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Simran Sidhu

on 12 September 2013

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Transcript of Contamination

All You Need To Know About...
By Maggie, Simran, Kendra and Peter (yes you should feel sorry for him)
I bet I know what you're thinking right now.
Contamination? What on Earth are they talking about?
Well think no further.
In Scientific terms... contamination is:
the term which in some cases is virtually equivalent to pollution, where the main interest is the harm done on a large scale directly to humans or to organisms or the environments in which they live
So BASICALLY what that translates to... It’s when a substance has impurities in it which make it harmful to living things like us humans, cats, dogs, trees, and narwhals. Contamination is basically pollution whether that pollution is in the atmosphere, in water or on land.
Human Interaction and How We Affect Contamination
So as you’ve probably already noticed, humans are the main reason for contamination

We abuse our resources and don’t really care about what some of the things we do might result in
The 3 fields we contaminate the most are:
The Atmosphere
The Water
& The Land (& The Things Living On It)
We effect atmosphere in many ways -
Many being producing greenhouse gases (gases that contribute to climate change).
Carbon dioxide = greenhouse gas, having too much in atmosphere, is bad for both plants and animals
We emit lots of excess greenhouse gases in processes such as coal burning
Coal burning power plants produce electricity to satisfy our technology-driven species. Eco-friendly ways to produce electricity include wind power and hydroelectricity
Contamination in water is deliberate

A staggering amount of waste - much of which has only existed for the past 60 years or so - enters the oceans each year.

Over 80% of marine pollution comes from land-based activities.
Oil Spills
Oil spills aren’t that common but when they occur they can destroy alarming amounts of plants and animals in our oceans. When birds are covered in oil, they can't fly. Hard to breathe and all the possible food is most likely contaminated also.
For coastal areas, fertilizers can run off from farms and into water sources
As you know, these fertilizers contain nitrogen which can cause eutrophication. This leads to excess growth of algae and many other types of aquatic life die
Seas of Garbage
If we are ignorant in where we dispose of our waste, its easily possible for it to reach the ocean
You might thinking land pollution is caused by natural events such as tsunamis and earthquakes. However these aren’t half as damaging as what us humans do. People argue whether land pollution is caused by man or nature
When we dump garbage at landfills, it’s all going on our own land. Plastics, synthetic materials can’t be broken down fast, toxic substances usually released (heavy metals). Can greatly affect soil quality and the ability for anything to grow nearby
Construction just seems to be never ending in an age like this. However with construction many debris particles of concrete and metals, scattered, end up in soil for long time
Mining similar to construction. Vegetation is destroyed and soil erosion is more likely to occur.
The End!
Thanks For Watching :)
Effects of contamination in nutrients cycles
Of course these are just a few of the many things humans do to contaminate our planet. The list really is never ending. It is important we do our best to reduce our waste, recycle, use as little chemicals as we can and do as much as we can to protect our environment. It is in the end, our planet!
-Effects of cyanide
-greenhouse gas (CO2) effects organisms
-Too much carbon dioxide-> Temperature increases
-Too much nitrogen-> Algae blooms
-nitrogen oxide released from industrial wastes: contribute to acid rain
Plant Contamination
Acid rain
It soaks into
and changes the
pH level,
causing the deaths.

acid rain
has physical changes on
(creating holes)

is harmful, of course, but it can be treated with
(using living things to clean it up).
Plants are definitely one of the most important factors of life on Earth for all organisms, including us. But these plants are slowly dying due to the contamination of the world
Cause of Plant Contamination
There are two main reasons for plant contaminations:
- Human Activities
- Soil Contamination

Human Activities
-corrosion of
-exposure of
-direct discharge of

-oil and fuel dumping
-disposal of
coal ash
-drainage of

Agriculture and
- fertilizers
- pesticides
Soil Contamination
Humans Responsible
Garden Spray
-copper, arsenic, lead
-Run-off from

-Acid Rain
Many of the
grow on
which is basically the base of almost all
living things
. However, the
is being
greatly affecting the plants as well
, plants absorb the contaminants, causing bioaccumulation
Northern Wild Monkshood
Status: threatened

Reason: degradation from contamination and also from human activities
Result of Plant Contamination
Disturbance of Food Webs
- The producers (plants) disappear and therefore, the primary consumers lack food. Continuing on, the consumers would die off due to lack of energy from the order of primary consumer to secondary, tertiary, and so on. This would cause the ecosystem to not only lack biodiversity, but completely destroy it.
Animal Contamination
Off the top of your head you can just imagine how we in Canada, a clean country, still get chemicals we shouldn’t have, in our systems
So imagine what the effect is on animals on land, but also in the water and what they breathe in from the atmosphere

As you know, most mammals live on land and contamination surrounds them no matter where on the planet they live. Here are some very common examples for modern day land contamination:
Firstly, a dioxin is an organic chemical similar to DDT. It cannot be broken down, is toxic at small quantities, and dissolve and accumulate in fat. Dioxins are released when plastics are burned. In industrial areas, dioxins are industrial pollutants and are present. If cows are grazing on a farm near an industrial area, they accumulate more dioxins inside them vs. a farm in the middle of nowhere. This contaminates the milk so it is passed onto the calves. This also affects us as humans, as we eat meat from cows and eggs from chickens.
Crows are scavengers, which means that they eat anything they can lay their beady eyes on. As far as being messy goes, the humans as a race litter our planet a bit too much. When we are irresponsible and don’t dispose of our garbage, waste and other chemicals properly, other animals are being affected.
Crows are just an example, as they can easily mistake a bottle cap or pop can ring for food, and can choke on it and die. Crows are just one example, and this happens

daily, to many different organisms.
When humans contaminate the water, it can sometimes be by accident. With the atmosphere, contamination is usually deliberate. A staggering amount of waste - much of which has only existed for the past 60 years or so - enters the oceans each year. Over 80% of marine pollution comes from land-based activities. Here are some examples of animals in the water that are affected by our carelessness
Seas of Garbage
There are seas of garbage in places such as China. This is bad for the animals, who can mistake plastic for food and choke/die, but they also destroy the beauty of our gorgeous oceans
We might not realise it, but the amount of contamination that we, as humans put into the atmosphere actually has an effect on animals
Old Days
In the old days, coal miners would test the mines they were about to enter, by using songbirds. They would throw the songbird into the mine, and if they heard it stop singing, then they would then know that the air was so polluted that the mine wouldn’t be safe to enter.
Acid Rain
The worst type of air contamination is acid rain. Acid rain is a chemical reaction that occurs when pollutants such as sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides are released into the air. These compounds react with the oxygen and water in the atmosphere to then cause an effect, in this case acid rain. Acid rain affects the ecosystem greatly. Acid rain kills many fish and marine life in lakes and rivers, by increasing the acidity levels in the water.
Other forms of atmospheric pollution are fatal to animals, such as ozone. The ozone layer is a deep layer around the earth, that protects the earth from ultra-violet rays from the sun, and other elements from space. With the ozone being broken apart or being destroyed due to contamination, global warming increases, as the Earth has no natural defense. Ozone pollution is harmful for animals that fly or spend majorities of time in the air, as the pollutants enter the animal’s body and can cause lung deformities, and enter and destroy lung tissues.
Global Warming
Global warming is affecting many different parts of the ocean. It is causing the water to rise, and when it rises, it covers things such as low land islands with plants and animals. This can hurt animals different layers of the ocean. One other way ocean layers are affected by global warming is that warm water, caused by global warming, is hurting and even killing algae which is what some fish eat These fish die because their food is therefore gone. When the fish die, it is a break in their food chain, which leads to a big problems for all of the animals that rely on the algae-eating fish for their food.
Full transcript