Quantcast EFFECTS OF POLLUTION - 14325_12

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1-2 spill it during refueling operations or as a result of collision or grounding. Several million gallons of oil may ruin and pollute miles of coastline as a result of such accidents. EFFECTS OF POLLUTION Pollution produces physical and biological effects that  vary  from  mildly  irritating  to  lethal.  The  more serious of the two are the biological effects. Physical Effects The physical effects of pollution are those that we can  see,  but  they  include  effects  other  than  actual physical damage. Oil spills. One obvious physical effect of pollution is the result of oil spills that are caused by ship collisions or  other  accidents.  Oil  spilled  into  the  seas  coats everything it touches. It fouls boat hulls, pier pilings, and  shore  structures;  spoils  the  beauty  of  nature  by killing fish and birds; and makes beaches unusable. In addition to the physical effects, oil spills require costly cleanup operations. Air pollutants. Air pollutants damage a wide variety of  materials.  Burning  oil  and  coal  produce  sulfur oxides, which cause steel to erode two to four times faster  than  normal.  When  combined  with  other pollutants  (soot,  smoke,  lead,  asbestos,  and  so  on), sulfur oxide particulates cause corrosion to occur at an even  faster  rate.  By  themselves,  particulates  damage and  soil  materials,  structures,  and  equipment.  Air pollutants speed the erosion of statues and buildings, which in some instances, destroys works of art. Biological Effects The most serious result of pollution is its harmful biological  effects  on  human  health  and  on  the  food chain of animals, birds, and marine life. Pollution can destroy vegetation that provides food and shelter. It can seriously disrupt the balance of nature, and, in extreme cases, can cause the death of humans. Pesticides,  which  include  herbicides  and insecticides,  can  damage  crops;  kill  vegetation;  and poison  birds,  animals,  and  fish.  Most  pesticides  are nonselective; they kill or damage life forms other than those intended. For example, pesticides used in an effort to control or destroy undesirable vegetation and insects often destroy birds and small animals. Some life forms develop immunity to pesticides used to destroy them. When that happens, we develop more potent chemicals and the cycle repeats itself. The  widespread  use  of  pollutants,  such  as  oil, chemicals, and fertilizers, pollutes our waterways. The biological effect of water pollution is its danger to our water  supplies;  we  require  water  to  survive.  Water pollutants are also dangerous to all forms of marine life. Oil  is  an  especially  harmful  pollutant.  It  kills surface-swimming animals and sea birds and, once it settles on the bottom, harms shellfish and other types of marine life. The primary pollution concern of Navy personnel involves  pollution  produced  by  shipboard  wastes.  In addition  to  oil,  shipboard  wastes  include  sanitary wastes,  galley  and  laundry  waters,  chemicals,  solid wastes,  and  combustion  by-products  of  oil-  and gasoline-driven engines. Pollutants produced by ships are  similar  to  those  generated  by  municipal  and industrial operations. NAVY PROGRAMS FOR POLLUTION CONTROL Based  on  an  Executive  Order,  all  government agencies must provide leadership in the protection and enhancement  of  the  quality  of  our  air  and  water resources.  They  also  must  comply  with  all environmental laws and regulations. Accordingly, the Secretary of the Navy, the Chief of Naval Operations, and  other  authorities  have  issued  several  pollution control  instructions.  Those  instructions  cover  the abatement (lowering) of air, water, and noise pollution. In addition, we have a program to preserve our natural, cultural, and historic resources. Clean Air Act Under the Clean Air Act, each state has the primary responsibility  for  assuring  air  quality.  All  naval activities must meet both federal and state standards for preventing air pollution. The Navy has begun taking steps to help meet the nation’s  goal  of  reducing  air  pollution.  One  step  has Student Notes:

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