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The existing standards for drinking water in the United States don’t consider contaminants such as metals and chemicals, which have appeared recently. “Today thousands of poisonous organic and inorganic substances enter the house of every American through the water" - sums Philip Hart, a senator from Michigan. That’s why in the US bottle of spring water sold in every grocery store, and everybody have been accustomed for vending machines selling it.
Heavy contamination of water sources in some cases leads to tragic consequences. For instance, in Alamogordo and the surrounding area (New Mexico) were observed cases of a strange disease which spared neither adults nor children. The researches have concluded: all patients were poisoned by mercury. The search of ways, in which mercury could penetrate into the human body, brought ecologists to fish and meat shops. It was found that in US agriculture annually about 400 thousand kg of mercury is applied, mainly as integral part of the substances used against pests and weeds. Twice as much of mercury is used for the needs of their industrial enterprises, whose wastes with the wastewater fall into the reservoirs (Alpert, Liskovsky, Fox, Pierce, & Hinman, 1970).
The story of the mercury poisoning led US authorities to analyze chemical composition of water in all major reservoirs of the country. The results were stunning. "Central and local authorities were horrified by the scale of the disaster - the newspaper" Washington Post ". - Millions of square miles of the most beautiful rivers and lakes in the US are infected with dangerous and almost impossible to destroy element - mercury." Poisoners are known. But they do not have jurisdiction, because they, not the millions of ordinary Americans are the masters of rivers and lakes, plants and chemical plants. Capitalist predators are concerned first and foremost a problem of profit, not a problem of water purity.
It is estimated that there is 5 mg of pesticides per 1 m3 of water were came in the rivers of eastern areas in average. In California, on the shores of a certain lake tourists suffered from mosquitoes. It was harmless gnats who couldn’t transmit diseases, but it was frustrating when happened to swallow a gnat, or when it gets in your eyes. Local authorities, using the technique, sprayed the entire area with pesticides. The results were very effective - midges disappeared, but mane species of fish and birds, living near the lake disappeared too.
The city of Hopewell, Virginia, also gained notoriety due to work of demolished factory, which was contaminated drug - Kepone (used to make pesticides) - soil, water and air. River James is closed for fishing by all length from Richmond to the Chesapeake Bay. It’s really difficult to restore sewage treatment plant - waste chemical plant killed bacteria, processing wastewater. Also Kepone was detected in the blood of residents (Miller, Hackenberry & DeLuca, 1977).
Magazine "National Parks Magazine" (2006) says that river Potomac in Washington looks like an open cesspool at present. The layer of the existing waste on the river bottom reaches 3 m. Cuyahoga River in Ohio is so saturated with flammable industrial waste that in the summer of 1969 she brazed out, as a result two railway overpasses were burned. In the past river Colorado gave birth to the valley of Mexicali (Mexico). Now this river instead of bringing life-giving water to the territory of Mexico gives it a huge amount of salt, which destroys the fertility of these lands. Cotton yields are sharply reduced; harvest of grain and fruits is falling. Thousands of peasant families are in dire straits. The reason for the sharp increase of salt content in the water of the river is that American farmers of Arizona use water for flushing of saline land and then dump it in Colorado. Salinity of river Colorado American side for several years is a serious concern in Mexico (La Bella, 2009).
How can water pollution and salinization be stopped without closing of enterprises, producing these wastes? Does a problem of water pollution and poisoning is familiar only to developed countries residents or all people over the world and whether the level of water pollution depends on industrial production development in the country? What laws and acts could be adopted by government to stop spreading of this problem? What consequences, excepting impossibility to consume polluted water, will this process have? Do you agree that the most considerable reason of water shortage is activity of factories and plants? What personally you can do to prevent or decrease a level of water polluting in your everyday life?
La Bella, Laura. (2009). Not Enough to Drink: Pollution, Drought, and Tainted Water Supplies. New York, NY: The Rosen Publishing Group, Inc.
Miller, J., Hackenberry, P. and DeLuca, F. (1977).Ground-water pollution problems in the Southeastern United States. New York, NY: Port Washington.
Alpert, D., Liskovsky, W. H., Fox, M., Pierce, P. E., and Hinman, A.R. (1970). Organic mercury poisoning – Alamogordo. New Mexico, NM: Viral Diseases Branch, Epidemiology Program Communication, Public Health Service.
Washington post. Retrieved from: http://www.washingtonpost.com/
National Parks Magazine (2006). Retrieved from:http://www.npca.org/news/magazine/
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