Posted by Matt Bushey in #YHSafetyTips, Apr 05, 2017
This is when there is a presence or increase in our environment of chemical pollutants that are not naturally occurring in the particular environment. Toxicity is the degree to which a substance can damage an organism.
What types of chemicals are the worst?
PCBs (aka: polychlorinated biphenyls), are man made organic chemicals consisting of carbon, hydrogen and chlorine atoms. These however, were banned in 1979, but some older products could contain PCBs.
Hazardous Air Pollutants are pollutants that are known to cause cancer or other serious health effects.
What happens to animals:
Male fish have been discovered to be producing eggs in their testes from chemical contamination - thus causing them to start to turn into females. Alligators from South America are having sex reversals from a chemical used to make plastic bottles, aka Bisphenol A (BPA). Hundreds of pet birds dies each year from fumes of Teflon-coasted products.
How to Prevent Contamination
Soil contamination can happen from heavy metals, pesticides, and herbicides being used in the environment. Heavy metals from fertilizers can help plants grow, but the ultimate problem is they harm animals and humans, who the plants were meant for in the first place.
Use fertilizers that are more natural, containing no heavy metals or harmful chemicals. Use pesticides and herbicides that are more natural. Natural predators to each pest can stop them from eating your crops or destroying your plants around your property. Also, stop throwing everything in the dump. Recycle everything you can. A compost can be a good place to throw unused food. This can also be used as natural fertilizer.
Chemicals are the main contamination cause in our water that hurt our environment and health. These come mainly from industrial and commercial facilities; oil and chemical spills; non-point sources such as roads, parking lots, and storm drains; and waste water treatment plants and sewage systems. Many of these contaminants do not breakdown in animals or humans, so they remain in them, causing harm or unwanted changes.
If you missed last week Safety posts on Tornado Safety, read it here. Come back next week when we cover Electrical Safety.