This paper focuses on pollution especially agricultural pollution. It provides an overview of the sources of pollutants, effects of pollutants on the development of organism and its discussions. The research concentrates on toxic pollutants due to their exact influence on the life of organisms.
Pollutants are substances of energy that are introduced into the environment that causes undesirable effects or affects the usefulness of a substance. It can cause short term or long-term damage by altering the growth rate of animals and plants species. It can also interfere with the welfare, health and comfort or property values. Pollution is a major global concern because of the harmful effects on the health of the people. Pollution of the environment comes in different forms, for example, water, soil and air pollution.
Literature Review upon Agricultural Pollution
Exposure to indoor and outdoor air pollution can cause certain respiratory diseases according to the University of Maryland Medical Centre. These diseases include Asthma, lung cancer, tuberculosis, pulmonary fibrosis and pneumonia. According to Harrison (42), residents who bordered United States-Mexico lived amidst growth of globalization and free trade. The growth in the economy led to a negative impact on the environment, quality life and health of the residents. This review focuses on the rising air pollution. According to Cunningham et al (97), metals and other contaminants are most prevalent contamination found at the sites. Their remedial sediments and soils are among the most technically difficult.
Pollutants are classified by the properties, for example, whether they are concentrated, mobile and by their origin, whether they are man made or natural.
Sources of pollutants
Major sources of air pollution may be industrial sources and emissions from vehicles. Burning of fossil fuels like carbon-based, petroleum and coal introduces pollution into the air thus causing reduction in overall air quality. These particulates form layers that hang over industrial cities. This pollution may cause serious respiratory problems including lung cancer, asthma and some other chronic breathing ailments.
Soil pollution rises as a result of disposing of industrial chemicals and hazardous waste in an improper manner or using excess of insecticides and pesticides. Underground storage tanks can leak and introduce their contents into the soil, if they are not properly installed. Water pollution may be caused from a variety of sources. Oil spills, runoff from industrial or agricultural sites and wastes dumped at sea are the common sources of water pollution. Wastes dumped at the sea, for example, plastic bags and other trash build up and cause animals to die. Pesticides can kill fish while fertilizers can cause algae blooms that can choke out fresh young plants hence reducing the diversity of organisms in the water (Redman 45).
Noise pollution is a problem in heavily populated industrial and urban areas. Noise pollution is similar to light pollution. Disruptive or excess of human sounds causes noise pollution. Noise pollution affects human hearing in addition to the activities of animal species. The activities of marine mammals and songbirds are also affected by noise pollution. Light pollution is the excess use of lighting fixtures to light places at night. Large areas in the urban are vulnerable to light pollution. This pollution interferes with nocturnal activities of migrating birds and species of animals. Criteria pollutants are pollutants that are common and are found all over the US. Criteria pollutants include sulphur oxides, carbon monoxide, lead, nitrogen oxide and ozone. These pollutants contaminate the air. Much of the pollutants are in our food and water and it affects our health in many ways. Presence of toxic chemicals or elements associated with food means food pollution. These chemical affects us by causing development of serious health problems like metabolism or hormonal problems and can even cause cancer.
Foods polluted with some kinds of pesticides can also cause nervous system problems. Serious food poisoning or death may occur in the case of consumption of highly polluted food. Any pollutant that is exposed to food has all the potential to cause pollution. Toxic chemicals get into the food if the food crops are grown in polluted soils, polluted air or in areas with polluted ground water. Vegetables or crops get contaminated by the ability of the plants to extract pollutants with water and nutrients though their roots from the environment. The may also get into the food during growing, packaging or processing stages. These chemicals include microorganisms (Energy futures par. 15).
Water is the source of life and a substance that affects human sustenance. Pollution or contamination of water interferes with the health of human beings. Water pollution can be caused by discharging deposits of wastes and untreated wastes into lakes or rivers. There are waterborne diseases that are caused as a result of water contamination. Drinking of untreated water causes diseases like Diarrhea, Typhoid and Cholera. Polluted or dirty water is a breeding place for pests and mosquitoes. Mosquitoes cause diseases like Dengue, Malaria and Filariasis when they bite human beings. The health of water animals like the fish is endangered due to water pollution. Sick fish when consumed by human beings causes damage to the human body. If human beings consume food that has been contaminated or infected, their health suffers as they fall ill. Using polluted water to clean leads to unhygienic conditions, as they do not remove accumulated germs. This in turn leads to diseases in human beings as they cause effects to the health. Poor people are prone to water pollution as they use water that they are not sure of hence diseases affect them more. The upper class and the middle people are accessed to clean drinking water (Lockwood 72)
Effects of pollutants on the development of organisms
Pollutants can interfere with the development of organisms and can act as teratogens. Mechanisms of teratogenicity include mitosis disruption, transcription and translation interference, nutrient deficit and metabolic disturbances in utilization of energy. Human beings have caused modifications in the wildlife habitat. Air water and soil are regarded as waste receptacles. Wildlife populations in some cases have suffered serious losses and have undergone extinction as a result of pollution. These birds faced extinction long ago before the scientists ascertained that the cause of their extinction was due to DDT chemical that caused devastating failure in the reproduction of these species. Oil spills affects many species for example, the fouling of the South Coast of Alaska of foundation of Exxon Valdez.
Toxic metals kill members of the adult populations and can lead to production of off springs that are deformed. Some form of pollution put pressure ending their life. Toxic metals, synthetic chemicals and acid rain are examples of toxic pollutants. Pollutants affect the life of wildlife in various ways including destruction of ozone layer due to excessive radiation of ultraviolet rays on the humans and wildlife. Accumulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere may also lead to climatic alteration and wildlife distribution in the habitat. These new conditions in many instances have interfered with the delicate biological machinery (Towill 56).
Texas government regulations on pollution
The Environmental Protection Agency issued a statement permitting firms to regulate overall emissions. Texas in its statement released a system known as the EPA that allows companies to avoid some extent of federal clean air. The EPA system that was issued last September, affects 122 plants. The system allows firms to regulate overall emissions of a facility that pollution originating from individual units within the firm. According to environmentalists, Texas set out too high caps and the regulations are feared that they may not prevent high concentrations in specific areas of the firm, which could still pose a danger to the neighbors of the firm. The flexible program has led to improved air quality in the country. If the country is prevented from employing the program, the quality of the air could really be interfered (Goel 19).
Cities that have started solutions to pollution
The Canadian Pollution Prevention Table, in 2007, celebrated the commission of a Visionary Award that was inspired to advance pollution prevention. The award was launched in memory of John De Gonzague who was the true pioneer in pollution prevention at the Canada’s Environmental National Office. John actively involved himself in creating tools that helped in creating components of environmental protection and sharing experiences internationally. The United States Federal Law came up with an act, the Clean Air act that was aimed at controlling air pollution at the National level. EPA is required to develop and implement rules and regulations that protect the public against exposure to airborne contaminations that affect the health of individuals. Many states have come up with their own programs that promote pollution clean up strategies. These states include: California- has designed a program know as California’s Clean air Project, Georgia- came up with the Clean Air Campaign while Illinois came up with a coalition of citizens and farmers to reduce harmful effects of methods livestock production (Global sources of local pollution par. 23).
Water pollution damages the health of the people. Various organizations have been putting effort to clean contaminated water bodies in order to meet the growing demands of the population. The world must remember one thing that we have limited supply of water. If the world continues to pollute the available water resources, it will lead to ailments and eventually death. If I was the head of Environmental Protection Agency I would implement strict government laws that govern compliance especially by potential industrial pollutants. Encourage good practices among people that encourages end to pollution (Causes of Food Pollution par. 10).
Summary on Agricultural Pollution
Many countries who have been concerned with preventing the causes of pollution on its people have strived to come up with various policies. The pollution prevention act focused government, industry and the public to give attention to reducing the rate and amount of pollution through operation, using raw materials and employing cost effective changes in production. Source reduction opportunities are not often realized due to regulations that are existing and the resources of industries that are required for compliance. Pollution prevention includes practices that lead to efficiency increase in the use of water, energy and other natural resources and through conservation protect our resource base. Pollution has caused negative effects in the life of human beings, animals, including aquatic life and birds. Air, water and food contamination causes health hazards among any breathing and living thing on earth. Many cities have come up with ways of curbing pollution including designing proper sewerage and drainage of wastes in order to reduce water pollution. Environmental Protection Agency has been trying to come up with policies that reduce air pollution and several countries have joined hands in putting efforts to and employing strategies that will see implementation of those policies. Several states have encouraged industries to employ the policies imposed in order to take care of the health of the people. Some cities have managed to reduce pollution while others are still striving despite resistance.