Clean drinking water is becoming a rare commodity. Water is becoming an economic and political issue as the human population fights for this resource. One of the options suggested is using the process of desalination. Industrial development is filling our rivers seas and oceans with toxic pollutants which are a major threat to human health.
Humans have established communities and flourished around sources of clean, drinkable water since the beginning of time. It’s vital to our survival. Do you know that you can survive several days without food but not without water? It’s heartbreaking to know that millions of people worldwide do not have access to this most basic need, and are dying of thirst and water borne diseases.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.
Acid rain occurs due to the presence of certain pollutants in the atmosphere. Acid rain can be caused due to combustion of fossil fuels or erupting volcanoes or rotting vegetation which release sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides into the atmosphere. Acid rain is a known environmental problem that can have serious effect on human health, wildlife and aquatic species.
The harm to people from acid rain is not direct. Walking in acid rain, or even swimming in an acid lake, is no more dangerous than walking or swimming in clean water. However, the pollutants that cause acid rain (sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx)) also damage human health. These gases interact in the atmosphere to form fine sulfate and nitrate particles that can be transported long distances by winds and inhaled deep into people's lungs. Fine particles can also penetrate indoors. Many scientific studies have identified a relationship between elevated levels of fine particles and increased illness and premature death from heart and lung disorders, such as asthma and bronchitis.
The ozone layer is an invisible layer of protection around the planet that protects us from the sun’s harmful rays. Depletion of the crucial Ozone layer of the atmosphere is attributed to pollution caused by Chlorine and Bromide found in Chloro-floro carbons (CFC’s). Once these toxic gases reach the upper atmosphere, they cause a hole in the ozone layer, the biggest of which is above the Antarctic. The CFC’s are banned in many industries and consumer products. Ozone layer is valuable because it prevents harmful UV radiation from reaching the earth. This is one of the most important current environmental problem.
Ozone layer depletion increases the amount of UVB that reaches the Earth’s surface. Laboratory and epidemiological studies demonstrate that UVB causes non-melanoma skin cancer and plays a major role in malignant melanoma development. In addition, UVB has been linked to the development of cataracts, a clouding of the eye’s lens.
It is a direct impact of excessive production of CO2. 25% of CO2 produced by humans. The ocean acidity has increased by the last 250 years but by 2100, it may shoot up by 150%. The main impact is on shellfish and plankton in the same way as human osteoporosis.
Humans are inextricably linked to the health of the ocean. We have always relied on the ocean's resources for food, recreation, transportation and medicines. From an interpretive standpoint, the important thing is to help people realize how they are personally connected to the ocean, and then to be able to explain to them how that connection is being jeopardized by ocean acidification. One of the most obvious connections people have with the ocean is seafood. Most of the shellfish we eat are going to be negatively impacted by ocean acidification due to the fact that they will be unable to build sturdy shells. Some oyster hatcheries in the Pacific Northwest have already been impacted, and have seen declines in larval settlement and survival rates. Pteropods may seem insignificant to many people, but since they are a major food source for fish, their survival is very important to us.
Our forests are natural sinks of carbon dioxide and produce fresh oxygen as well as helps in regulating temperature and rainfall. At present forests cover 30% of the land but every year tree cover is lost amounting to the country of Panama due to growing population demand for more food, shelter and cloth. Deforestation simply means clearing of green cover and make that land available for residential, industrial or commercial purpose.
Forests are complex ecosystems that affect almost every species on the planet. When they are degraded, it can set off a devastating chain of events both locally and around the world.Loss of species: Seventy percent of the world’s plants and animals live in forests and are losing their habitats to deforestation, according to National Geographic. Loss of habitat can lead to species extinction. It also has negative consequences for medicinal research and local populations who rely on the animals and plants in the forests for hunting and medicine. Water cycle: Trees are important to the water cycle. They absorb rain fall and produce water vapor that is released into the atmosphere. Trees also lessen the pollution in water, according to the North Carolina State University, by stopping polluted runoff. In the Amazon, more than half the water in the ecosystem is held within the plants, according to the National Geographic Society.
Human activity is leading to the extinction of species and habitats and and loss of biodiversity. Eco systems, which took millions of years to perfect, are in danger when any species population is decimating. Balance of natural processes like pollination is crucial to the survival of the ecosystem and human activity threatens the same. Another example is the destruction of coral reefs in the various oceans, which support the rich marine life.
Biological diversity is the resource upon which families, communities, nations and future generations depend. It is the link between all organisms on earth, binding each into an interdependent ecosystem, in which all species have their role. It is the web of life. The Earth’s natural assets are made up of plants, animals, land, water, the atmosphere AND humans! Together we all form part of the planet’s ecosystems, which means if there is a biodiversity crisis, our health and livelihoods are at risk too.But we are currently using 25% more natural resources than the planet can sustain As a result species, habitats and local communities are under pressure or direct threats (for example from loss of access to fresh water).Biodiversity underpins the health of the planet and has a direct impact on all our lives.
Climate change is yet another environmental problem that has surfaced in last couple of decades. It occurs due to rise in global warming which occurs due to increase in temperature of atmosphere by burning of fossil fuels and release of harmful gases by industries. Climate change has various harmful effects but not limited to melting of polar ice, change in seasons, occurrence of new diseases, frequent occurrence of floods and change in overall weather scenario.
The severity of these health risks will depend on the ability of public health and safety systems to address or prepare for these changing threats, as well as factors such as an individual's behavior, age, gender, and economic status. Impacts will vary based on a where a person lives, how sensitive they are to health threats, how much they are exposed to climate change impacts, and how well they and their community are able to adapt to change.
The over consumption of resources and creation of plastics are creating a global crisis of waste disposal. Developed countries are notorious for producing an excessive amount of waste or garbage and dumping their waste in the oceans and, less developed countries. Nuclear waste disposal has tremendous health hazards associated with it. Plastic, fast food, packaging and cheap electronic wastes threaten the well being of humans.
Waste disposal is one of urgent current environmental problem.Waste that is not properly managed, especially excreta and other liquid and solid waste from households and the community, are a serious health hazard and lead to the spread of infectious diseases. Unattended waste lying around attracts flies, rats, and other creatures that in turn spread disease. Normally it is the wet waste that decomposes and releases a bad odor. This leads to unhygienic conditions and thereby to a rise in the health problems. The plague outbreak in Surat is a good example of a city suffering due to the callous attitude of the local body in maintaining cleanliness in the city. Plastic waste is another cause for ill health. Thus excessive solid waste that is generated should be controlled by taking certain preventive measures.
Natural resource depletion is another crucial current environmental problems. Fossil fuel consumption results in emission of Greenhouse gases, which is responsible for global warming and climate change. Globally, people are taking efforts to shift to renewable sources of energy like solar, wind, biogas and geothermal energy. The cost of installing the infrastructure and maintaining these sources has plummeted in the recent years.
Natural resource depletion effects humans and their every days. For example, rising prices, food, fuel and energy prices rise when natural resources become scarce. A growing population means growing demand for resources. If demand rises too quickly, resource scarcity results and causes prices to rise for several reasons. Also, water shortages is another problem,In some areas of rapid population growth, access to clean water is not guaranteed. When infrastructure development cannot keep up with population growth, water shortages and sanitation issues can occur. Almost 1 billion people lack access to clean water, and more than twice that many do not have toilets.
The population of the planet is reaching unsustainable levels as it faces shortage of resources like water, fuel and food. Population explosion in less developed and developing countries is straining the already scarce resources. Intensive agriculture practiced to produce food damages the environment through use of chemical fertilizer, pesticides and insecticides. Overpopulation is one of the crucial current environmental problems.
Overpopulation causes humans to have less resources. In order to keep the population stable in the united states each couple can have up to around two children, if they have more the population is increasing. Over the years the world population has increased dramatically, many people believe in a few years there will be no more water or other natural resources for all the humans on Earth.
Climate changes like global warming is the result of human practices like emission of Greenhouse gases. Global warming leads to rising temperatures of the oceans and the earth’ surface causing melting of polar ice caps, rise in sea levels and also unnatural patterns of precipitation such as flash floods, excessive snow or desertification.
As our climate changes, the risk of injury, illness, and death from the resulting heat waves, wildfires, intense storms, and floods rises. One thing that can affect humans is extreme heat; If high temperatures, especially when combined with high relative humidity, persist for several days (heat waves), and if nighttime temperatures do not drop, extreme heat can be a killer. Second, poor air quality is another effect. Three key ingredients; sunlight, warm air, and pollution from power plants and cars burning coal and gasoline combine to produce ground-level ozone (smog), which humans experience as poor air quality. Higher air temperatures increase smog, if sunlight, fossil fuel pollution, and air currents remain the same
Soil pollution is caused by industrial waste that deprives soil from essential nutrients. The redundant, ever increasing use of chemicals such as pesticides, herbicides, insecticides and fertilizers is one of the main factors causing soil pollution by increasing its salinity making it imperfect for crop bearing and adversely affecting the microorganisms present in the soil, causing the soil to lose its fertility and resulting in the loss of minerals present in the soil, thus causing soil pollution and killing off more than just the intended pest.
Soil pollution occurs when soil contains chemicals that are toxic or otherwise dangerous for humans and other living things. Soil pollution can cause organ damage. The presence of heavy metals in soil in toxic amounts can cause irreversible developmental damage in children, according to the website Tropical Rainforest Animals. Although lead and mercury may be found naturally in soil, high concentrations of either metal may cause damage to the developing brains of young children, which in turn may lead to neurological problems. Humans of any age may also suffer kidney or liver damage from exposure to excessive mercury in soil.
Water pollution is caused by oil spill, acid rain, and urban runoff. The use of hazardous chemicals in manufacturing industries and agriculture cause severe water pollution as waste from these industries goes directly into nearby rivers, lakes and ponds without getting treated to remove harmful toxins and compounds. This not only affects the quality of water but also pose danger to several endangered aquatic species. Increase in the water pollution can badly affect marine life and their habitats. Poor people who do not have access to clean drinking water are forced to drink untreated water which makes them prone to water related diseases which directly affects their health.
Chemicals in water such as pesticides, nitrates, lead and arsenic can be a threat to human health. Pesticides can damage the nervous system and cause cancer because of the carbamates and organophosphates that they contain. Chlorides can cause reproductive and endocrine damage. Second, 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. Third, lead can accumulate in the body and damage the central nervous system. Lastly, arsenic causes liver damage, skin cancer and vascular diseases.
Heavy metals, nitrates and plastic are toxins responsible for pollution. Air pollution is caused by various gases and toxins released by industries and factories and combustion of fossil fuels. Air pollution is a mixture of solid particles and gases in the air. Car emissions, chemicals from factories, dust, pollen and mold spores may be suspended as particles. Ozone, a gas, is a major part of air pollution in cities. When ozone forms air pollution, it's also called smog.Some air pollutants are poisonous. Inhaling them can increase the chance you'll have health problems. People with heart or lung disease, older adults and children are at greater risk from air pollution. Air pollution isn't just outside, the air inside buildings can also be polluted and affect your health
Industrialized countries have worked to reduce levels of sulfur dioxide, smog, and smoke in order to improve people's health. But a result, not predicted until recently, is that the lower sulfur dioxide levels may actually make global warming worse. Just as sulfur dioxide from volcanoes can cool the planet by blocking sunlight, cutting the amount of the compound in the atmosphere lets more sunlight through, warming the Earth. This effect is exaggerated when elevated levels of other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere trap the additional heat.
Each year, millions of people travel to the Stanislaus Forest to recreate and to enjoy the scenic vistas of the mountains and river canyons. Many visitors don’t realize that national forests are not parks, but are instead lands that have a legal mandate to provide a wide range of "multiple uses". CSERC engages at every opportunity to advocate for a better balance of those uses and to promote higher protections for water, wildlife and wild places.
National Forest environmental issues arise from the many uses that occur on public lands, from logging to recreation. For many decades, the national forests of America have been hotbeds of controversy as Congress, industrial groups, anti- environmental organizations, and local control groups have pressed for high levels of logging, grazing, mining, road-building, and other uses on public forest lands.
The environment is everything around us, the air we breathe, the water we drink and use, and the food we consume. It is also the chemicals, radiation, microbes, and the physical forces with which we come into contact. Environmental health programs at the local, state, and federal level work to prevent illness, disability, and death that arise from interactions between people and the environment. There are various team that work in different fields to prevent health issues due to the environment. For example, there is the food protection team, the land use team, residential services and technical services.
The land use team samples drinking water and submits it for bacterial analysis, reviews plans, soil analysis, and conducts site investigations, issues permits and evaluates new or repaired sewage management systems on spetic tanks. Also, evaluates data and property, issues permits for installation of sewage management systems on Commercial Sewage Systems. The food protection teams go to restaurants and reviews and approves plans, issues permits, and conducts ongoing inspections throughout the year. They also investigate food borne illness complaints. In Tourist accommodations they routine evaluation and inspection of hotels. Also at Temporary Event Permits they evaluates and permits food services for festivals
Coral reefs cover an area of over 280,000 km2 and support thousands of species in what many describe as the rainforests of the seas. Coral reefs benefit the environment and people in numerous ways. For example, they protect shores from the impact of waves and from storms, provide benefits to humans in the form of food and medicine, provide economic benefits to local communities from tourism. In the past few years, concerns about coral reefs have been raisen. Twenty percent of the world’s coral reefs have been effectively destroyed and show no immediate prospects of recovery, approximately 40% of the 16% of the world’s reefs that were seriously damaged in 1998 are either recovering well or have recovered, the report predicts that 24% of the world’s reefs are under imminent risk of collapse through human pressures; and a further 26% are under a longer term threat of collapse.
Ecologically speaking the value of coral reefs is even greater because they are integral to the well being of the oceans as we know them. Picture reefs as the undersea equivalent of rainforest trees. Tropical waters are naturally low in nutrients because the warm water limits nutrients essential for life from welling up from the deep, which is why they are sometimes called a marine desert. Through the photosynthesis carried out by their algae, coral serve as a vital input of food into the tropical/sub-tropical marine food-chain, and assist in recycling the nutrients too. The reefs provide home and shelter to over 25% of fish in the ocean and up to two million marine species. They are also a nursery for the juvenile forms of many marine creatures.
The Russian Federation is the largest country on Earth. As such, its environmental problems and policies have global consequences. Yet assessing Russia’s environmental quality and environmental policies is challenging. Russia’s biomes range from polar desert to temperate rain forest. The size and diversity of biome types, as well as the uneven distribution of human settlement and natural resource use,make it difﬁcult to generalize about overall environmental quality. In addition, Russia has experienced immense political, economic, and social changes since the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991.In the post-Soviet period, Russia is developing new patterns of resource use and new strategies of environmental management with changing implications for environmental quality. Public activism on environmental issues has varied with changing political and economic conditions as well. This article contextualizes scientiﬁc ﬁndings on Russian environmental quality in ﬁve issue areas water quality, the state of forests ,air quality, within a review of the social scientiﬁc literature on the political, economic, and social factors that underpin environmental protection and activism, from the Soviet period to the present.
As is the case with many natural resources in Russia, the state of water quality largely depends upon local conditions. In zones of heavy human impact, particular causes of poor water quality vary but are generally the result of overuse of water resources, inadequate water distribution and water treatment in frastructure, and proximity of polluting industry. Secondly, Owing to a combination of reduced industrial production and some improvements in cleaning methods at the point of origin, emissions of SO2 and heavy metals appear to be on the decline regionally. However, it is difﬁcult to make conﬁdent generalizations about air quality in Russia as a whole because coverage by monitoring stations is poor, independently generated data and peer-reviewed studies are limited, and scientists must rely heavily on government reports with the inherent limitations.
Madeira is a Portuguese archipelago situated in the north Atlantic Ocean. Months back Madeira experienced a forest fire that spread widely and ended up reaching the main city, Funchal. The fire started due to high temperatures, dehydration of woodland and powerful winds. Wildfire is a part of nature. It plays a key role in shaping ecosystems by serving as an agent of renewal and change. But fire can be deadly, destroying homes, wildlife habitat and timber, and polluting the air with emissions harmful to human health. Fire also releases carbon dioxide- a key greenhouse gas into the atmosphere. Fire’s effect on the landscape may be long-lasting. Fire effects are influenced by forest conditions before the fire and management action taken or not taken after the fire.
Fires may contribute to temporary changes in air quality. Air quality on a regional scale is affected only when many acres are burned on the same day. Local problems are more frequent and occasionally acute due to the large quantities of smoke that can be produced in a given area during a short period of time. Smoke consists of small particles of ash, partly consumed fuel, and liquid droplets. Other combustion products include invisible gases such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, hydrocarbons, and small quantities of nitrogen oxides. Oxides of nitrogen are usually produced at temperatures only reached in piled or windrowed slash or in very intense wildfires. In general, fires produce inconsequential amounts of these gases that we should not be taking into our systems.
Olympic swimmers and other athletes, Rio residents, and dolphins encounter a noxious stew of pathogens and pollutants in Brazil. Roughly 16 million people live around the bay, making it one of the world’s most densely populated urban areas. Many neighborhoods lack proper sanitation, causing squalid water conditions, including raw sewage and extreme levels of disease-causing microorganisms in Guanabara Bay. Athletes have complained the water is littered with trash, and that it irritates their skin and causes stomach ailments. Some teams have instructed Olympic rowers to avoid splashing water on each other and to carry hand sanitizer onboard their boats. All this pollution is coming from raw sewage.
Human sewage can carry a number of pathogens, including viruses and bacteria. Enteric viruses excreted in feces and found at high levels in untreated sewage are a major concern in Guanabara Bay. Also, Waterborne illnesses are a major problem for Rio residents, especially Rio’s poorest people who live near the most polluted parts of the bay and have the least access to sanitation. Eating seafood contaminated with heavy metals, industrial chemicals including PCBs, and hydrocarbons from petroleum products, also causes long-term health concern for Rio residents practicing subsistence fishing in Guanabara Bay.
Air and water pollution are significant environmental problems especially in Portugal's urban centers. Industrial pollutants include nitrous oxide,sulfur dioxides, and carbon emissions. In 1996, industrial carbon dioxide emissions totaled 47.9 million metric tons. The nation's water supply, especially in coastal areas, is threatened by pollutants from the oil and cellulose industries. Portugal has 37 cubic kilometers of renewable water, of which 53% is used to support farming and 40% is for industrial activity. In total, the nation's cities produce an average of 2.6 million tons of solid waste. The nation's wildlife and agricultural activities are threatened by erosion and desertification of the land.
Although erosion is a natural process human land use policies also have had an effect on erosion, especially industrial agriculture, deforestation, and urban sprawl. Land that is used for industrial agriculture generally experiences a significantly greater rate of erosion than that of land under natural vegetation, or land used for sustainable agricultural practices.The rate of erosion depends on many factors. Climatic factors include the amount and intensity of precipitation, the average temperature, as well as the typical temperature range, and seasonality, the wind speed, storm frequency. Erosion is caused by “fluid flow”. Any substance, like wind, water, or ice, which flows consistently from one place to another, will facilitate erosion.
Los Angeles and San Joaquin Valley cities consistently rank among the worst in the nation for air quality. In neighborhoods across Southern California, millions of people are exposed to levels of smog and soot pollution so dangerous that it may be unsafe even for a healthy person to go outside. Partnering with conservation, health, and community groups, Earthjustice is pressuring the EPA and state regulators to do their jobs and give citizens the clean air they deserve and have a legal right to breathe.
Bad air quality is coming from energy use and production. Burning fossil fuels releases gases and chemicals into the air. Air pollution not only contributes to climate change but it also exacerbated by it. Another type of air pollution is then worsened by that increased heat: Smog forms when the weather is warmer and there’s more ultraviolet radiation. Climate change also increases the production of allergenic air pollutants including mold, due to to damp conditions caused by extreme weather and increased flooding, and pollen due to a longer pollen season and more pollen production.
To stay hydrated, a human body needs about half gallon of fluid intake per day. The healthiest, go to choice is drinking water. Therefore, the bottled water industry has been constantly growing. On average, Americans drink 36.5 gallons per year, which contributes strongly to the 79 million single-use plastic bottles use daily. The problem is that after the plastic bottles are emptied, the U.S. only recycles 30% of plastic bottles. Increasing recycling rate shouldn't be our main goal, because it doesn't solve the problem if plastic pollution.
Only 25% of recycled plastic bottles are re-made into new water bottles. The rest are shredded and processed into plastic flakes used to make carpets, garden chairs, plastic bags and other plastic items. We should be trying to reduce our plastic waste. For example, one huge way to reduce plastic waste is to buy a refillable water bottle and start drinking tap water. Numerous colleges and universities have banned bottled water from their campuses and even the city of San Francisco made it illegal to sell plastic water bottles. Plastic is killing our environment.
Climate change may be one of the biggest threats facing the planet. The climate is changing and the earth is warming up. With global warming on the increase and species and their habitats on the decrease, chances for ecosystems to adapt naturally are very small. Natural events and human activities are believed to be contributing to an increase in average global temperatures. But primarily increased by greenhouse effect. If the greenhouse effect becomes stronger than what it already is, more heat will get trapped than needed and the earth might be less habitable for humans, plants and animals.
Human activity has caused an imbalance in the natural cycle of the green house effect. When we mine, coal and extract oil from the Earth's crust, and the burn of fossil fuels for transportation, heating, cooking, electricity and manufacturing, we are effectively moving carbon more rapidly into the atmosphere than it is being naturally removed. Also, by clearing forests to support agriculture, we are transferring carbon from living biomass into the atmosphere. Humans are adding ever-increasing amounts of extra carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Nutrient Pollution is one of America's most widespread, expensive and challenging environmental problems. Nutrient Pollution is caused when there is excess nitrogen and phosphorus in the water and air. Nitrogen and phosphorus are a key element to the growth of algae and aquatic plants, which provide food and habitat for fish. When there is too much nitrogen and phosphorus in the water it causes algae to grow at a rapid rate, and lots of algae, leads to harmful water quality, food resources and reduces oxygen.
There is Nutrient pollution in ground water as well, which numerous amounts of people in the United States use as their drinking water. United States Environmental Protection Agency recently posted an article "The Problem" stating that " Excess nitrogen in the atmosphere can produce pollutants such as ammonia and ozone, which can impair our ability to breathe, limit visibility and alter plant growth". Also, when excess nitrogen returns to earth from the atmosphere, it can harm health of forests, soils and waterways. Nutrient Pollution is a huge issue in America that people are not aware of.