Industrial causes of water pollution.
Many industries cause massive water pollution with their activities. These come mainly from:
It is a non-metallic substance that is harmful to marine life.
This pollutant has cancer-causing properties. When inhaled, it can cause illnesses such as asbestosis and some types of cancer.
Lead and Mercury
These are metallic elements and can cause environmental and health problems for humans and animals. It is also poisonous. It is usually hard to clean it up from the environment once it gets into it because it is non-biodegradable.
Nitrates & Phosphates
These are found in fertilizers and often washed from the soils to nearby water bodies. They can cause eutrophication, which can be very problematic for marine environments.
Oils form a thick layer on the water surface because they do not dissolve in water. Oils can stop water plants from receiving enough sunlight for photosynthesis and can be harmful to fish and sea birds. A classic example is the BP oil spill in 2012 which killed thousands of animal species.
Oil Pollution by Oil Industries
Routine shipping, run-offs, and dumping of oils on ocean surfaces happen every day. Oil spills make up about 12% of the oil that enters the ocean. Oil spills cause problems and can be extremely harmful to local marine wildlife such as fish, birds sea otters, and other aquatic life. Because oil does not dissolve, it stays on the water’s surface and suffocates fish. Oils also get caught in the feathers of seabirds, making it difficult for them to fly. Some animals die as a result.
The next page shows some municipal causes of water pollution.