A Bit of Pollution Grows Into a Large Problem

Water is one of our most valuable resources. Without it, life would not exist. However, simply having water around does not mean everything is fine. Many waterways in Ohio are considered polluted but the Ohio River continues to be one of the most polluted rivers, greatly affecting the surrounding wildlife. Toxins such as mercury is released by industrial plants into waterways. The toxins then spread their harmful touch throughout the food chain. Many plant and aquatic wildlife species are affected by absorbing these toxins into their systems. These toxins are then transferred into anything that feeds on them and continues upward through the food chain. Even if not eaten, the organisms cannot process the toxins quickly enough and it is rereleased into the waterways, sometimes in an even more dangerous form. One of the main reasons mercury pollution is thought to be so bad is because of the harmful effects it has on developing fetuses and its potential to cause types of cancer. Besides causing issues with wildlife through the food chain, species simply drinking from the contaminated water can also be affected.

Fig. 1 – Mercury Cycle

Many agencies such as the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency are committed to reducing the amount of toxic waste being introduced into the environmental systems. Some possible solutions to this pollution include the creation of more water treatment centers but these are costly and require long periods of time to implement. The Ohio EPA has done extensive work and from 2002, clean water has increased from 62.5% to 87.5% in Ohio. Slowly but surely, Ohio’s waterways are being decontaminated.
Fig 1 http://www.frackcheckwv.net/2016/10/23/the-ohio-river-needs-attention-for-the-future/



What You Need to Know About ‘Legacy Pollution’ in the Ohio River

For further information on how water quality is affected and how it affects our lives check out:

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