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What are the negatives of Toxic Industrial Waste?

by tom44 on November 20, 2013

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Question by JAGUAR_GOLD17: What are the negatives of Toxic Industrial Waste?
I’m doing a debate in biology class and I’m on team B. Team B has to find the NEGATIVES on “Toxic Industrial Waste” Team B debates with team A. Team A’s job is to find the good. Can Anyone please help me find the NEGATIVES for Team B?

Best answer:

Answer by hogwaump
Boy, did you ever luck out – I would hate to be on the A team on this one.

(1) Many are carcinogenic, poisonous, or both. case in point, PCBs. If you google and read on PCBs you will find that they have now made it all the way to the arctic and antarctic, are in most of the water table, and are very bad news, indeed. PCBs have been shown to be extremely carcinogenic in humans.

(2) Less noxious wastes, i.e. fertilizer runoff from commercial agriculture, put too much nutrients into the water, causing an algal and/or bacterial bloom that sucks up all the available O2 dissolved in the water, killing off other aquatic life such as fish. There is a huge and famous ‘dead area’ in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico that is the result of all the sewage and agricultural runoff coming out of the Mississippi River.

(3) Let’s talk Chernobyl. The people downwind from the Chernobyl power plant were dosed with a layer of radioactive particles, which they inhaled and ingested. People in Bulgaria are dying of cancer at younger ages and in higher numbers as a result.

(4) Acid rain. There is a bridge in Nitro, WV, that they have to paint just about every year because the rain in the area is so acidic that it literally eats the paint away. You can see darker blue streaks running down from each rivet head, where the rivet deflects the rainwater runoff and a very pale blue everywhere else. The capitol dome in Charleston WV used to be covered in gold leaf. Some bright young fellow reckoned they could salvage that gold leaf and replace it with gold paint and put money back into the state coffers. Within five years, they figured out that the acid rain ate the paint away so rapidly that they decided to put the gold leaf back on as a cost saving measure. The Charleston-Nitro area is home to a huge array of chemical factories.

(5) The acid rain isn’t confined to near the chemical factories. It results also from coal fired power plants emitting sulfur dioxide and other nasties into the air. Acid rain has caused immense damage to ecosystems everywhere. Lichens are a good indicator; they seem to be among the first to die out. Even thirty years back, there was evidence of lichen die-off even on the tops of mountains in the continental USA. Many other plants are affected, including rain forests.

(6) Specific compounds affect specific species in which we have an interest. Case in point: copper is very toxic to oysters. Copper is used in many formulations, including insecticides and herbicides that are used on commercial crops. The oyster industry is very concerned. Copper is toxic to other marine species as well.

(7) Lead causes dementia. This is a well documented area. We have outlawed the use of lead compounds in paint because infants ate the peeling paint. I know of one such person; he is 23 years old and has a mentality of about a 7 year old. We required that lead be removed from gasoline because it was polluting the air and being inhaled by people. The people who live in areas around old refineries and paint factories have actually had their soil hauled away by the government and replaced with non-toxic soil.

I could write on this topic all day. Do some googling and you will find a lot more. In particular look at Mexico City and Lima, Peru – lots of interesting stuff in the atmosphere and water there.

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!

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