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Food safety/policy - Essay Example

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Author’s Name February 21st 2013 Food Safety/Policy One of the gravest issues facing mankind in the 21st century is the increase in environmental pollution; this is a worldwide problem and its potential to negatively influence the life and health of humans and other organisms is immense…
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Download file to see previous pages According to the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates, over one sixth of the inhabitants of the earth consume water that is in one way or polluted water, thus, over 1 billion people are constantly in harms way. For hundreds of years, mankind has treated the water bodies, such as lakes and rivers, like massive dumping sites and tons of humanity’s waste has and continues to be dumped therein. This paper will discuss water pollution its effect on the ecosystem, the animal and human food chains and finally suggest how we can change the current and potentially dangerous water situation. Pollutant matter is often released into the environment through human activities such as farming with chemical fertilizers, dumping waste directly into rivers or through the gaseous emanations from industrial plants and vehicles that later cause acid rain. Consider chemical pollutants, like herbicides, and untreated chemical wastes that consist of waste from industrial, processes, the pollutant compounds are introduced to the water bodies directly or via seepage or soil erosion. Chemical products, such as cadmium, are consumed by lower animals in the aquatic food chain, these animals are eaten by larger animals and ultimately the food chain reaches to humans, who are at the top of the food chain. Cadmium metal is a common component in many industrial processes and industrial pollutant matter often contain traces of the same, it accumulates in human organs, for instance, kidneys, occasioning negative health effects of lung failure and bone disease. Water borne diseases, such as Giardiasis, Amoebiasis, Hookworm, Ascariasis, are also caused by polluted water; cancer, one of the leading causes of death among humans, has been attributed to chemical pollutants in water as well (Ghouri and Khan 280). Such chemicals endanger all the organisms consuming them and the danger ascends with the food chain; thus, a farmer who pollutes a nearby river may catch fish or use the water for irrigation endangering all who consume the food products. Another human activity that results in gross environmental pollution is spillage of oil in water bodies; the massive spillage that occurred in 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico released of tons of oil and thousands of animals died. The effected animal species ranged from fish, aquatic birds and dolphins; the death of birds resulted in an increase in fish population, the dolphin population went on lead to reduction in prey for sharks. Ultimately, the ensuing chain reactions caused a huge imbalance in the food chains webs and as evidenced, the effects of water pollution touch organisms across food chains including those that were not directly affected. These are just a few examples of the impacts of pollution to water and the consequent interference with the ecosystem and food chain can be devastating to both terrestrial and aquatic life. After considering the consequences of water pollution, we are left with the question of how we can work toward mitigating them and reducing the causes (most of which are traced to humans) of pollution and save the planet from an uncertain future. Despite of numerous incidences of water pollution, most countries have laws to prevent dumping of toxic and potentially harmful matter in water bodies; nevertheless, as the high rates of pollution ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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