The Impact of Man on the Environment
Man has had many far-reaching effects on the environment over the
years. Global warming, pollution and the damage to the ozone layer are
a few of the major things that can be heard about in the news. Man has
damaged the earth gradually over the years and this damage is next to
impossible to be reversed, we are now trying to stop more damage being
caused to the environment. For example, hedgerows have been destroyed
but now people have realised what effects this has on the environment,
the government are paying farmers to replant them instead of just
fencing. Not all of man's effects on the environment are harmful some
are beneficial. Conservation work is going on across the country and
this is helping to preserve the wildlife and countryside that we have
left. The expanding human population has placed a huge demand on the
food production of the country. The resources are limited but the
population is increasing quite rapidly so the problems are growing.
The demand for food means that crops need to be perfect so the use of
fertilisers and herbicides is increasing too.
Phosphates are products formed by the replacement of some or all of
the hydrogen of a phosphoric acid by metals. Depending on the number
of hydrogen atoms that are replaced, the resulting compound is
described as a primary, secondary, or tertiary phosphate. Also known
as trisodium phosphate, tertiary sodium phosphate is used as a
detergent and water softener. Primary and secondary phosphates contain
hydrogen and are acid salts. Phosphates are important to metabolism in
both plants and animals. Primary calcium phosphate, Ca(H2PO4)2, is an
ingredient of plant fertilisers. When it is used as a fertiliser it
can be washed into the waterways by the rain and pollute the rivers
and streams. Increasing attention has been focused on the
environmentally harmful effects of phosphates in household detergents.
Detergents containing phosphates are known to be water pollutants
because phosphates are a primary nutrient of algae. When algae grow in
excess, it can choke a lake or river and draw off needed oxygen from
aquatic life. This is called eutrophication
Nitrates are also harmful to the environment. Calcium, sodium,
potassium, and ammonium nitrates are used in fertilisers to provide a
source of nitrogen for plant growth. If these nitrates get into the
water flow then they can, like phosphates, have damaging effects on
the life that live there.
Factory chimneys emit Sulphur Dioxide, which has to be monitored.
Inside the chimneys are several filters that sift out the solids in
the emissions. Sulphur dioxide emitted into the atmosphere by
industrial processes is ultimately converted into dilute sulphuric
acid, returning to Earth as acid rain. For this reason, sulphur
dioxide is a major...