Pollutants reach humans through the food we eat, the water we drink, and the air we breathe, immediately and permanently endangering our health. These pollutants cause various problems to human health and the environment.
How does marine pollution affect humans and how can we mitigate its impact?
When chemicals, particles, and waste enter the sea, marine pollution occurs. This may also be caused by the spread of invasive fish species and noise. Most marine pollution comes from pollution from unknown sources and activities on land. This type of pollution includes pollution from ships, septic tanks, cars, and large pollution sources (such as livestock farms).
The ocean is an important part of life, so it is very important to keep it as clean and healthy as possible. More than 70% of the oxygen circulating in the world is provided by the ocean. Approximately 70% of the water supply also comes from the ocean, which means that failure to keep the ocean healthy and pollution-free will have a major negative impact. Toxic chemicals enter the sea every day, pollute the water source, and cause health problems to fish living in the ocean.
Remember, nearly one-third of the carbon dioxide emissions produced by humans are directly absorbed into the ocean, which is another cause of ocean pollution. Although marine pollution is extremely harmful to marine life and human health, as long as you actively participate, there are ways to reduce this pollution.
This article focuses on how pollution hurts humans, and the many measures you can take to reduce pollution.
Industrial Toxic Chemicals
When looking at the various pollutants that seep into the ocean, toxic chemicals from industry top the list. Although many industries have taken measures to reduce the amount of pollution and waste they generate, these actions have only played a role in mitigating the damage.
Toxic chemicals that usually enter the ocean from industrial sources include:
Industrial pollution is a huge problem involving many different aspects, including air pollution and waste pollution. Although progress has been made in the development of less harmful processes, the manufacture of products from various raw materials can cause a lot of pollution.
Probably the most harmful processes include making sawn timber from trees, making steel from ore, and making gasoline from crude oil. Although some of these man-made pollutants will fall on land, land runoff caused by heavy rains and floods causes these pollutants and pollutants to flow into the sea. Approximately 36% of oil enters the ocean through land runoff.
Like industrial pollution, garbage is also the main cause of marine pollution. Although the danger of littering has been increasingly publicized in the past few decades, it is almost impossible to eliminate all littering. To better understand the amount of garbage that enters the ocean each year, you should know that about 8 million tons of plastic flow into the ocean each year, most of which come from Vietnam, the Philippines, Thailand, China, and Indonesia. As mentioned earlier, the main cause of pollution reaching the ocean island runoff, which is the cause of litter being scattered into ocean waters.
Scattered garbage is especially harmful to marine life in the ocean. For example, in 2015, two whales died from eating fishing gear and plastic bags. Over the years, there have been many cases of sea turtles and other marine organisms dying after ingesting plastic and other types of garbage. Plastics are considered harmful because they are not biodegradable, which means they cannot be broken down by bacteria and other types of organisms.
Once the garbage that people usually throw in reaches the ocean, it may take a long time to decompose, which means that it will be more difficult for marine life to survive in their natural habitat. It takes 2 to 6 weeks for cardboard and newspaper to decompose in the water. Although this sounds like a long time ago, it pales in comparison to foam and Styrofoam, which take about 50-80 years to decompose in the ocean. Aluminum cans can be stored in the ocean for 200 years before finally decomposing. For plastics, it takes 400 years for any type of plastic to decompose. It is estimated that 150 million tons of plastic are currently scattered in oceans around the world.
The impact of marine pollution on humans
A large amount of marine pollution will have many adverse effects on mankind. The various health problems that marine pollution can cause include:
- Reproductive problems
- Hormonal problems
- Kidney damage
- Nervous system damage
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Heart disease
- Parkinson’s Disease
Although these health problems are caused by many different types of pollutants, they mainly come from the pollution of the marine water supply and food chain. For example, chemicals such as lead and California pesticides
Although these health problems are caused by many different types of pollutants, they mainly come from the pollution of the marine water supply and food chain. For example, chemicals such as lead and pesticides can contaminate water and can cause health problems such as hormonal problems and kidney damage. When you come into contact with pollution or enter the water, pollution on the beach can cause serious illnesses and side effects. These side effects include everything from diarrhea to stomach pain.
Perhaps the most serious problem of marine pollution is that bacteria in the seawater convert certain metals (such as mercury) into highly toxic forms of metals. These toxic metals are then absorbed by microplankton in the water before passing through the food chain. Finally, when you eat seafood, the toxic metals and fish you eat will appear on your plate. It is well known that mercury exposure can cause health problems such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Approximately 33% of shellfish-containing water in the United States is affected by coastal pollution.
How can we reduce ocean pollution?
Although there is currently no way to eliminate marine pollution, any measures to reduce such pollution may help reduce the amount of pollution reaching the ocean. Many of these solutions should be easy to implement in your own life.
Many ways to reduce marine pollution include:
- After drinking a soda can or a bottle of water, don’t throw it out in the trash
- Start to reuse and recycle recyclable materials
- Consider using reusable bottles
- Do not use disposable utensils, such as straws and various utensils
- Picking up trash while walking on the beach or nearby
- Minimize energy consumption, including cycling to work
- Use a small amount of fertilizer
- Ensure that the water is kept clean by reducing the amount of waste flowing through the sink
- Buy ocean-friendly products
- Recycle correctly
Finally, it is important to recycle correctly. For example, ensure that all recyclable materials are recycled. Not many people know that building materials, vehicles, and furniture can be recycled. If you want to do your part to reduce ocean pollution, the plastic, paper, metal, and glass items you use must also be recycled.
To reduce the amount of pollution you generate, please consider buying recyclable products. Tin cans and glass cans can be recycled and are more environmentally friendly than plastic cans and aluminum cans. Make sure to avoid purchasing dangerous goods. This substance will eventually seep into the sea and cause toxins to accumulate in the area.
You should also consider buying products made directly from recycled materials. Most products made of this material will have a private label on their packaging. If you stick to these guidelines and make every effort to live a sustainable and environmentally friendly lifestyle, then you can at least do your part to reduce the amount of pollution entering the ocean.
The future of marine pollution and the role of mankind
Although a large amount of pollution enters the ocean every year, we can take some measures to reduce ocean pollution. Garbage that reaches the ocean is caused by humans throwing away all used things immediately after use. The same is true for industrial companies that do not take measures to reduce pollution when converting raw materials into usable products. Although many companies have taken measures to be more environmentally friendly, there is still much work to be done.
There are many steps you can take to make the ocean cleaner. First of all, it is strongly recommended that you stop using plastic or reduce the amount of plastic currently in use. If you happen to pick up rubbish while going to the beach, you can play a small role in reducing the amount of rubbish entering the sea. If we do not take measures to reduce ocean pollution now, it is estimated that by 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean.
Oceans around the world are becoming more acidic at a faster rate, creating an environment that is not conducive to marine life. Since nearly 80% of marine pollution comes directly from land-based activities, the amount of pollution reaching the ocean can be significantly reduced. If these measures are not taken, the increase in health problems. Such as kidney damage and Alzheimer’s disease will also hurt human health. If everyone starts to work hard to reduce the amount of pollution they cause, there is still time to reverse these dangerous trends.