Everything in nature is made up of five basic elements: earth, water, fire, air, and space. Out of these five elements water plays crucial role in our daily life. Water is also serves as one of the source for oxygen.
Water is the most common liquid on Earth and it covers about 71.4% of the Earth. Unlike most other liquids such as alcohol or oil, when water freezes, it expands by about 9%.
It is a transparent fluid which forms the world's streams, lakes, oceans and rain, and is the major constituent of the fluids of organisms.
Water on earth moves continually, through the method called water cycle. The water cycle comprises of transpiration, condensation, precipitation and runoff, usually reaching the sea. Evaporation and transpiration contribute to the precipitation over land. Water used in the production of a good or service is known as virtual water.
Chemical Properties of Water
As a chemical compound, a water molecule contains one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms that are connected by covalent bonds. Since the water molecule is not linear and the oxygen atom has a higher electronegativity than hydrogen atoms, the oxygen atom carries a slight negative charge, whereas the hydrogen atoms are slightly positive.
Water is a liquid at standard ambient temperature and pressure, but it often co-exists on Earth with its solid state, ice; and gaseous state, steam. It also exists as snow, fog, dew and cloud.
Water vapor is also present in various planets
Atmosphere of Sun, Mercury (3.4%), Venus (0.002%), Mars (0.03%), Jupiter (0.0004%) etc.
Now I will explain you the modes of water pollution in various water bodies
Water pollution is the contamination of water bodies such as lakes, rivers, oceans, aquifers and groundwater. Water pollution affects the entire biosphere-plants and organisms. In almost all cases the effect is damaging not only to individual species and population, but also to the natural biological communities. Water pollution is a major global problem which requires ongoing evaluation and revision of water resource policy at all levels.
It has been suggested that water pollution is the leading worldwide cause of deaths and diseases, and that it accounts for the deaths of more than 14,000 people daily. An estimated 580 people in India die of water pollution related illness every day.
In addition to the acute problems of water pollution in developing countries, developed countries also continue to struggle with pollution problems.
Most water pollutants are eventually carried by rivers into the oceans. The ocean remains one of the most expansive, mysterious and diverse places on Earth. Plastic debris is mainly discarded human rubbish which floats on, or is suspended in the ocean. Eighty percent of marine debris is plastic. The mass of plastic in the oceans may be as high as one hundred million metric tons. These discarded plastic bags, six pack rings and other forms of plastic waste which finish up in the ocean present dangers to wildlife and fisheries. Aquatic life can be threatened through entanglement, suffocation, and ingestion.
In recent years plastic pollution in the ocean has become a significant environmental concern for governments, scientists, nongovernmental organizations, and members of the public worldwide. The ocean is the heart of our planet. Like your heart pumping blood to every part of your body, the ocean connects people across the Earth, no matter where we live. The ocean regulates the climate, feeds millions of people every year, produces oxygen, is the home to an incredible array of wildlife, provides us with important medicines, and so much more!.
At the same time, plastics in consumer products have become subject to increasing scrutiny regarding their potential effects on human health. Bisphenol A (BPA), a component of polycarbonate plastics and suspected endocrine disruptor, is one of the most widely known chemicals of interest. But BPA is only one of many monomers, plasticizers, flame retardants, antimicrobials, and other chemicals used in plastics manufacturing3 that are able to migrate into the environment.
Plastics accumulate because they don't biodegrade in the way many other substances do. Plastic debris tends to accumulate at the centre of ocean gyres. They will photodegrade on exposure to the sun, but they do so properly only under dry conditions, and water inhibits this process.
Toxic additives used in the manufacture of plastic materials can leach out into their surroundings when exposed to water. Waterborne hydrophobic pollutants collect and magnify on the surface of plastic debris, thus making plastic far more deadly in the ocean than it would be on land. Some plastic additives are known to disrupt the endocrine system and floating debris can also absorb persistent organic pollutants from seawater, including Polychlorinated biphenyl (PCBs), Dichlorodiphenyl Trichloroethane (DDT) and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon (PAHs).
Then the constituents of plastics, as well as the chemicals and metals they sorb, can travel into the bodies of marine organisms upon consumption where they may concentrate and climb the food chain, ultimately into humans.
In order to ensure the health and safety of our communities and future generations, it’s imperative that we take the responsibility to care for the ocean as it cares for us. As a part of this The United Nations, an international organization has initiated a theme called “Healthy oceans, Healthy planet” and we’re making a special effort to stop plastic pollution.
Why do we celebrate World Oceans Day?
- To remind everyone of the major role the oceans have in everyday life. They are the lungs of our planet, providing most of the oxygen we breathe.
- To inform the public of the impact of human actions on the ocean.
- To develop a worldwide movement of citizens for the ocean.
- To mobilize and unite the world’s population on a project for the sustainable management of the world's oceans. They are a major source of food and medicines and a critical part of the biosphere.
- To celebrate together the beauty, the wealth and the promise of the ocean
1] © From, http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/123-a34/
2] © From, http://www.un.org/en/events/oceansday/
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