water_polln - ENVST 110 Water pollution Water Pollution...

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ENVST 110 Water Pollution Page 1 of 14 Water pollution Plastics: Plastics in aquatic systems highlight the connections between land and water and show how a product that does not break down can spread far from the source and have a myriad of impacts. Of the more than 50 million tons of thermoplastics produced in the U.S. annually, 25%, or 12.5 million tons, is unaccounted for. (California Integrated Waste Management Board, “Plastics White Paper” 2003). There has been a nine-fold increase of plastic in municipal waste in the U.S. between 1970-2003 (USEPA, 2003). A meta-analysis of literature on marine litter reports 60-80% of marine debris worldwide is plastic (Derraik, 2002). Only 20% originates in the marine system from shipping, fishing, and illegal dumping while 80% enters the system via runoff from the world’s watersheds. There are numerous impacts of this plastic pollution in marine systems: Public Perception: eyesore, health hazard, less tourism Entanglement: drowning, strangulation, ghost nets Ingestion: food mimic o Plastic debris impacts more than 267 species worldwide (Derraik,2002) 44% of all sea bird species ingest plastics. Approx. 200,000 Laysan Albatross chicks die annually. Plastic debris observed inside 26 species of cetaceans Marine reptiles consume plastic bags. Host for invasive species: non-biodegradables cross oceans POPs: Persistent organic pollutants adsorb onto plastics Benthic interference: Gas exchange is inhibited and organisms can be smothered Marine nurseries: Plastics inundate coastal fish nurseries and nesting sites Industrial nuisance: clogs vessel intakes and props Plastics that enter the marine system travel with currents and can collect in some areas. For example, the North Pacific Gyre
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ENVST 110 Water Pollution Page 2 of 14 Data from sampling the surface water in one of these areas show that there are 6 times the mass of plastic debris than of benthic marine organisms. The small particles of plastic (< 5mm) are ingested by zooplankton and other filter-feeding organisms. Pre-production Plastic Pellets (nurdles) also absorb Persistent Organic Pollutants POPs and can have a concentration 1 million times that of an equal volume of sea water. If plastics containing these organic pollutants are consumed by marine species, there may be a transfer of these pollutants to the animal. Waterborne pathogens Viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens Over 1.1 billion people worldwide are still without safe water supplies, and 2.4 billion lack sewer or sanitation facilities. This contributes to 5 million deaths/yr . (p.253-4) Contaminated Water Plagues El Salvador (NPR): http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4983325 Coliform bacteria are a family of bacteria common in soils, plants, and animals. Escherichia coli
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water_polln - ENVST 110 Water pollution Water Pollution...

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