Local, national and global concern about the environment has been increasing rapidly over recent decades, and as a result, there has been a booming demand for environmental assessments.
Skilled Environmental Assessors are in high demand. Unfortunately though, many graduates from environmental courses lack the ability to conduct a proper environmental assessment.
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Extract from Course Notes:
TYPES OF POLLUTION
Pollutants can be grouped according to the main ecosystem which they affect, although one pollutant often affects more than one ecosystem. The pollutant groupings are:
Pollutants Affecting Water
- Sewerage and inadequate sanitation. The pathogens in the sewerage cause diseases such as typhoid, cholera and gastroenteritis. The nutrients cause eutrophication (animal death by deprivation of oxygen)
- Fertilisers come from agricultural usage. They cause eutrophication.
- Silt comes from agriculture and erosion of the soil. It can be toxic and interferes with the breeding of mammals and birds. It also causes the silting up of estuaries.
- Toxic metals are the products of industry. They offer threats to both health and life.
Pollutants Affecting Marine Life
- Sewerage and inadequate sanitation have the same effect as in fresh water.
- Fertilisers washed down by rivers into the sea causes eutrophication
- Oil spills smother marine plants and animals.
- Plastics cause the death of marine animals
- Pesticides from agriculture interfere with the breeding of birds and mammals.
Pollutants Affecting the Land
Solid waste is classified as:
- Hazardous - radioactive, pesticides and medical poisons. These wastes are health and life threatening.
- Non-hazardous - domestic, urban, mining, industrial and scrap metal. These wastes are unsightly and their disposal takes up much space.
Pollutants Affecting the Air
- Sulphur dioxide from burning coal. Causes acid rain and respiratory problems.
- Nitrogen oxides caused by vehicle emissions
- Volatile hydrocarbons caused by vehicle emissions. These combine with nitrogen oxides to form photo chemical smog which causes respiratory problems.
- Carbon monoxide caused by un-burnt fuel in vehicle emissions. It restrict oxygen intake causing drowsiness, headaches and ultimately death.
- Carbon dioxide caused by the burning of fuel. It is conducive to global warming.
- CFCs (Chlorofluro-carbons) result from the use of some aerosol sprays, refrigeration and air conditioning coolants and foam bowing industries. The CFCs destroy the ozone layer in the atmosphere.
- Methane, produced on rubbish dumps and feedlots. It is conducive to global warming.
- Noise caused by traffic and industry. It can be very stressful and affect hearing.
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