Lecture 6.5: Heavy Metals & Synthetic Organic Compounds

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Nov 8, 2013 (3 years and 9 months ago)

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Lecture 6.5
: Heavy Metals & Synthetic Organic Compounds

Ch 14
-
Day 2


Question: What are the adverse human health effects of consuming
heavy metals and synthetic organics
in drinking
water?


Heavy Metals

Lead (Pb)

Source:

old pipes lined with Pb, Brass
fittings with lead, lead solder

Fetus’s & infants

Human Health Effect:

brain damage, nervous system damage, kidney damage

Legislated Lead free everything: gasoline, paint, pipes, fittings, solders


Arsenic

(As)

Natural in rocks

Source:

rocks, mining, wood
preservatives

Well water contamination (fig 14.8)

Human Health Effect:

cancers of skin, lung, kidney, bladder take 10 yrs. To develop

EPA limit from 50
u
g/L to 10
u
g/L (ideal 5
u
g/L)

Removed by membrane filtration, distillation, or reverse osmosis

Bangladesh

& east India wells


Mercury

(Hg)

Source:

coal combustion, incinerating garbage, haz mats, medical supplies, dental supplies, cement
manufacturing from limestone
, consuming seafood (swordfish, tuna, shellfish)

Inorganic Hg

methymercury
: biologically assim
ilated form

Human Health Effect
:

damage of central nervous system (CNS) of children & fetus’, loss of muscular
coordination, blindness, sense of tough or taste


Acid Deposition

Forest & Lakes becoame more acidic, Dead lakes

Source:

SO
x
/NO
x

emissions


H
2
SO
4

and HNO
3
= acid deposition

Environmental Effect:

lowers the pH of rainwater, soils, and lakes, As pH decreases
, solubility of heavy
metals increases (Fe, Zn, Cu, Al, Mn, Fe)

Remediation: scrubbers

Acid Mine Drainage (AMD)

Abandoned mines fill with water
& pyrite breaks down to yield H+

Environmental Effect:

As pH decreases
, solubility of heavy metals increases (Fe, Zn, Cu, Al, Mn, Fe)

AMD is red/yellow in color (fig 14.10)


Synthetic Organic Compounds

Pesticides and Inert Ingredients

(fig 14.11)

Environme
ntal Effect:

Not target specific (target insect but harm amphibians or aquatic organisms)
,
Alter other physiological functions (DDT & Bald Eagles) (Atrazine)
,
Inert Ingredients (Roundup

(
tadpoles
)

Human Health Effect:

long
-
term, low level exposure,
carginogen?


Pharmaceuticals and Hormones

USGS tested 139 streams (fig 14.12)

Antibiotics, Reproductive hormones (estrogen), Prescription drugs, steroids

Endocrine disruptors: feminization


Military Compounds
-
Perchlorates

Source:

Explosives, & booster rock
et fuel

Environmental Effect:

Easily leached into soils so contaminates food & water (Otis Air Force Base)

Human Health Effect:

thyroid gland, effect hormone production


Industrial Compounds

Direct discharge into waterways

Discharges into

Hudson River

Cuya
hoga River fire 1969

PCB’s

(polychlorinated biphenyls)

Source:

Plastics, insulating electric transformers

Human Health Effect:

Carcinogenic

GE & Dredging of PCB’s on the Hudson River

and
New Bedford Harbor & PCB’s

PBDE’s
(polybrominated diphenyl ethers)

Source:

Flame retarda
nts

Turned up in
Fish, birds, human breast

milk

Human Health effect:

Brain damage, especially children

EU & western
states have banned its manufactu
re


RESOURCES:

EPA: Hudson River

EPA New Bedford Harbor

Minamata Bay, Japan


Question: so why is an oil spill so bad anyway and how do you clea
n
-
up after one?


Petroleum Spills are catastrophic



Petroleum is toxic to birds, mammals, fish, algae, microorganisms



Persistent material



Spread above & below surface hundreds of kilometers



Thick, viscous coating of shorelines & wetlands


SOURCES

(1) Unders
ea Offshore drilling

5,000 N. America & 3,000 more globally

they leak!

2010 Deepwater Horizon, BP: Gulf of Mexico, I mile deep

April

August 206 million gallons oil


(2) Oil Tankers

Exxon Valdez 1989, 11 million gallons (fig 14.14)

Decades of cleanup

2009 post
-
spill analysis

$1 billion clean
-
up, $500 million damages

outcome: double hulled tankers


(3)Pipelines

BP Prudhoe Bay 200
6

Exxon: Yellowstone River 2011

Keystone Pipeline extension


(4) Natural seepage (fig 14.15)


Remediating Oil Pollution

Clean animals by hand with Dawn dish soap

Oils make them heavy &

loss of insulation ability


(1)
Floating Oil

1.

Boom containment (down several meters) & suck it up

2.

Shallow waters: absorbent materials

3.

Dispersants (toxic?)

4.

GM Bacteria


(2)
Underwater plumes:

Deep
-
water Horizon plume: 1,000 m down, ~30km x 8 km in
area: unrecoverable


(3)
Coastlines

High pressure, hot water (removed fine grain structure for micro
-
comminity to re
-
establish itself)

Let n
ature do the work


Brazil Oil Spill