Emerging pollutants is a term used by water quality professionals to describe contaminants that have been detected in water bodies. These may cause harm to human health and the ecological systems and are typically not governed under the current environmental laws, posing as a greater risk to our livelihood.
Wastewater and Emerging Pollutants: Unfolding A Toxic Story
Heavy metal contamination is an issue of utmost importance as it has harmful effects on both, the environment and on humans. Some of these negative impacts include the death of aquatic life, algal blooms, habitat destruction from sedimentation, debris, increased water flow, other short and long-term toxicity from chemical contaminants. The main threats to human health from heavy metals are associated, for example, with exposure to lead, cadmium, mercury, and arsenic. Most of the plastic produced in the world is not recycled but ends up in landfills or open dumps which makes it more likely to reach rivers, lakes, and eventually oceans. Microplastics (MPs), defined as less than 5 mm in diameter, can be directly released in the water or formed by the degradation of bigger pieces. Many issues are linked to the presence of MPs in water, such as damage to airways and stomachs of animals, blocking canals and sewers, and creating breeding habitats for mosquitoes. Excessive nutrient loading is a major threat to aquatic ecosystems worldwide that leads to profound changes in aquatic biodiversity and biogeochemical processes. Nutrients in excess can come from various sources. They can occur naturally, however, human-related inputs are much greater than natural inputs.
This webinar aims to discuss these matters with reference to wastewater and will focus on case studies, projects, and examples that will present the current trends and ways to tackle these issues.
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