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Introduction

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Harmful Substances in the Air

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Lead

wpe2.jpg (4334 bytes)Lead is one of the heaviest and most toxic metals for the organism of human beings, as well as for all living beings in general. Only mercury is more toxic than lead. Lead poisoning is dangerous for both adults and children. It can cause various illnesses (anemia, pale and dry skin, headaches and stomachaches, lead paralysis of bones and muscles, buzzing sound in the ears, nephrosclerosis, dizziness etc.). Lead gets into the bodies of human beings through food, but sometimes through the respiratory organs. Usually, this substance is discharged by industrial plants, steel factories, power plants etc. The only successful way to get rid of this metal is by installing filtering devices. Today, the greatest sources of lead toxins are the automobile emissions discharged from fuel combustion in the motor. The limit for lead concetration in soil is from 20 to 100 miligrams per kilogram soil, while in the plants 2.5 miligrams per kilogram vegetable mass. Main lead pollutants in the food are vegetables that grow near motorways as well as medical herbs. A usual thing to see in our country is trees of cherries, apples, pears, plums etc. with abundace of fruits hanging over motorways. These fruits end up in the markets or in food-processing plants. The same is true for various vegetables that grow in the fields next to the motorways. Also, it should not be allowed to feed the cattle with vegetables that grow near motorways because the lead, through the food (meat, eggs, milk etc.), enters the human organism.

 

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Chemical Substances Used for Plant Protection

Chemical substance used for protection of plants from insects contaminate wider areas than the actual place of usage. When the forests and fields are sprayed with aeroplanes the chemical substances can spread from 4 - 5 km away, while the smaller aerosols of about 2 microns in size can spread up to 300 km. Considering the fact that these substances dissolve in a period from 3 to 30 years, one must conclude that chemical substances become part of our food i.e. our organisms.

 

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Harmful Concentrations:

  • Sulphur dioxide:

Great concetrations of this oxide of the sulphur, as well as the other sulphur oxides, cause various problems with the organs of the respiratory system, and it increases the mortality rate of the population especially in patients with cancer. It aslo has bad effects on patients with bronhitis.

  • Carbon Monoxide:

Increased quantities of this oxide has especially negative impact on the nervous system and the cardiovascular system in human beings. It can cause strong headaches, suffercation and poisoning that could lead to death. This oxide causes disorders in the oxidation processes in the cells.

  • Nitrogen Oxides:

Increased concetrations of this oxide can harm the respiratory organs, and it could cause death. These oxides decrease the capactity of the blood to remit oxygene.

  • Hydrocarbons:

Greater concetrations of this compound can cause: coughs, accelerated puls, headaches, nauseousness, temperature changes in the body, changes in the blood, and even death. These compounds irritate the mucus membrane of the eyes, nose and the respiratory system.

 

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Types of pollution that have an impact on people's health and on the environment are the following:33.JPG (199632 bytes)

The lead in the air and soil from the lead and zinc smelter as well as the emissions from the vechicles.

The dust in the air from household stoves, small enterprises, power plants, metalurgic plants and other big manufacturers.

Sulphur Dioxide and other gases.

Nitrates in water caused by inappropriate maintainance and construction of farms and agricultural enterprises, inappropriate use of fertilizers as well as by rural septic tanks.

Food pollutants, through the presence of heavy metals, are usually found in the drinking water.

 

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