Theodore Parker Sr.
In all the major acute air pollution incidences recorded, effects on animals, primarily zoo or domestic animals have been reported. Dogs seem to exhibit the same symptoms of respiratory disease as do humans. The major contaminants such as the oxides and fluorides are known to be highly toxic to animals. Animals appear to be tougher than man When exposed to air borne contaminants, but there is evidence of the deterioration of livestock When exposed to photochemical smog. Studies conducted in large urban zoos demonstrate that wolves and lions developed a susceptibility to lung cancer. Fluorides have been attributed to crippling skeletal defects in cattle. Numerous instances of fluoride poisoning of livestock have been not only reported, but documented.
Impacts On Aquatic Life
Water is considered polluted if it is not suitable for its intended utilization such as agricultural and industrial uses, recreation, propagation of fish and wildlife and domestic water supply. The natural purification process utilizes oxygen in the decomposing or breaking down of natural contaminants. Excessive amounts of organic matter will cause a decomposition process which will be absent of oxygen. This anaerobic (absence of oxygen) decomposition produces hydrogen sulfide, an offensive smelling gas.
There are generally
of pollutants that can affect the aquatic life of a community. They are heat, sediments, radioactive substances, synthetic organic chemicals, plant nutrients, sewage and disease causing organisms and inorganic substances.
can reduce the capacity of water to absorb oxygen. Increased water temperature, caused by the introduction of water from a power generating plant or other industries can upset the ecological balance. When heated water is returned to a stream, it can raise the temperature of the cooler water a few degrees. This slight temperature change is enough to be lethal to many forms of aquatic life accustomed to a specific temperature range. Increasing water temperature also makes aquatic plants and animals grow at a faster rate. It also speeds up the use of food, rate of gas exchange and heartbeat in animals. The organisms grow faster, but do not grow as large or live as long as normally in cooler water. Many aquatic animals will not reproduce if the temperature is raised even a few degrees. Studies show that water temperature above 30°C decreases the number of diatoms and increases the number of blue-green algae. Besides the blue-green algae producing an unpleasant odor and unpleasant taste, they seem not to be a good source of food for algae-eating organisms. This type of pollution; dumping hot water into streams, lakes or rivers is called
will reduce the amount of sunlight penetrating the water and will affect the photosynthesis process of green aquatic plants. These plants are necessary for oxygen production which will maintain a normal balance in the water. Many of these green plants are a necessary food source for the animal life found in the water body.
can accumulate in living organisms, aquatic life as well as in humans when the exposure is sufficiently severe.
SYNTHETIC ORGANIC CHEMICALS
include such things as detergents and cleansing agents used in the home, synthetic organic pesticides and the residue from synthetic chemicals utilized in industrial processes. These chemicals are extremely toxic to fish and other forms of aquatic life as well as causing serious taste and odor problems.
include a wide variety of acids, metal salts, solId matter and various other chemical compounds. Among these materials are ammonia, arsenic, barium, boron, cadmium, chloride, chromium, copper, fluoride, iron, lead, manganese, nitrates, nitrites, phosphorus, selenium, silver, sulfates and zinc. Pollution by these substances is a result of oil field activities, mining processes, manufacturing processes and agriculture.
Impacts On Plant Life
Plants are the means by which the sun’s energy can serve all animals, especially man. The plants maintain the oxygen content of the air and provide the basic habitat and food for man and animals. In any ecosystem, the plants, animals and microorganisms exist in a state of interaction and coexistence. This interaction is subject to physical and chemical inputs as well as climate. Plant life is much more sensitive to air pollution than animal life. And many times plants are used to gather new data about air contaminants because of this sensitivity. Among the pollutants that can harm plants are sulfur dioxide, hydrogen fluoride, and ethylene. Some plant damage is caused by the contaminants in photochemical smog as well as by ozone.
Air pollution determines where certain types of vegetable crops can be raised. Every urban area in the United States experiences vegetative damages from air pollution, especially the farming industry in New Jersey, California and parts of Florida. Substances generated by combustion often react with sunlight and moisture to form the oxidant called PAN, which has been identified as the cause of death of plants and trees along California highways. PAN is extremely toxic to many forms of farm produce. Damage to vegetation as a result of air contaminants is so severe that commercial and non-commercial production of crops and forests in many areas has been jeopardized and in some areas discontinued.