TOXIC SUBSTANCES - DEGRADATION OF THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT
The problem of environmental pollution is as old as the world itself. Already in antiquity, there were regulations regarding waste utilization as well as the location of, for example, tanneries polluting not only the air. The real junk revolution has come along with the development of the industry. Currently, it is estimated that every third Pole lives in the area of ecological danger! The progressing degradation of the environment may, in extreme cases, lead to the disappearance of higher forms of biological life. The problems of the natural environment are at the moment subject of general interest and universal concern. They are not only dealt with by scientists but also by national governments, international organizations and numerous associations. The purpose of their work is to determine the extent of the destruction, its source, determine the way to reduce pollution causing special damage in nature and to develop methods to neutralize harmful substances. Unfortunately, the governments of individual states, organizations and associations are HELPLESS.
RESPONSIBILITY FOR POLLUTION LEFT TO INEFFECTIVE POLICY
Lack of enforcement of the policy and its ineffectiveness cause that the worst polluters poison us and our environment for our own money. The lithosphere is formed by different geological formations and soil types in which various biological, chemical and physical processes take place. The correct course of these processes determines the efficiency of crop yields. Soil contamination is caused by a wide variety of factors: insecticides and herbicides, fertilizers, chemicals commonly used for seed treatment also containing components that are harmful in greater amounts, such as copper compounds, industrial waste, acid rain, which acidify the soil with heavy metals, most commonly lead, and wastewater directed directly to watercourses. In Poland, from the general acreage of agricultural land, about 21% should be considered as contaminated areas. These are areas of high concentration of industry, located along busy communication routes and urban agglomerations (smog).
ABSORPTION OF HEAVY METALS IN THE SOIL - PESTICIDES AND TRANSPORT
As a result of soil degradation, there is a decrease in crop yield as the soil has a very high ability to absorb trace elements. Among the most common and most dangerous for us, humans are mercury, lead, cadmium, chromium, nickel as well as fluorine, copper and zinc. Tetraethyl lead, Pb tetraethyl lead (C2H5) 4, nitric oxide, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons. All of them accumulate in the soil, they get into the plants and then into animal organisms because the highest concentration of these elements is recorded near roads. In humans, all these elements cause havoc in the body that manifests itself through anaemia, multiple sclerosis, damage to the nervous system and also promotes the formation of tumours of internal organs. Nitrogen oxides in the soil form carcinogenic nitrosamines. Dust, heavy metals, mineral substances, hydrocarbons, sludge and lyes washed by rain directly into the soil. The place of occurrence is around industrial plants, especially steel mills, cement plants, power plants, traditional chemical and petrochemical plants as well as industrial waste dumps and landfills.
Airborne dust settles on the soil within a radius of several kilometres from the plant that emits it. By depositing on the surface of the soil they cause changes in pH, macro content and microelements as well as soil structure. Heavy metals in the soil get into the plant tissues and then along with food into human and animal organisms which are the cause of many serious and irreversible diseases.
The aforementioned products produced from ill-considered human activity, binding various structures of matter occurring in nature, produce compounds of great chemical destruction for all living organisms occurring in the vicinity of their storage. These are wastes with particularly strong volatile compounds. The treatment with well-known technologies for thermal processing will lead to hundreds of tons of chemically hazardous ashes, as well as the spread of toxic waste emissions through the chimney to a huge area, changing the characteristics of fauna and flora.
LACK OF CAUTION LEADS TO IRREVERSIBLE CONSEQUENCES TO HUMANITY