Environmental Contaminants: Heavy Metals, Synthetic Organic Contaminants, Volatile Organic Compounds

What is an Environmental Contaminant? Environmental contaminants are substances that, when accidentally or deliberately introduced into the environment, may have the potential to harm people, wildlife and plants. Some of these contaminants may have been manufactured for industrial use and because they are very stable, they do not break down easily. If released to the…

Exposure and Uptake of Environmental Contaminants

Humans come into contact with harmful contaminants in many ways. We may: eat food that carries toxin residues touch contaminated soils absorb radiation or chemical vapors through our skin drink polluted water inhale gases and particulates as we breathe Determining how much exposure of a contaminant is safe is a multi step process that involves…

Energy Use, Types, Sources

Energy Types Energy sources are classified as either renewable or non-renewable A renewable energy resource is one that can be replaced after use by regrowth, reproduction or replacement within a reasonable time frame (usually one human lifespan). Examples include solar, wind, tidal, thermal and hydroelectric A non-renewable resource is one that cannot be replaced after…

Agricultural Practices: Farming, Pesticides, Terminology

What is agriculture? Agriculture is the production of food and goods through farming and forestry. The development of agricultural techniques is credited for creating food surpluses that enabled the development of more densely populated societies with distinct classes Agriculture uses many techniques, to expand the lands suitable for plant raising. For example: Digging water-channels and…

Perspectives in Environmental Science

The basics Environmental issues are particularly difficult to solve because often the solutions require sacrifice It is difficult to convince a population of people to trade in quality of life and convenience for the greater environmental good This is evident with North America’s obsession with big cars, SUVs and Trucks When considering an environmental issue…

Energy Efficiency: Conducting a Simple Energy Audit

Efficiency Energy efficiency is one area that scientists are focusing on to decrease the worlds overall energy use Energy efficiency in buildings is one of the top priorities in energy conservation There are many different ways that we can make an older building more energy efficient Simple ways to improve a building’s efficiency Insulate and…

Types of Waste

There are many different types of Waste Solid Waste Liquid Waste Gaseous Waste Animal by-products Biodegradable waste Biomedical waste Chemical waste Commercial waste Construction and demolition waste (C&D waste) Electronic waste (E-waste) Green waste Grey water Hazardous waste or Toxic Waste Human waste Industrial waste Radioactive waste Recyclable waste Sewage Slaughterhouse waste Wastewater Industrial Waste…

Environmental Values and Ethics

Utilitarian Justification– conservation of nature is important because the environment, ecosystem, habitat, or species provides individuals (aka humans) with direst economic benefits. Ecological Justification– conservation of nature is based on the knowledge that a species, ecological community, ecosystem, or the Earth’s biosphere provides specific function necessary to the persistence of our life. Aesthetic Justification– conservation…