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Chapter 15 Pollution of Soil, Water, and Air


Chapter 15 Pollution of Soil, Water, and Air 15:1 Important Facts to Know Current status and activities and conditions that threaten the environment. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Chapter 15 Pollution of Soil, Water, and Air

Chapter 15 Pollution of Soil, Water, and
Air 151 Important Facts to Know
  • Current status and activities and conditions
    that threaten the environment.
  • Environmental threats and challenges.
  • Kinds, sources, and interactions among plant,
    soil, water and air pollution.
  • Kinds and extent of damage impacts.

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152 Threats to the Environment
  • Perceptions vary from place to place and time to
    time, and are strongly influenced by human
  • Loss of biodiversity
  • Modifications of landscape climate
  • Over-exploitation of natural resources
  • Non-native invasive species
  • Water pollution
  • Soil degradation

153 Terminology
  • Acceptable Daily Intake amount of material
    (plus a safety margin) that is safe to injest
  • Acute Toxicity symptoms are rapidly exhibited
  • Antagonism one substance reduces the
    detrimental effects of another
  • Bioaccumulate increased concentrations are
    accumulated over time (food chain)
  • Carcinogenic the potential to cause cancer in
  • Chlorinated Hydrocarbons organic pesticides
    with chloride groups attached to carbon groups
    (DDT, Chlordane, etc.)

  • Chronic Toxicity symptoms develop slowly over
  • Eutrophic water overly enriched with nutrients
    and often depleted in oxygen
  • Food Chain material sequentially transferred
    through many organisms, one being food for the
  • Half-Life the time for half of a substance to
    be destroyed, inactivated, or lost
  • Heavy Metals high atomic weight metals which
    are toxic to animal life
  • Mutation a random gene change

  • Reference Dose - level of daily exposure that
    has no known negative effect
  • Risk-Benefit Analysis evaluation of toxins and
    their permitted residue levels
  • Synergism two factors interact causing a
    greater effect than if acting separately
  • Teratogenic causes tissue transformations
    resulting in birth defects
  • Threshold Level maximum level of a substance
    tolerated without inducing ill effects

  • Total Maximum Daily Load - regulatory maximum
    amount of pollutants allowed in water also known
    as too many damned lawyers
  • Xenobiotic substance foreign to natural
    systems and are often persistent once present

154 Plant Nutrients
  • Eutrophication of surface waters
  • Overabundance of nutrients causing accelerated
    algae and water-plant growth
  • Usually N P (but there are others)
  • Local examples?
  • Results in decreased clarity and low oxygen
  • Sources fertilizers, municipal sewage, urban
    stormwater runoff, erosion, atmospheric deposition

  • Nitrogen in groundwater/methemoglobinemia
  • Nitrate (NO3-) is very soluble, as an anion is
    not readily adsorbed by the soil, and is easily
  • Sources include excessive fertilization,
    feedlots, municipal discharge, natural organics
    and septic systems
  • Becomes toxic in humans and animals when reduced
    to nitrite in their digestive system and oxidized
    oxyhemoglobin to methemaglobin (anoxic) blue
  • Health standard 10 mg/L NO3-N (45 mg/L NO3-)
  • Non-degradation vs zero discharge

155 Organic Wastes
  • Wastewater Land Application
  • rapid infiltration, overland flow (slow rate
    infiltration), crop production
  • nutrient loading, crop water requirements
  • Sewage Sludge Land Application
  • trace element (heavy metal) loading, pathogenic
    organisms (Tables 15-1 and 2)
  • Livestock Manure
  • highly variable nutrient concentrations content
    is different today compare to the past

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  • Municipal Garbage, Composts, and Sanitary Land
  • Food Processing Wastes (cooking oil)
  • Disposal is rapidly becoming a major issue

156 Pesticides
  • What constitutes a good pesticide?
  • Short lived in the environment (a few days to a
    few weeks, does not bioaccumulate)
  • Not carcinogenic, teratogenic, or mutagenic
  • Effective and practical to use (oxymoron?)
  • Example
  • DDT is very effective, highly practical,
    inexpensive but also highly persistent,
    bioaccumlates and is biomagnified
  • What about synthetic organophosphates?

  • Problems and Extent of Pollution
  • Increased Resistance Dictates the need for new
    and stronger materials
  • Erosion and Water Quality Degradation
    Particulate transport and deposition direct
    runoff and infusion into surface waters

157 Heavy Metals
Examples mercury, lead, cadmium, chromium,
nickel, zinc, selenium, etc. Typically immobile
in soils, but some can be readily absorbed by
plants while others can be directly ingested from
particulate deposition (e.g., lead humans and
158 Natural Toxins
  • Not all toxic substances are of anthropogenic
  • Common toxic range plants include locoweed,
    halogeton, saltbush, goldenweed, larkspur,
    lupine, princes plume, and woody aster.
  • Soil Selenium too much or too little in forage
  • Excess Mo Molybdenosis
  • Pine Needles Abortions and pre-mature deliveries

159 Particulates and Gases
  • Lead Contamination Associated with leaded
    gasoline, lead pipes, etc on the decline
  • Burning Agronomic uses such as weed and pest
    control, fuels management PM 2.5 and PM 10
    concerns, also surface water and lake pollution
  • Acidic Rain and Fog Nitric and sulfuric acids,
    associated with highly industrial areas, power
    plants reduces soil pH and can cause direct
    damage to plant tissue

  • Ozone Depletion/Enrichment Ozone layer shields
    out UV radiation, depletion allows UV rays to
    penetrate the atmosphere enrichment near the
    earths surface is toxic
  • Greenhouse Gases Carbon dioxide, nitrous
    oxide, methane result in heat entrappment and is
    presumably a contributor if not the cause of
    global warming.
  • Is global warming a natural process that cycles
    periodically over time? If so, are we
    contributing to the frequency and magnitude?

1510 Radio Nuclides
Radioactive elements emit high-energy radiation
particles. Prolonged exposure is extremely
dangerous. Often characterized by their rate of
decay or half-life. The greater the half-life,
the greater the danger 238 Uranium 4,510,000,00
0 yr 14 Carbon 5,730 yr 137 Cesium
30.2 yr 90 Strontium 28.1
yr 131 Iodine 8 days
1511 Soluble Salts
  • Salinization of agricultural soils reduced
  • Build-up in terminous lakes and estuaries
    Pyramid, Walker, Stillwater, etc.
  • What can we do about it?

1512 Soil Sediment
  • Erosion and Deposition Particulate detachment
    and transport by wind and/or water ultimately
    deposit somewhere waterways, storage reservoirs,
    homes, businesses, health hazard
  • Eroded lands are less productive, storage
    capacity of water supply reservoirs is reduced,
    water clarity is diminished, lake function is
  • Also a source of nutrient and pesticide
  • 1513 Summary (On your own)
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