Gases in freshwater
When gases occur in freshwater
|Introduction||Effluents are often complex mixtures of poisons. If two or more poisons are present together in an effluent they may exert a combined effect on an organism wich is additive. Some gases that can harm aquatic freshwater life are gases such as chlorine, ammonia and methane. Chlorine is very additive in combination with copper. It does not normally occur in the environment except as a yellow gas on rare occasions. It's a manufactured substance and the byproducts of chlorine (organochlorines and dioxins) are persistent in the environment. One of the largest uses of chlorine is in the paper industry. Chlorine is first used to break down the lignan that holds the wood fibers together. Then chlorine is used to bleach the paper to make it white. |
The effluent or wastewater containing dioxins and other organochlorines are then dumped into streams and waterways. These ingredients are highly toxic and carcinogenic. Once in the waste stream, they come into contact with other organic materials and surfactants and combine to form a host of extremely toxic organic chemicals.
|The water becomes polluted; the fish become contaminated; animals eat the fish and people eat the contaminated animals and fish. |
It is so widespread that it would be difficult to find any human being who does not have detectable levels of dioxin in his/her blood.
Some environmentalists call for a ban on the use of chlorine as bleach in the pulp and the paper industry around the Great Lakes.