PEH10002 Contemporary Public And Environmental Health

PEH10002 Contemporary Public And Environmental Health

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PEH10002 Contemporary Public And Environmental Health

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PEH10002 Contemporary Public And Environmental Health

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Course Code: PEH10002
University: Swinburne University Of Technology

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Country: Australia

Question:
Using the Deepwater Horizon oil spill as an example, describe the impact of water pollution on the environment and discuss a strategy that has been used to control or prevent these impacts.
 
 
Answer:

Introduction:
Water covers the 2/3rd of the surface of the Earth. The population of earth is growing over the years as a result; they are creating pressure on the water resources of the Planet. Human activities are spoiling the water resources. The quality of water is being destroyed and as a result, water pollution occurs. Water pollution is one of the major types of environmental pollution. Water is the essential thing for sustainability and is a part of the biosphere (Peukert et al. 2014). Therefore, it is necessary to save the water for the wellbeing of the planet. It helps to provide energy, minerals and balance the life- cycle. The assignment focuses on the causes of water pollution and the incidence of deepwater horizon oil spill. The significance of the incidence of deepwater horizon oil spill is discussed. Water pollution has a strong impact on environment and it needs to be reduced. The impact and the strategies to prevent the water pollution are discussed.
Causes of water pollution:
Human activity is the main reason of the water pollution. These activities reduced the quality of water. Water pollution occurs due to various reasons and this is a critical issue in present days. The main causes of the water pollution are stated below:
Sewage:
As the number of people on the earth is increasing with the time, the number of sewage is also increasing and becomes the major problem of the world. The sewage is mixed with the drinking water as it goes to the river, and ocean (Laws 2017). This is harmful for the human health. It causes the diseases like diarrhea.
 
Wastewater:
Another major reason of the water pollution is the wastewater. Most of the industries are set up at the bank of the rivers and they throw the wastewater of chemicals in the river. Some of the times, the chemicals are washed off from the drains of the factories and the harmful chemicals mixed in the water (Klein 2013). These chemicals mix in the water and cause the death of the fishes and results respiratory problems in human.  
Chemical waste:
Most of the detergents are made of toxic chemicals like polychlorinated biphenyls. This type of chemicals is mainly used to make the electronic circuit boards. When this type of chemicals mixes in the water and pollutes the water, it harms the aquatic life as well as terrestrial and avian lives. This type of chemical reduces the amount of oxygen, nitrogen, and essential minerals from the water and as a result, the amount of carbon dioxide increases (Kneese 2015).
Radioactive waste:
Radioactive waste is the great danger for the people. It is the powerful ray and can spread the pollution in the environment. The waste material of the nuclear power plants pollutes the water (Prouty et al. 2016). From the past decades, the number of shell and fishes death rate increases in the present decades due to the water pollution.
Oil pollution:
Most of the ocean pollution occurs due to the oil spill in the water. Due to the tanker accident, the oil spill occurs and the oil enters into the water of ocean. This mainly kills the aquatic animals and destroys the biodiversity system (Chanton et al. 2014). When the oil mixes with the water, the water becomes contaminated. This may cause food borne illness, cancer, and other problems in human being.
Plastics:
Plastic is the most dangers component that is harmful for the human being. Plastic does not decay and floats with the wave, when it is thrown to the water. It contains poisonous chemicals that cause water pollution.
Incidence of Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill:
The deepwater horizon oil spill is the disaster that occurred in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010. Due to this disaster, eleven people died. King et al. (2015) mentioned it as the biggest marine oil spill in petroleum industrial history. The US government has estimated total discharge at the 4.9 million barrel oil after the occurrence of the accidents. In September 2010, the well became sealed. However, in 2012, the seal became leaked and the threat of the accidents rose. After the accident, the protection in the beaches and wetlands were increased. It took long time to remove the spill from the water of Gulf of Mexico. It killed various aquatic animals and the ecosystem of the water became hampered. Huge damage occurred in the water life. From a report of 2013, it is found that, most of dolphins and other aquatic animals continued to die that is much higher than the normal rate of death (Lamendella et al. 2014). As per a report of 2014, after come in contact with oil spill, the deformation of heart and nervous system is seen in the tuna and amberjack. These types of deformities reduce the life span. The amount of the carbon dioxide has increased in the water of the Gulf of Mexico.
 
Significance of Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill:
The explosion of the deep- water horizon oil spill is significant in the history of the water pollution. In causes severe damages among the aquatic life as well as the terrestrial life. Due to this, 11 workers were killed and this the largest oil spill at marine. Huge damage occurred in the water life. From a report of 2013, it is found that, most of dolphins and other aquatic animals continued to die that is much higher than the normal rate of death (Michel et al. 2013). The spill changed the water composition and damaged the water for using. It took a long time to clear the spill and preserver the eco system again. The crisis spoilt the conservation system of the coast that was running from 25 years. Different scientists of different countries checked the water after the incident occurs. The pH balance of the water of Gulf of Mexico became misbalanced as different types of chemicals were mixed in the water like methane, PHAs, and carbon dioxide. It damaged the natural resources. Scientists revealed that the disease among the aquatic animals is the result of the oil spill. The infants of the aquatic animals became abnormal after came in contact with the oil spill. The habitants of the water were damaged and damaged the lifestyle of the habitants. The dolphins were injured much. This incident not only damaged the surface level of water but also damaged the deep water. The oil spills contained 40% of methane that was high than the normal oil. Methane can create a suffocating environment and makes a ‘dead zones’. For this reason, the BP had to come in a settlement and they had to provide a compensation of $8.8 billion. This money was spent for the restoration of and recreational purpose. However, Yuan et al. (2014) mentioned that it is not easy to restore the natural resources again. The impact of this incident of deepwater horizon oil spill on the environment is very significant and for longtime.
Impact of Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill on environment:
The area, where the spill occurred, hosts approximately 8,332 species. This includes near about 1270 fishes, 1456 mollusks, 218 birds, 1503 crustaceans, 604 polychaetes, 29 marine mammals, and 4 sea turtles. Before the spill, the water contains 40 times less polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. The PAHs contains the carcinogenic compounds that are harmful for the aquatic and terrestrial living beings (Incardona et al. 2014). The oil spills contained 40% of methane that was high than the normal oil. Methane can create a suffocating environment and makes a ‘dead zones’. Due to the depletion of oxygen, the death rate of aquatic animals increases. The toxins of the oil spill can causes of the irregular heartbeat in the aquatic animals. Gulf of Mexico is one of the productive ocean and had the best ecosystem in the world. After the incident, the number of the predator fishes decreased and the effect of this is found in human being also. The oil spill polluted not only the surface water of the Gulf of Mexico but also the deep water in unpredictable amount. It damaged the natural resources (Gray et al. 2014). The habitants of the water were damaged and damaged the lifestyle of the habitants.
 
Moreover, the oil spill increased the temperature and the water level of the ocean. It destroyed the eggs of the aquatic animals. Some of the fishes were found with oozing sores and lesions. The ecosystem of the Gulf of Mexico became endangered. It damaged the ocean floor and the number of unusual death increased. The most important thing is that most of the death bodies of the aquatic bodies were not found and they decade in the underwater of Gulf of Mexico (Brame et al. 2013). This increases the pollution rate also. The birth rates of the aquatic life decreased. The dead bodies of dolphins washed up on the ocean at the coastal area of Mississippi and Alabama. From that time, only 17% of the dolphins are surviving and many deformities are seen in the aquatic animals after the incident occurred (Gutierrez et al. 2013). Scientists revealed that the disease among the aquatic animals is the result of the oil spill. The infants of the aquatic animals became abnormal after came in contact with the oil spill.
Prevention of water pollution:
The water pollution needs to be prevented. People should be aware. They should pour hot water or waste material in the water of river or ocean. The cooking products like fat, grease, and oil should not be thrown in the water. The most dangerous thing is the plastic that contains the harmful chemicals. These chemicals are harmful for the respiratory system and decrease the rate of the rate of the reproduction (Garcia-Pineda et al. 013). Hence, people should not throw the plastic in the water. Moreover, the people of industrial belt need to be careful and should not throw the wastewater and chemicals into water.  The waste materials of human and other living beings also should not be exposed to the drinking water. The government needs to pass strict rules and regulation for the sustainability of the water. In future, the people may suffer from the water crisis. Therefore, it is necessary to save the drinking water.
The human activity needs modification and they should obey the rules and regulation of the government to avoid the spoilage of water. The disposal of the decaying things is harmful for the water and it should be banned. The government needs to check the pH of the oceans and rivers in every two years. The use of pesticides and chemicals in the fields also should be avoided. The government needs to take appropriate steps to avoid the spoilage of water and should take the steps to preserve the water (Kleinnijenhuis et al. 2015). The clearance of the sewage needs proper maintenance so that it cannot mix in the rivers. To save the eco system of the  water, the government of U.S. took some steps that the citizens need to follow and should not break the rules, which is punishable offence.  
 
Conclusion:
Based on the above discussion, it can be said that human activities are spoiling the water resources. Water is the essential thing for sustainability and is a part of the biosphere. Therefore, it is necessary to save the water for the wellbeing of the planet. Human activity is the main reason of the water pollution. . It took long time to remove the spill from the water of Gulf of Mexico. It killed various aquatic animals and the ecosystem of the water became hampered. Most of dolphins and other aquatic animals continued to die that is much higher than the normal rate of death. The impact of this incident of deepwater horizon oil spill on the environment is very significant and for longtime. After the incident, the number of the predator fishes decreased and the effect of this is found in human being. The birth rates of the aquatic life decreased. The dead bodies of dolphins washed up on the ocean at the coastal area of Mississippi and Alabama.
 
References
Brame, J.A., Hong, S.W., Lee, J., Lee, S.H. and Alvarez, P.J., 2013. Photocatalytic pre-treatment with food-grade TiO 2 increases the bioavailability and bioremediation potential of weathered oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Chemosphere, 90(8), pp.2315-2319.
Chanton, J., Zhao, T., Rosenheim, B.E., Joye, S., Bosman, S., Brunner, C., Yeager, K.M., Diercks, A.R. and Hollander, D., 2014. Using natural abundance radiocarbon to trace the flux of petrocarbon to the seafloor following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Environmental science & technology, 49(2), pp.847-854.
Garcia-Pineda, O., MacDonald, I., Hu, C., Svejkovsky, J., Hess, M., Dukhovskoy, D. and Morey, S.L., 2013. Detection of floating oil anomalies from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill with synthetic aperture radar. Oceanography, 26(2), pp.124-137.
Gray, J.L., Kanagy, L.K., Furlong, E.T., Kanagy, C.J., McCoy, J.W., Mason, A. and Lauenstein, G., 2014. Presence of the Corexit component dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate in Gulf of Mexico waters after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Chemosphere, 95, pp.124-130.
Gutierrez, T., Singleton, D.R., Berry, D., Yang, T., Aitken, M.D. and Teske, A., 2013. Hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria enriched by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill identified by cultivation and DNA-SIP. The ISME journal, 7(11), p.2091.
Incardona, J.P., Gardner, L.D., Linbo, T.L., Brown, T.L., Esbaugh, A.J., Mager, E.M., Stieglitz, J.D., French, B.L., Labenia, J.S., Laetz, C.A. and Tagal, M., 2014. Deepwater Horizon crude oil impacts the developing hearts of large predatory pelagic fish. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(15), pp.E1510-E1518.
King, G.M., Kostka, J.E., Hazen, T.C. and Sobecky, P.A., 2015. Microbial responses to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill: from coastal wetlands to the deep sea. Annual review of marine science, 7, pp.377-401.
Klein, L., 2013. Causes and Effects: River Pollution. Elsevier.
Kleinnijenhuis, J., Schultz, F., Utz, S. and Oegema, D., 2015. The mediating role of the news in the BP oil spill crisis 2010: How US news is influenced by public relations and in turn influences public awareness, foreign news, and the share price. Communication Research, 42(3), pp.408-428.
Kneese, A.V., 2015. Water Pollution: Economics Aspects and Research Needs. Routledge.
Lamendella, R., Strutt, S., Borglin, S., Chakraborty, R., Tas, N., Mason, O.U., Hultman, J., Prestat, E., Hazen, T.C. and Jansson, J.K., 2014. Assessment of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill impact on Gulf coast microbial communities. Frontiers in microbiology, 5.
Laws, E.A., 2017. Aquatic pollution: an introductory text. John Wiley & Sons.
Michel, J., Owens, E.H., Zengel, S., Graham, A., Nixon, Z., Allard, T., Holton, W., Reimer, P.D., Lamarche, A., White, M. and Rutherford, N., 2013. Extent and degree of shoreline oiling: Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Gulf of Mexico, USA. PloS one, 8(6), p.e65087.
Peukert, S., Griffith, B.A., Murray, P.J., Macleod, C.J. and Brazier, R.E., 2014. Intensive management in grasslands causes diffuse water pollution at the farm scale. Journal of environmental quality, 43(6), pp.2009-2023.
Prouty, N.G., Fisher, C.R., Demopoulos, A.W. and Druffel, E.R., 2016. Growth rates and ages of deep-sea corals impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography, 129, pp.196-212.
Yuan, B., Warneke, C., Shao, M. and de Gouw, J.A., 2014. Interpretation of volatile organic compound measurements by proton-transfer-reaction mass spectrometry over the deepwater horizon oil spill. International Journal of Mass Spectrometry, 358, pp.43-48.
 
 

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