Pollution of Our Drinking Water
Ecology
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Pollution of Our Drinking Water

Clean drinking water is one of the most important things to the human population. Without clean drinking water sanitation and health will be affected in the people in the area. Every day pollutants are introduced to water sources such as lakes, rivers, and streams. They come in from the disposal of waste to the area of water. Even if the contaminates are not put directly into the water, they can still make their way into the water causing pollution and unsanitary drinking conditions. Once these pollutants are introduced to the water it can take a very long time to clean, not to mention the high cost. Sometimes there is too much pollution to the area and the water can no longer be used for drinking water again. This is why it is so important to prevent pollution, especially in water sources used for drinking so that we can ensure we will always have safe water to drink. This is why it’s necessary to make laws for conserving and protecting sources of drinking water. Along with the protection it is also necessary to monitor the water quality, treat the water, and maintain it’s quality level while distributing. All this allow for drinking water to stay safe and affordable for people.

 

The United States Environmental Protection Agency or EPA is the main institution that is responsible for making sure that all drinking water is safe and all parts of the Safe Drinking Water Act are followed along with other laws to preserve the environment. They make sure all requirements are followed why every drinking water source. The EPA has created many programs to protect our drinking water sources such as the Ground Water Discharges (Underground Injection Control Program), Source Water Assessment Program, Wellhead Protection Program, and Sole Source Aquifer Program. The EPA uses these programs to make sure that all drinking water is safe and is kept safe by following all of these programs.

 

The EPA is also closely involved with the state drinking water protection programs across the United States to make sure water is kept safe in all 50 states. There are also several other organizations involved to help with drinking water protection that assist both the EPA and the state programs to protect the drinking water

 

The EPA is making an effort to educate United States citizens about protecting the drinking water and ways to prevent contamination. They have created videos and classroom materials to teach not only adults, but children as well. They create books at both the elementary and secondary level for education for all levels. Some of the techniques given to help protect the water include conserving water by turning it off to help prevent water shortages and reduce the treatment of contaminated waters, do not pour any chemicals or waste down the drain, use cleaning products that are environmentally friendly, do not overuse pesticides or fertilizers, and do not litter especially into water sources. All of these tips can help to keep water sources clean and drinking water safe.

 

 

Is the construction site next door hurting your health? The Harmful Effects of Noise Pollution
Ecology
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Is the construction site next door hurting your health? The Harmful Effects of Noise Pollution

Sound is very important in our day to day lives, but noise is not. Any kind of noise is bothersome, but it becomes especially troublesome when it occurs at times we don’t want to hear it. The noise we hear every day isn’t just an annoyance; it negatively affects the health of the humans who have to listen to, and even the wildlife around us. Is the loud, late night party next door a threat to human and environmental health?

 

WHAT IS NOISE POLLUTION?

Noise pollution is any type of unwanted noise that happens regularly and interferes with life in ways that can harm or diminish the quality of life of humans or animals. Noise that happens only occasionally may be referred to as “nuisance” instead.

 

WHAT CAUSES NOISE POLLUTION?

Noise pollution is generally caused by human activity. Common causes include commercial and industrial activities such as sounds produced by manufacturing processes and construction sites, social events like parties and clubs, and methods of transportation, including airplanes, trains, and vehicle traffic. Households can also produce noise pollution through loud appliances, barking dogs, televisions, and sound systems.

 

EFFECTS OF NOISE POLLUTION ON HUMANS

Noise pollution interferes with human activities such as sleeping. Physically, being exposed to noise pollution can cause health problems such as hearing loss, high stress levels, hypertension, and tinnitus. Psychological health can also be negatively affected by chronic noise exposure.

 

Statistically, being exposed to noise pollution for just one 8 hour day causes a five to ten point increase in blood pressure points as well as a significant increase in stress. Repeated noise exposure has been linked to cardiovascular problems, especially coronary artery disease.

 

In addition to increased stress levels, being exposed to noise can cause anxiety and in some cases panic attacks. The psychological effects of noise pollution often manifest physiologically as headaches, nervousness, irritability, and fatigue. These effects decrease the quality of life as well as reduce work productivity.

 

EFFECTS OF NOISE POLLUTION ON WILDLIFE

The noise we make doesn’t only affect us. Noise pollution increases death in wildlife by interfering with predator and prey detection, as well as disrupting the communications that wildlife use in navigation and reproduction. Animals are also at risk of temporary or permanent hearing loss.

 

Marine animals, especially whales, are especially prone to health effects of noise pollution. Whales use their keen sense of hearing to defend themselves, communicate, and find food. Sonar disruptions can be serious enough to cause the whales to beach themselves.

 

REDUCING NOISE POLLUTION

It is possible to mitigate traffic noise by using noise barriers, lowering speed limits, and limiting the use of heavy vehicles such as commercial trucks. Traffic controls that allow traffic to flow smoothly with minimal acceleration and braking also reduce noise pollution from roads.

 

Technology increasingly aims to reduce aircraft and industrial noise.

Many communities are working to reduce noise pollution by creating local ordinances. It is now very common for municipals to limit the amount of noise households and businesses are allowed to put out, especially during the night hours.

 

Plastic: plague of the modern world
Ecology
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Plastic: plague of the modern world

Plastic is everywhere you look, from the very bags you carry your shopping in, to the beads inside your facial scrubs. It has become such a problem in the world that many are now seeking eco-friendly alternatives to the usual plastic that are in everyday use.

 

The oceans are becoming clogged with deadly plastics causing much of the marine life to suffer, it is clogging up landfill sites where it can take 100’s of years to break down and it is covering the very landscape that we live in. So what alternatives are there to plastic that are good for the environment and your life? This article is going to run through some of the best alternatives around.

 

Plastic bottles: Once upon a time the milkman used to deliver the milk in glass bottles, every morning you could hear the clinking of the bottles on his milk float. Nowadays everything comes in plastic bottles which are bad for both the environment and your health. Glass is made from sand which is a renewable and clean source that does not rely on fossil fuels and does not contain chemicals that can leech into your food or body. It is also easily recycled making it an ideal replacement for plastic bottles and cartons.

 

PLA polyesters: This amazing plastic substitute is made from a byproduct of lactic acid which is collected during the wet milling of corn and then undergoes fermentation. The resulting plastic alternative is as durable as traditional plastic yet completely biodegrades in 47 days in an industrial composting site. PLA is already blended with some plastics to help the degrade easier, and now it is coming into its own with pure PLA polyester bags, containers, and packaging.

 

Hemp plastic: Hemp plastic is a bioplastic produced from industrial hemp.You can find a variety of hemp based plastics in the market which are beneficial to the environment. Industrial hemp is one of the strongest fibers known to man and is 2.5 times stronger and firmer than traditional plastic. It can be found in bags, car parts, and even cosmetics.

 

Bioplastics: There are a whole host of bioplastics in the world that could easily replace traditional polymer plastics with ease. Made from materials such as vegetable oils, cornstarch, seaweed, and microbiota, these bioplastics save on the damage caused to the environment and are designed to biodegrade rapidly. While there is the potential for more fossil fuels to be consumed in the process of producing bioplastics, in the long-term it works out as beneficial as the plastics do not last for centuries.

 

Paper: If the paper is collected and produced from sustainable forests, then it makes an ideal alternative to plastic. Many stores around the world are switching to recycled paper bags in place of plastic ones. Paper can be recycled and has many uses in both home and industrial settings that prove to be a safer and cleaner alternative to traditional plastics.

 

Organic materials: As noted earlier, there are many facial scrubs and cleansers that contain microbeads of polymer plastic. These beads are washed into rivers and oceans where they are then consumed by fish and other sea animals. These beads contain toxins that enter the anima’s blood stream and is then eaten by humans. This cycle can cause a build up of toxic poisons and lead to poor health. The microbeads can be replaced with a fine sand, sugar, salt or coconut wood exfoliant that is safe to the environment and for your skin.

 

While this list is not exhasutive by any means, it aims to highlight that there are alternatives to plastic in the world and that it is easier to do your bit for the environment than you think. With a little time and effort you can find a safe alternative that fits into your lifestyle with ease.