Flooding causes contamination in what specific ways?

Flooding causes contamination in what specific ways?

The soil in closed or active industrial sites could be contaminated by toxic organic compounds or metallic elements that aren’t degraded. In the event of a flooding occasion, such as a hurricane, water may take the polluted soil and transport it to different locations where the contaminants can be dissolved. The idea is that flooding causes pollution to spread. It is a means of bringing pollutants out of their isolation to areas where they could cause harm to people as well as animals. These contaminants could travel as far as soil particles go, to the extent of the floodwaters.

We saw this occur when Hurricane Harvey was a major storm to hit Texas. There are many petrochemical factories in the region of the nation, and some of the closed sites are contaminated by chemical substances, such as hydrocarbons and other types of solvents, as well as metals such as chromium, mercury, or even lead, which could pose a risk to the people.

Isn’t the boiling of water ensure that it is water safe for drinking?

Boiling water can kill microbes and pathogens, but it cannot eliminate chemical contaminants or make them less dangerous.

Do the flood waters remove the contaminants when they recede?

When there is occurrence of a flooding incident, everything gets diminished. In the flooding in Florence last year, water was able to overflow the top of a coal ash dam and then mix coal ash with the surrounding environment. Based on what I remembered from some of the tests the scientists took, the contaminants associated with coal ash — let’s look at arsenic, for instance–were microscopic in amount because it was dispersed by water. The issue is that flooding caused all coal ash from the storage basin and out into the surrounding environment. We don’t know how many tons of ash are in an uncontrolled area that is then deposited and concentrated elsewhere.

In the long run, this is a concern since when the floodwaters recede, the amount of water decreases; however, the amount of contamination remains. It gets more concentrated.

My lab I have conducted in my lab, we have done a lot of research on coal ash storage ponds as well as the release of contaminants and focusing on the chemical types they have. For instance, we inquire what kind of arsenic can be found present in coal ash. The answer is crucial since how many toxins are absorbed is contingent upon the chemical form of arsenic. Certain conditions are more harmful than others.

What effect might these contaminants have?

The chemical exposure risk is not just limited to humans. They pose risks to wildlife. For instance, coal ash contains a lot of selenium. And the chemical is known as ecotoxin. It’s not as big of a concern for humans, but it’s a teratogen in fish, which can cause embryos to become abnormally formed. Selenium found in coal ash lakes can impact the fish population living in adjacent bodies of water. This has been documented for years. Furthermore, when you destroy a significant element in the food web, you harm the ecology immensely. It can take a long time for the ecosystem to repair.

Share and support your friends