The pollution of water resources can have serious and wide-ranging effects on the environment and human health. The immediate effects of water pollution can be seen in water bodies and the animal and plant life that inhabits them. Pollution poisons and deforms fish and other animals, unbalances ecosystems, and causes a reduction in biodiversity. Ultimately, these effects take their toll on human life. Drinking-water sources become contaminated, causing sickness and disease. Pollutants accumulate in food, making it dangerous or inedible. The presence of these toxic substances in food and water can also lead to reproductive problems and neurological disorders. The effects of water pollution are varied. They include poisonous drinking water, poisonous food animals (due to these organisms having accumulated toxins from the environment over their life spans), unbalanced river and lake ecosystems that can no longer support full biological diversity, deforestation from acid rain, and many other effects. These effects are, of course, specific to the various contaminants.
SEE ALSO: Industrialization; Pollution, Air; Pollution, Land.
BIBLIOGRAPHY. Scott Brennan and J.H. Withgott, Environment: The Science Behind the Stories (Pearson Education, Inc., 2004); Bill Freedman, The Ecological Effects of Pollution, Disturbance, and Other Stresses (Academic Press Limited, 1995); Kiely Gerard, ed., Environmental Engineering (McGraw-Hill International (UK) Ltd., 1997); R.M. Harrison, Pollution: Causes, Effects and Control (Royal Society of Chemistry, 1994); Miroslav Radojevic and V.N. Baskin, Practical Environmental Analysis (Royal Society of Chemistry, 1999).
Nsikak Benson Covenant University
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