These are just a few examples of groundwater contaminants. They cause a variety of health and environmental problems. It is therefore necessary that steps are taken to prevent water pollution.
Barium is used in the oil and gas industries. Small amounts of barium in water can cause stomach irritation, swelling of the brain and liver, and breathing difficulties. Large amounts can cause paralyses.
Fluorine is indirectly used in producing Teflon and Halons such as Freon. It can be found in soil, various rocks, and clay. Frequent absorption of fluorine can cause harm to the kidney, nerves, muscles, and bones.
Nitrate is used in manufacturing ammonia, which is used in the production of fertilizer. It can cause severe health effects like decreased functional levels of the thyroid glands, shortage in Vitamin A, and cancer.
Nitrite can be found in water pipes. It can inhibit the capacity of blood to carry oxygen, thus oxygen level decreases. When not treated promptly, nitrite exposure can lead to death.
Chlorine is usually found in bleaches and disinfectants. When inhaled in large amounts, it can cause respiratory problems or skin and eye irritation.
Sodium is commonly found in alloy structures and soap. It is one of the compounds used in salt. Excessive sodium in the body can lead to high blood pressure and kidney damage.
Sulfur is found in batteries, fertilizers, gun powder, and even detergents. Some health effects of sulfur are heart damage, reproductive failure, immune system damage, and eye problems.
Copper is widely used for electrical equipment. It is usually found in landfills, industrial areas, and mines. Long-term exposure may cause stomachaches, dizziness, and kidney damage.
Zinc can be found in steel, rubber, paint, wallpaper, cosmetics, and plastics. While the body needs a little amount of zinc, too much of it can lead to vomiting, skin irritations and anemia. High levels can lead to damage in the pancreas and respiratory problems.
Iron is considered as the most commonly used metal. While moderate amounts are essential for the blood, it may cause conjunctivitis and retinitis if it comes in contact with the tissue.
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