Lead pollution is an issue that has a direct impact on the environment. Unfortunately, it’s done some significant damage. Learn about the seven ways that lead is affecting the environment and find out how we can make a difference.
How Does It Affect the Environment?
There are many ways in which lead affects the environment. As time passes, that effect is more noticeable. Here are a few ways that lead is impacting the environment:
1. Fuel Consumption That Becomes Air Pollution
Lead is a critical ingredient in fuel sources like gasoline. As people use that fuel, it turns into air pollution. The lead remains in the air and stays there.
In urban areas, there are more people using fuel. As a result, there are high concentrations of lead in the air.
2. Soil with Lead Dust
When lead is in the form of dust, it can remain that way for an indefinite period of time. Near highways and freeways, that lead dust builds up. It remains in the soil, giving the soil a high concentration of lead. Over time, that concentration continues to rise.
3. Plant Contamination Through Leaf Absorption and Nutrient Absorption
When plant leaves come into contact with lead dust, the leaves absorb the lead. The absorption contributes to higher levels of lead in plant matter.
However, plants can also absorb lead in one other method. As they take up nutrients from the soil, plants absorb lead. In areas with lead-rich soil, the plants tend to have high concentrations of lead.
4. Poor Mining Practices
Poor mining practices wreak havoc on the environment. Often, they cause lead dust to form and disrupt the environment.
5. Crop Enhancers
To increase their yield, some farmers use crop enhancers. Many crop enhancers contain lead, which goes into the soil and crops.
6. Battery Degradation
When you throw out batteries in the trash, you contribute to lead pollution. As those batteries degrade in landfills, they leak lead into the land.
7. The Auto Industry
In early 2000, the automobile industry was declared to be the number one source of lead pollution. To this day, the auto industry still has a major impact on lead in the environment. The lead starter battery and other car components remain significant sources of lead pollution.
Minimizing the Impact
It might be too late to undo all of the lead pollution in the environment. However, it isn’t too late to make a difference. There are several ways in which you can minimize the impact of lead pollution. Here are a few of those ways:
- Limit your use of fossil fuels: Instead of taking the car everywhere, opt to walk or take a bicycle. Public transport is another good alternative. By limiting your own fuel use, you can limit the amount of lead that goes into the environment.
- Buy natural fruits and vegetables: Do some research and find out where your fruits and vegetables come from. Support farmers who refuse to use crop enhancers. In addition to helping the environment, you can also limit your own lead exposure.
- Speak up about mining: If you want to make a difference, then you can speak up about mining policies that cause lead pollution. Look for an organization with which you can connect. Or, call your local state representatives.
- Dispose of your batteries properly: There is a right way to dispose of your batteries. Rather than throwing them in the trash, save them in a sealed bucket. Then, take them to a battery drop-off location. Look online to find the closest drop-off site. You might be surprised how many locations offer the service.
The best way for you to make a difference is to educate yourself. It’s important that you learn about the possible causes of lead pollution. Additionally, you should learn how to keep yourself safe from lead pollution.
Here at ZOTA Pro, education is what we do best. Contact us to find out about our lead certification courses.