Water is the source of all life but what if that water contains chemicals that can cause learning disabilities in children? Here, the GE Pro Elite Team answers questions about emerging contaminants.
Q: What are emerging contaminants?
GE Pro Elite Team: Emerging contaminants are those that were previously undetected or found in miniscule amounts in an area’s drinking water supply. Another way of saying it is that emerging contaminants are contaminants of emerging (recent) concern.
Q: Do they pose a threat to human and animal health?
GE Pro Elite Team: As of yet, the biggest threat of emerging contaminants is that their long- and short-term effects are unknown.
The long-term effects of agricultural toxins are an issue environmentalists demand be addressed. Here, the GE Pro Elite team explains how science is stepping in to help provide answers.
Q: How does farming affect a region’s water supply?
GE Pro Elite Team: Agricultural endeavors are the dominant land-use in many parts of the country. Pesticides, fertilizers, and other agrarian pathogens have the potential to adversely affect an area’s water quality. As well, the use of regional groundwater supplies for large-scale irrigation makes it more difficult for native vegetation to survive.
Q: What happens if an area’s natural plant life is damaged?
GE Pro Elite Team: Reducing native vegetation can actually diminish water quality of streams and wetlands. Because plants are a major food source for wildlife, the entire region’s ecosystem is threatened.
Acid rain is a serious problem that affects many areas in the US and Canada, says the water experts behind the GE Pro Elite Professional Water Filtration System. It is especially damaging to streams, lakes, and rivers and the plant and animal life that rely on these habitats.
What is acid rain?
Acid rain, as explained by the GE Pro Elite team, is a general term that refers to both wet and dry atmospheric material deposition containing excessive levels of sulfuric and nitric acids. These contaminants come from both natural and manmade sources. Decaying vegetation and fumes from volcanic eruptions, coupled with chemicals released from fossil fuel combustion, can result in the acidification of lakes and streams.
Effects of acid rain
An overabundance of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide released from acid rain can devastate high-elevation trees and shrubs. It damages sensitive forest soils and accelerates the decay rate of many building materials. According to the GE Pro Elite team, acid rain is indirectly damaging to human health. The gasses are released into the atmosphere and can be transported long distances and inhaled. Finer particles can even penetrate indoors. Many scientific studies have identified a possible relationship between high levels of minute particles and premature death from respiratory disorders, including bronchitis and asthma.