Physical changes in the land, soil, water, and air,associated with industrialization directly and indirectlyaffect the biological environment.
Direct impacts includedeaths of plants, animals, or people, caused by miningactivity or contact with toxic soil or water from mines. Indirect impacts include changes in nutrient cycling, totalbiomass, species diversity, and eco-system stability due toalterations in groundwater or surface water availability orWater resources are particularly vulnerable todegradation even if drainage is controlled and sedimentpollution reduced. Surface drainage is often altered atmine sites, and run off from precipitation may infiltratewaste material, leaching out trace elements and minerals. Trace elements leached from mining wastes and concentratedin water, soil, or plants may be toxic, causing diseases inpeople and other animals who drink the water, eat theplants, or use the soil.Order now
These potentially harmful traceelements include cadmium, cobalt, copper, lead, iron,Groundwater may also be polluted by mining operationswhen waste comes into contact with slow-moving subsurfacewaters. Surface-water infiltration or groundwater movementthrough mining waste piles causes leaching of sulfidematerials that may pollute groundwater. The pollutedgroundwater may eventually seep into streams to pollutesurface water. Groundwater problems are particularlytroublesome because reclamation of polluted groundwater isAn example of an area where trace elements haveaffected a large part of the population is in Japan.
Anincreased amount of cadmium was released into the ZintsuRiver Basin near the end of World War I. At this time theJapanese industrial complex was damaged and goodindustrial-waste disposal practices were largely ignored. Mining operations for cadmium dumped mining wastes intorivers. The cadmium influx occurred in estuarine waters andin sediments after the intake of industrial wastes. Farmers then used this contaminated water downstreamfor domestic and agricultural purposes.
This intake ofcadmium by human beings caused a chronic disease within theJapanese population known as Itai-Itai. The name Itai-Itaisuits the disease because it is Japanese for ouch-ouch. Itai-Itai is painful and crippling. It attacks the bonescausing them to become so thin and brittle that they breakMany solutions and experiments have been tried to findreason and absolution of cadmium influx, but none has givenus a perfect resolution of the cause.
Such experiments asstudying the bones and tissue of victims were quiterevealing. The bones and tissue were found to contain largeconcentrations of zinc, lead, and cadmium. The study ofrats showed scientists interesting results. When rats werefed 100ppm of cadmium they lost about 3 percent of theirtotal bone tissue. Rats fed amounts of cadmium plus othertrace elements such as lead copper and zinc lost about 33percent of their total bone tissue. Cadmium in seafood is another problem in Japan soscientists were not surprised when they found out thatcadmium has deleterious effects on most, if not all, marinespecies tested.
Histopathological effects of cadmium havebeen studied in two species of marine finfish. However, noscientist has reported histopathological effects in anyinvertebrates. Invertebrates are more sensitive to themetal than are finfish. There are few reports on the ratesof accumulation of cadmium in marine species, and the onlyinvestigations we are aware of are studies on the flux ofcadmium through mussels, shrimp, and euphausids. This lackof information caused us to undertake the present study to :(1) determine rates of accumulation and localization ofcadmium in tissues of shrimp; (2) describe the histologicaleffects of cadmium in shrimp; and (3) compare theaccumulation of cadmium in shrimp from meta incorporated infood with that of cadmium administered directly in water. Measurement of heavy-metal concentrations in JapansZintsu River Basin showed that although the water samplesgenerally contained less than 1 ppm cadmium and 50 ppm zinc,these metals are selectively concentrated in the sedimentand even more highly concentrated in plants.
One set ofdata for five samples shows an average of 6 ppm cadmium inpolluted soils. In plant roots, this average increased to1250, and in the harvested rice it was 125 ppm. As of late scientists have been putting their energyand time into research more than activating ways to quicklyand efficiently solve the problem. Some structures likespecially constructed ponds have been made to collectpolluted run off from mines have been made and do help, butthey cannot be expected to eliminate all problems. Groundwater problems are particularly troublesome becausereclamation of polluted groundwater is very difficult andexpensive.
So, until scientists have fully researched theeffect of trace elements in our geologic planet our societywill just have to look towards the future.Bibliography: .