Chapter 12 

Pollution by Inorganic Materials and Metals

      • Extremely persistent Waterborne Contaminates
          •  Do not biodegrade
          •  Danger to humans and aquatic organisms
          •  Contaminants are metals and other inorganic materials
      • Investigating a Pollution Incident
        • Determine nature or cause by:
              Chemical Analysis 
              Looking for point or non-point discharges 
              Associating contaminant with particular industrial process 
      • Major Contaminants

      •  1. Mercury

          •   Rare element found naturally in earth
          •   Doesn’t cycle through the Ecosystem and is transported around, eventually becoming toxic threat
          •   Can be released by:
              •    Burning fossil fuels
              •    Pesticides in agriculture
              •    Landfills leaching 
              •    Industrial accidents and discharges, and worst mercury pollution come from industry
          • Classes of Mercury
              •    Inorganic 
          •   Highest risk to humans in form of contaminated food, principally fish
          •   Sources and Uses of Mercury
              •    Chloralkalai industry 
                   Manufacture of electrical equipment 
                   Paint and pigment industry 
                   Vinyl Chloride manufacturing 
                   Dental Preparations 
                   Agricultural use 
                   Laboratory/Pharmaceutical use 
                   Pulp and Paper manufacturing 
                   Miscellaneous processes
         2.  Lead
            Greatest threat is through ingestion 
               Paint chips 
         3.  Cadmium
         4.  Tributyltin (TBT)
             Anti-fouling paint affected shellfish
         5.  Selenium 
            Residence in plants = locoweed 
             Can bioaccumulate in aquatic organisms 

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