Answer the following in your words.
Explain the effect of following materials on environment and human health.
a.Effects of plastic:
The manufacture of plastic, as well as its destruction by incineration, pollutes air, land and water and exposes workers to toxic chemicals, including carcinogenic.It is poisonous in nature,
Land pollution :
Plastic packaging – especially plastic bag – is a significant source of landfill waste.It just sits and accumulates in landfills or pollutes the environment. Plastics have become a municipal waste nightmare, prompting local governments all over the world to implement plastic bag, and increasingly polystyrene(styrofoam), bans.
Plastic is non-biodegeradable. It choked the sewage system and creating problemd for local bodies like danger to life, water borne diseases etc.
Danger to aquatic species and land animals:
It is regularly eaten by numerous marine and land animals, to fatal consequences. Synthetic plastic is non-biodegradable.It creates digestive problem for all living organisms.
It upset food chain: It disturbs the food chain, which may affect the ecological balance.
Other factors :
Plastic pollution may not even be visible to the naked eye as research is showing that microscopic plastic particles are present in the air at various locations throughout the world and in all major oceans. Plastic is now ubiquitous in our terrestrial, aquatic and airborne environments - that is, it's everywhere.
b.Effects of glass:
During production of glass, mixture needs to be heated at very high temperature. Which will result in evolution of green house gases like sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, carbon dioxide.
- The combustion of natural gas/fuel oil and the decomposition of raw materials during the melting lead to the emission of CO2. This is the only greenhouse gas emitted during the production of glass. And finally leads to the cause of green house effect.
- Nitrogen oxides (NO2) due to the high melting temperatures and in some cases due to decomposition of nitrogen compounds contribute to acidification.
- Glasses is non-biodegradable because it is photolysis resistant. Glasses donot degrade naturally in the environment. Hence, glasses is burnt to reduce the waste but incinerating glasse is more harmful.
- Evaporation from the molten glass and raw materials can cause release of particles in the atmosphere.
- Sulphur dioxide (SO2) from the fuel and/or from decomposition of sulphate in the batch materials can contribute to acidification and formation of SMOG.
- Glass is a non-degradable, if pieces of broken glass material flow into water body, it may affect the ecosystem.
- Sometimes, drainage system may be blocked due to aggregation of broken parts of glasses.
1. It is a carcinogen:
Some research on cancer has showed that styrene may contain carcinogens and increase the risks of cancer in humans and can cause lymphoma and leukemia cancer upon prolonged exposure.
2. It is non-biodegradable:
Thermocol is non-biodegradable because it is photolysis resistant. Thermocol needs a very long time to degrade naturally in the environment. Hence, thermocol is burnt to reduce the waste but incinerating thermocol is more harmful.
3. It contaminates the food and drinks:
Even though food and drinks are served on thermocol plates and cups, these actually contaminate the food and beverages and affect the health and the reproductive systems of humans. When food are reheated while they are still in thermocol container the harmful effect on humans’ health are seen.
4. It affects the health of workers who work in thermocol manufacturing plants:
Thermocol, more particularly styrene, adversely affects the health of the workers in the thermocol manufacturing units. The workers working for a prolonged period complain of eyes, skin, and respiratory tract irritation as well as gastrointestinal complications.
Thermocol plant workers also complain of problems in liver, kidneys, respiratory, and nervous systems. It has been found responsible for natural abortions in pregnant women. Exposure to liquid styrene can result in burns.
5. Replete with pollutants:
Thermocol is replete with several pollutants that pollute our environment and are toxic to the human health.
Some of these pollutants include:
a) Hydrofluorocarbon: One of the major contributors to global warming, the use of hydroflurocarbon has been curtailed. However, it is still in use although it is increasingly replaced by pentane and carbon dioxide in the production of thermocol.
b) Benzene: Benzene is one of the major carcinogens and has been found to cause severe leukemia cancers in patients.
c) Dioxins: Dioxins are responsible for problems found in hormonal changes and immune levels and also affect the development of fetus.