Pushing Pollution Out

Pollution has and still is a major problem on planet earth. There are many forms of pollution such as; air pollution, noise pollution, water pollution, chemical pollution, light pollution, ozone pollution, etcetera. Worldwide motor vehicles emission, chemical plants, coal-fired power plants, oil refineries, nuclear waste disposal activity, incinerators, large animal farms, and other big factories are the major causes of pollution. Pollution can also be the consequence of a natural disaster like hurricanes.

Pollution can be harmful to animals and their ecosystems, the earth itself and humans by increasing the risk of getting health problems. There are many complications that pollution can cause including; cancer, lupus, immune diseases, allergies, and asthma. Ozone pollution can cause sore throats, inflammation, chest pain and congestion. Oil spills can cause skin irritations and rashes. Noise pollution induces hearing loss, high blood pressure, stress and sleep disturbance.

Pollution began to draw major public attention in the Untied States between the mid-1950s and early 1970s when Congress passes the Noise Control Act, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and the National Environmental Policy Act. These acts helped people realize the dangers of pollution. From 1996 to 2001 a total of 12522 pollution incidents were reported to the EHS (Environmental Health and Safety).

Scientists struggle to find cheaper and easier ways to minimize pollution in soil and groundwater. In the Untied States alone, the cost of decontaminating tens of thousands of toxic sites on factory grounds, farms and military installations is expected to eventually exceed $700 billion. The main approach to decontaminating the earth is digging out offending chemicals and bringing them to special landfills. This process is costly and disruptive, often requiring fleets of trucks, forests of mechanical wells and other equipment.

After a decade of greenhouse tests and performing variety of techniques tying the absorptive power of plant roots, the Environmental Protection Agency discovered that plants have an important role in decreasing pollution. There are sunflowers that capture uranium, ferns that thrive on arsenic, alpine herbs that hoard zinc, mustards that lap up lead, clovers that eat oil and poplar trees that destroy dry-cleaning solvents. Plants can help pollution problems that are low, dispersed, but harmful levels of contamination.

Although using plants is a great way to decrease pollution many scientists stress that there are still many questions to resolve before the project gets going. Plants must be chosen not only for their ability to go after the chemicals involved, but also for their tolerance of weather and other conditions at a site. Some plants that meet these requirements may actually make matters worse. Fore example, the pollution that plants absorb might end up evaporating through pores in the leaves. For now, it appears that very little gets into the air, and what does is usually quickly degraded by sunlight, a variety of scientists say. The biggest limitation of plants is that they take time to grow and time to work. More plant research is being done on how plants eliminate pollution. This may just be the future for pollution control and elimination.