By Anne E Maczulak
That includes full-color images and line illustrations, this booklet explores equipment in toxins cleanup. It takes readers throughout the step by step means of discovering, trying out, and cleansing up harmful waste websites, starting with illness review and finishing with a wiped clean and restored physique of land or water.
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Cleanup teams have tried rerouting streams, building dikes, and putting rigid steel sheets around the contamination, but environmentalists fear the overall effect can be worse than the original pollution. A cleanup project in 2005 provided an example of the problems associated with cleaning up submerged pollution. In that year the EPA discovered that dredging operations along Oregon’s Willamette River had released DDT, rocket propellants, acids, and ammonia, plus the metals mercury, lead, zinc, and arsenic.
Long-term, or chronic, exposure to these compounds causes liver and kidney damage and increases the risk of cancer. The Clean Air Act covers some aspects of VOCs such as requiring gas stations to install vapor recovery systems on gas dispensers to capture volatile compounds. Newer model cars have similar systems, but these are merely small steps toward solving the VOC problem. The EPA has yet to set regulations for the allowable amounts of VOCs that can be made by motor vehicles. In the meantime VOCs continue to drift upward into the Earth’s atmosphere.
These plants are called hyperaccumulator plants. Hyperaccumulators that take up metals usually live in areas Excavation of Contaminated Sites 41 with naturally high soil metal concentrations. Their roots have evolved the ability to bind large amounts of metal ions, perhaps as a guard against metal toxicity—some plants even absorb radioactive uranium. Unfortunately, hyperaccumulator plants have two disadvantages that must be overcome for them to be useful in contaminant cleanup. First, hyperaccumulator species are rare and they tend to grow in very remote places.