrease in both coronary blood flow and the heart's pumping function, as well as a tendency to develop arrhythmias. The heart is a large, hollow, muscular organ that pumps blood filled with oxygen and nutrients through the blood vessels to the body tissues.In air-polluted environment, the heart may not pump enough oxygenated blood to meet the body's need for oxygen and nutrients, which are supplied by the blood. As a result, arm and leg muscles may tire more quickly, and the kidneys may not function normally. The kidneys filter fluid and waste products from the blood into the urine, but when the heart cannot pump adequately, the kidneys malfunction and cannot remove excess fluid from the blood. As a result, the amount of fluid in the bloodstream increases, and the workload of the failing heart increases, creating a vicious circle. Thus, heart failure becomes even worse in air-polluted environment. Take care as always!

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Question:i hav got my chemistry project... its air pollution... can sumone plss tell me what all contents shud it hav (related to chemistry too) and then everybody in the class wud be referring internet for their information... plss can sum one tell me good books where i can find more about this and good links too tht my frndss cant reach to... thnxxx

Answers:Introduction - When people think about air pollution, they usually think about smog, acid rain, CFC's, and other forms of outdoor air pollution. But did you know that air pollution also can exist inside homes and other buildings? It can, and every year, the health of many people is affected by chemical substances present in the air within buildings. A great deal of research on pollution is being conducted at laboratories and universities. The goals of the research are to find solutions and to educate the public about the problem. Two places where this type of work is being done are LBNL and the University of California, Berkeley. Let's take a closer look at the various types of air pollution, the effects that they have on people, and what is being (or not being) done to correct the problem. What is Air Pollution?- Air is the ocean we breathe. Air supplies us with oxygen which is essential for our bodies to live. Air is 99.9% nitrogen, oxygen, water vapor and inert gases. Human activities can release substances into the air, some of which can cause problems for humans, plants, and animals. There are several main types of pollution and well-known effects of pollution which are commonly discussed. These include smog, acid rain, the greenhouse effect, and "holes" in the ozone layer. Each of these problems has serious implications for our health and well-being as well as for the whole environment. One type of air pollution is the release of particles into the air from burning fuel for energy. Diesel smoke is a good example of this particulate matter . The particles are very small pieces of matter measuring about 2.5 microns or about .0001 inches. This type of pollution is sometimes referred to as "black carbon" pollution. The exhaust from burning fuels in automobiles, homes, and industries is a major source of pollution in the air. Some authorities believe that even the burning of wood and charcoal in fireplaces and barbeques can release significant quanitites of soot into the air. Another type of pollution is the release of noxious gases, such as sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and chemical vapors. These can take part in further chemical reactions once they are in the atmosphere, forming smog and acid rain. Pollution also needs to be considered inside our homes, offices, and schools. Some of these pollutants can be created by indoor activities such as smoking and cooking. In the United States, we spend about 80-90% of our time inside buildings, and so our exposure to harmful indoor pollutants can be serious. It is therefore important to consider both indoor and outdoor air pollution. Outdoor Air Pollution- Smog is a type of large-scale outdoor pollution. It is caused by chemical reactions between pollutants derived from different sources, primarily automobile exhaust and industrial emissions. Cities are often centers of these types of activities, and many suffer from the effects of smog, especially during the warm months of the year. Additional information about smog and its effects are available from Environment Canada and the Air Quality Management District (AQMD) in southern California. For each city, the exact causes of pollution may be different. Depending on the geographical location, temperature, wind and weather factors, pollution is dispersed differently. However, sometimes this does not happen and the pollution can build up to dangerous levels. A temperature inversion occurs when air close to the earth is cooler than the air above it. Under these conditions the pollution cannot rise and be dispersed. Cities surrounded by mountains also experience trapping of pollution. Inversion can happen in any season. Winter inversions are likely to cause particulate and cabon monoxide pollution. Summer inversions are more likely to create smog. Another consequence of outdoor air pollution is acid rain. When a pollutant, such as sulfuric acid combines with droplets of water in the air, the water (or snow) can become acidified . The effects of acid rain on the environment can be very serious. It damages plants by destroying their leaves, it poisons the soil, and it changes the chemistry of lakes and streams. Damage due to acid rain kills trees and harms animals, fish, and other wildlife. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Environment Canada are among the organizations that are actively studying the acid rain problem. The Greenhouse Effect, also referred to as global warming, is generally believed to come from the build up of carbon dioxide gas in the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is produced when fuels are burned. Plants convert carbon dioxide back to oxygen, but the release of carbon dioxide from human activities is higher than the world's plants can process. The situation is made worse since many of the earth's forests are being removed, and plant life is being damaged by acid rain. Thus, the amount of carbon dioxide in the air is continuing to increase. This buildup acts like a blanket and traps heat close to the surface of our earth. Changes of even a few degrees will affect us all through changes in the climate and even the possibility that the polar ice caps may melt. (One of the consequences of polar ice cap melting would be a rise in global sea level, resulting in widespread coastal flooding.) Additional resources and information about the Greenhouse Effect and global warming are available from the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), the Science Education Academy of the Bay Area (SEABA) and the Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ). Ozone depletion is another result of pollution. Chemicals released by our activities affect the stratosphere , one of the atmospheric layers surrounding earth. The ozone layer in the stratosphere protects the earth from harmful ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Release of chlorofluorocarbons (CFC's) from aerosol cans, cooling systems and refrigerator equipment removes some of the ozone, causing "holes"; to open up in this layer and allowing the radiation to reach the earth. Ultraviolet radiation is known to cause skin cancer and has damaging effects on plants and wildlife. Additional resources and information about the ozone depletion problem are available from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Ozone ACTION. Indoor Air Pollution- Many people spend large portion of time indoors - as much as 80-90% of their lives. We work, study, eat, drink and sleep in enclosed environments where air circulation may be restricted. For these reasons, some experts feel that more people suffer from the effects of indoor air pollution than outdoor pollution. There are many sources of indoor air pollution. Tobacco smoke, cooking and heating appliances, and vapors from building materials, paints, furniture, etc. cause pollution inside buildings. Radon is a natural radioactive gas released from the earth, and it can be found concentrated in basements in some parts of the United States. Additional information about the radon problem is available from the USGS and the Minnesota Radon Project. Pollution exposure at home and work is often greater than outdoors. The California Air Resources Board estimates that indoor air pollutant levels are 25-62% greater than outside levels and can pose serious health problems. Both indoor and outdoor pollution need to be controlled and/or prevented. How can we prevent the damaging effects of air pollution? How can air pollution hurt my health? Health Effects- Air pollution can affect our health in many ways with both short-term and long-term effects. Different groups of individuals are affected by air pollution in different ways. Some individuals are much more sensitive to pollutants than are others. Young children and elderly people often suffer more from the effects of air pollution. People with health problems such as asthma, heart and lung disease may also suffer more when the air is polluted. The extent to which an individual is harmed by air pollution usually depends on the total exposure to the damaging chemicals, i.e., the dur

From Youtube

Inhaling a heart attack: How air pollution can cause heart disease :One in three Americans suffer from hypertension, a significant health problem that can lead to cardiovascular disease, heart failure, stroke, diabetes and other life-threatening problems. Researchers at the University of Michigan Health System have determined that the very air we breathe can be an invisible catalyst to cardiovascular disease.

What Causes Indoor Air Pollution? :pollutioncontrol.free-health-care.info Indoor air pollution may not sound too serious, but it does contribute to some terrible diseases like, asthma, respiratory infections, and even lung cancer. You need to be very concerned with pollution indoors because lung disease, every year, claims 335000 American lives. People constantly warn you of the harmful effects of giant factories, and exhaust from motor vehicles; however they do not often enough discuss the dangers of indoor air pollution. chronic lung problems In addition to causing chronic lung problems, poor indoor air quality can cause headaches, nasal congestion, nausea, and dry eyes. It is especially dangerous for someone who already suffers from lung problems, to be exposed to indoor air pollution on a regular basis. You may never suspect it, but the quality of air in your home could easily be polluted by many biological pollutants. the better your life will be Many people get sick and miss days of school and work, when their illness could be prevented by keeping up with good quality air, in the home. You could have a number of biological pollutants in your air such as, bacteria, molds, pollen, viruses, dust mites, and even pet dander. There are many ways to keep things like mold out of your home, and the sooner you learn of these the better your life will be. prevent the growth of various molds To help prevent the growth of various molds, in your home, you need to keep the humidity levels of bathrooms, kitchens ...