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Water Pollution: It's Time to Use Ecological Detergents

WATER POLLUTION CAUSED BY DETERGENTS
The water pollution caused by detergents is really considerable. Often, perhaps not realizing it, using a little more degreaser, preferring a particularly aggressive detergent, or operating a washing machine at half load, we trigger a reaction that causes considerable stress for our planet.

We write this article precisely to help you understand the impact of detergents on water pollution, as well as to help you pollute less while keeping the environments in which we live and the clothes we wear equally clean.

We will, therefore, talk about water pollution due to the use of detergents, rich in substances that are toxic to humans and the environment, but we will also offer useful advice on how to limit the problem by using ecological detergents.

WATER POLLUTION: DETERGENTS YES, BUT NOT ONLY
Water pollution is a real scourge for the earth and causes serious damage to the marine, river, and lake ecosystem.

Considering that: life comes from water, our body is made up of a large part of water, the basis of our nutrition is given by plants that need continuous irrigation and by the meat or fish that live in water .. we could easily understand why the problem of water pollution caused by detergents requires immediate action by governments, control bodies, and citizens.

Water pollution is not only caused by detergents, but it is also in fact generated by many other factors, such as agricultural and industrial discharges, soil alteration, the practice of throwing solid and liquid waste into water (especially plastic and oil) and by many other factors, however, that have one thing in common: there is always man's hand.

Whether you use the detergent for dishes, floors or clothing, that you discard industrial waste products into the sea, that you use fertilizers and pesticides, or that you deal with the effects of soil pollution and therefore of aquifers, in any case, we are putting the ecosystem, health and survival of mankind at risk.

We must not believe that detergents only disturb the balance of the environment once they are discharged into water from domestic, agricultural, or industrial pipes. Petrolatum, that is, those substances derived from oil processing and present in 99% of the detergents on the market, are in fact dangerous even during the production phase of the detergents themselves.

Let's go in order, and see why detergents contribute to water pollution both when companies take care of their preparation and when individuals use them for their daily activities. To convince you to use environmentally friendly detergents, we will talk first of the production phase and then of the detergent consumption phase.

DETERGENTS THAT POLLUTE THE WATER BEFORE AND DURING PRODUCTION
Immediately we have to deal with the extraction of oil from the subsoil. This operation has a significant impact on the environment, creating devastating effects on the ecosystem and human health.

Collaterally, this activity can cause further damage to waters when ships carrying oil suffer accidents at sea by pouring the contents of their tanks into the oceans. Unfortunately, such incidents occur quite frequently.

Assuming that everything goes well, however, industrial waste associated with the production of detergents is another problem that should not be underestimated.

The production of these detergents uses highly toxic materials and chemicals for the environment, and the residues of these materials can hardly be disposed of without any damage to the ecosystem: all industrial discharges end up underground or on land, in rivers or in seas, more or less legally.

DETERGENTS THAT POLLUTE THE WATER FROM OUR HOMES
The release phase, the one in which the detergent is used and then released back into the environment, is equally harmful.

This practice once again translates into water pollution: the aquifers are contaminated with substances harmful to human health and the environment as soon as these wastes begin to flow from the discharges of our homes, but also due to the slow decomposition of plastic containers, or other components that came into contact with them.

This determines the dangerous eutrophication of drinking and non-drinking water. In fact, thousands of dangerous chemicals are found in drinking water, and most of these, including the famous microplastics, come right from our homes.

WHY DO DETERGENTS POLLUTE?
First of all, because they contain chemicals, surfactants above all, deriving from oil processing. These, as we well know, have a significant impact on the environment both during the extraction phase and when they are dispersed in the waters.

Those in question are non-biodegradable substances which, like the most common fertilizers, are to be recognized as responsible for the eutrophication process of water. This means that the sulfur particles contained in these detergents can feed aquatic plants out of all proportion.

Is this an asset? Obviously not.

The fact that some plant species proliferate beyond measure due to the chemicals present in detergents means that the animals that feed on them do not have the material time to "keep under control" this hyperproduction. This results in a surge in the lake, river, or marine bacterial activity, which is responsible for reducing the amount of oxygen present in the water.

In a nutshell, hyperpigmented microalgae end up making themselves sooner or later responsible for the asphyxiation death of their predators. This event, of course, also affects all other ecosystems, in the long run, causing irreparable damage to the planet.

Sunil Trivedi (Owner of AquaDrinkAquaDrink) says- we must, therefore, imagine water pollution as an environmental catastrophe that has been going on for several decades, which we can at least "try" to remedy by starting to buy ecological detergents.

WHAT ARE THE HARMFUL SUBSTANCES PRESENT IN "NON-ECOLOGICAL" DETERGENTS?
Commercial detergents are a chemical cocktail that is harmful not only in terms of water pollution, but more generally for people, animals, and the environment. Below is a shortlist of the most common harmful chemicals in the composition of detergents:

Chemical surfactants SLS / SLES
Phosphates
Formaldehyde
Bleach
Ammonium sulfate
Dioxane
Optical brighteners / UV brighteners
Quaternary ammonium (Quats)
Nonylphenol ethoxylate (Nonoxynol, NPEs)
Synthetic perfumes and fragrances
Dyes
Benzyl acetate
P-dichlorobenzene / Benzene

HOW TO REDUCE WATER POLLUTION CAUSED BY DETERGENTS
In light of what we have written, it is clear that we should act immediately by purchasing ecological detergents to protect our health and that of the environment.

Increasing the number of deaths and malformed, or condemning humanity to a slow and painful departure, is not a desirable solution. We should therefore resort, and also very quickly, to the purchase of alternative products aimed at cleaning houses, work environments, as well as our clothes.

To be clearer, we can say that any detergent composed even of a minimal part of the surfactants SLES and SLS certainly cannot be classified as ecological.

Both of these substances fall into the group of surfactants derived from petroleum and are those which produce foam once they come into contact with water. These are mainly present in detergents and fabric softeners, and also contain sodium or sulfur particles which, as we have seen, are responsible for the hyperalimentation of microalgae.

BUY ECOLOGICAL DETERGENTS
Responsible shopping! There are 100% natural detergents on the market and as such certified by competent control bodies. These are composed of natural plant-based reagents.

These ecological detergents, perhaps still little known and advertised, guarantee an efficiency equal to that of historical and noble detergents, they are just as fragrant and sometimes even cost less. The suggestion is, therefore, to carefully read the labels of the products we buy weekly at the supermarket, thus starting to make more responsible purchases.

USE GRANDMA'S REMEDIES
Another good suggestion is to resort to the so-called "grandmother's remedies". Do you know that, for example, white vinegar and baking soda can very well replace common fabric softeners without polluting and removing stains, halos, and unpleasant smells? However, these products are also cheaper than commercial detergents.

PREFER BIODEGRADABLE CONTAINERS
As we have said, detergents can also contribute to water pollution through crossways: just think that they are usually contained in plastic bottles. This material, so comfortable and practically impossible to eliminate from our lives, is also a derivative of oil. The suggestion, in this case, is to prefer powder detergents in cardboard boxes, in reusable tin containers, or deriving from the recycling of plastic.

PURCHASE DRAFT DETERGENTS
Many specialty shops offer the possibility to buy detergents and cleaners on tap, and they are usually also environmentally friendly detergents. Just do not throw away the bottles of your old detergents, reusing these containers as much as possible. Reducing plastic consumption and recycling is always a good idea.

NOT ONLY WATER POLLUTION BUT THE HEALTH OF THE PLANET IS ALSO AT RISK
At present, our planet cannot be defined in excellent shape. Particularly worrying is, for example, the state of health of the oceans which, not only are invaded by improper discharges of dangerous chemicals, but are equally contaminated by plastics and microplastics.

As we have read in these few lines, the problem is related to the massive use of plastic and detergents.

The constant use of plastic materials often results in the presence of bottles and falcons in water. These objects end up being ingested by animals killing them and altering the natural balance of their habitat. When they survive, they end up digesting plastic components then absorbed by the man who feeds on these animals.

It may also happen that some species get stuck in waste recklessly thrown into the sea, that they skewer with sharp parts, or that plastic rings like those underneath the caps used for bottles and flasks get stuck in their beaks. The animals are obviously impossible to remove.

In each of the aforementioned cases, the animals are forced to a slow and painful death, and it is something that happens daily. Do we really want to continue ignoring all this out of laziness or out of carelessness?
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Author Bio

Name- Sunil Trivedi
Bio- Sunil Trivedi is the Managing Director of Aqua DrinkAqua Drink. With 15 years of experience in the water purification industry, Sunil and his team have been ensuring that his clients consume 100% potable water to lead a healthy life and keeping water-borne diseases miles away.


Reviewed and published on EnvironmentGo!
By: Favor Ifeoma Chidiebere.

Favor is an undergraduate Environmental Management student at the Federal University of Technology Owerri in Nigeria. She is also currently working remotely as the Chief Operating Officer of Greenera Technologies; a renewable energy enterprise in Nigeria.




Air Pollution could Trigger/ Escalate COVID19 Fatality.

Has it ever crossed your mind that air pollution could increase COVID19 fatality?
Or that improved indoor air quality could in a way keep you safe?

According to a group of German researchers at Martin Luther University in Halle-Wittenberg, the presence of contaminants especially Nitrogen dioxide(NO2) in the atmosphere could speed up COVID19 fatality in an area.

Relationship between air pollution and Coronavirus

According to these German researchers, the spatial analysis was conducted on a regional scale and combined with the number of death cases taken from 66 administrative regions in Italy, Spain, France and Germany.

The results showed that 78% of fatality cases were in five regions located in north Italy and central Spain. Additionally, the same five regions showed the highest NO2 concentrations combined with downwards airflow which prevents an efficient dispersion of air pollution.

These results indicate that the long-term exposure to this pollutant may be one of the most important contributors to fatality caused by the COVID-19 virus in these regions and maybe across the whole world.

COVID-19 is an acute respiratory disease that may lead to pneumonia with symptoms such as fever, cough and dyspnea.  As of April 28, 2020, there have been 2 954 222 confirmed cases and  202 597 deaths reported globally.

 Early studies concluded that the risk factors associated with the development of the disease are older age, history of smoking, hypertension and heart disease. Recent studies also suggest that the cause of death of many COVID-19 patients was related to cytokine storm syndrome.

Cytokine atom syndrome, is also known as hypercytokinemia. It is an uncontrolled release of proinflammatory cytokines and it is a severe reaction of the immune system.

This is simply a research work. Further studies on other locations will either affirm or assert this work. The result might change if the analysis is carried out in areas with low concentration of  air contaminants.

Some other factors could have also contributed to the result of this study. For instance, heavy pollution and quick spread of epidemics are problems associated with high population density.

This means that the high mortality rate recorded in those five regions could have also been due to high population density. Or quite simply because this is where epidemic foci most easily developed because the population densities were high there.

However, it is a known fact that air pollution creates chronic inflammatory reactions in the respiratory and pulmonary systems.

How to Improve Indoor Air Quality in your Home

Having seen possible relationship between the relationship between COCID19 mortality rate and air pollution, one should consider improved air quality as an advantage. Below are tips on how one can improve indoor air quality in the home.
  • Indoor Hygiene: Good hygiene practices such as regular and thorough cleaning of the rooms, windows, air ducts, curtains, cushions and beddings; vacuuming the carpets and rugs using a vacuum cleaner with HEPA filter will improve indoor air quality. For those who own pets and wouldn't want to let go of them, ensure you clean them up always. Pet dander (ie; dead skin cells shed by an animal) contributes to indoor air pollution. Properly brush your pet’s coat regularly before you vacuum carpets and other furnishings.
  • Ventilation: For people living in cities characterized by heavy traffic and industrial activities, one might think it is better to keep the windows and doors closed at all times. Well, it might surprise you to know that this is not always the case. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, indoor air is often more polluted than outdoor air. Hence regular exchange of air is necessary. Open windows and doors (preferably early in the morning and late in the evening) every day. This makes room for the outflow of polluted air and inflow of cleaner fresh air.
  • Choose Eco-friendly Materials: Your choice of materials ranging from cleaning agents to furniture can influence the quality of air in your home. They may contain asbestos and volatile organic compounds. In replacement of these, natural cleaning agents such as lemon and vinegar that emit zero pollutants can be used. Better choices should be made in the future purchase of furniture.
  • Good Housekeeping Practices: Appliances such as heaters, ovens, boilers, generators should be regularly serviced. Cooking appliances such as gas cookers and stoves should be cleaned. Regular maintenance of these will ensure proper functioning of the devices and reduce their contribution to indoor air pollution.
  • Indoor Humidity Monitoring: A damp dwelling is an ideal environment for the growth of molds and accumulation of other contaminants that can trigger respiratory problems. Indoor humidity should be measured as often as possible. If the humidity in your home is less than 40% or greater than 60%, you should consider frequent ventilating. Dehumidifiers can also be used in the home.
  • Use Cooking Vents: Gas cookers and kerosene stoves release contaminants such as Carbon dioxide CO2 and Nitrogen dioxide NO2 in lower levels as well as other particles that can be readily absorbed into the bloodstream. Open kitchen windows to filter out air.
  • Indoor Plants: Plants are natural air filters. They also release oxygen into the atmosphere. Aside from these features, they provide aesthetic beauty to our homes. Plants like Ferms, Lilies, Bamboo palm, English Ivy, Gerbera Daisy, Mass cane or corn plant, Snake plants, Golden pothos, English ivy, Chinese evergreen and rubber plants can be planted to Improve air quality. However, indoor houseplants should not be over-watered because overly damp soil may promote the growth of microorganisms, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency.

  • Use Air Purifiers: Use air purifiers in parts of the house you frequent. Such as sitting rooms, bedrooms, loo and kitchen. Air purifiers remove stale and contaminated air from the environment thus, improving indoor air quality.
  • Regularly Clean Air Filters: Regularly clean air filters in air conditioners according to the manufacturer's instructions. check the filters in your other household appliances. Your vacuum cleaner, clothes dryer and kitchen vents should all be inspected and maintained periodically. It’s recommended to clean or replace these common household filters every few months.

Author
Sunil Trivedi is the Managing Director of Aqua Drink. With 15 years of experience in the water purification industry, Sunil and his team have been ensuring that his clients consume 100% potable water to lead a healthy life and keeping water-borne diseases miles away.

Reviewed, edited and published on EnvironmentGo!
By: Favor Ifeoma Chidiebere.

Favor is an undergraduate Environmental Management student at the Federal University of Technology Owerri in Nigeria. She is also currently working remotely as the Chief Operating Officer of Greenera Technologies; a renewable energy enterprise in Nigeria.


12 Importance of Natural Resources

There are numerous importance of natural resources and we've carefully listed a number of them here with clear explanation.

It has earlier been stated that natural resources are necessary for the survival and sustenance of life on earth. Imagine the earth bare. Or rather coming into our planet and finding nothing. No air, water, soil, rocks, plants, animals, sun, wind, oceans, minerals, trees, forests, etc.

What could man have done? Where could man have started creating these things from? This is how important these resources are. They form the basis for further development of other resources and services.

importance of natural resources


In reality, there is no country without natural resources. Resources can be owned individually by countries or shared among countries.

Natural resources such as coal, crude oil, rubber, certain floral and fauna species, minerals are indigenous to countries where they are found. They cannot be shared among neighboring countries.

However, resources such as air are shared because the activities in a country can have effect on the air quality of a neighboring country.

In as much as natural resources are important and form the basis for further development, they have to be managed for maximum benefits. Although difficult to believe, it is a fact that the wealth and development of an area does not lie in the abundance of her resources. Rather, the ability of her citizens to harness and properly manage her resources.

This is clear in developing and developed countries. Most developing countries such as Nigeria and Congo are very rich in natural resources. Yet, on the other hand, countries such as Singapore are said to be impoverished in natural resources yet, are developed.

Furthermore, countries such as Saudi Arabia have successfully developed themselves through their natural resources.

To understand the subject matter better, you should care to learn about the classification of natural resources under which every natural resource both known and unknown are classified.

Let us look at some of the numerous awesome benefits of natural resources.

Importance of Natural Resources

  • Natural Capital
  • Energy Supply
  • Food
  • Raw Materials for Industries
  • Medical Value
  • Basis for Further Scientific Studies
  • Shelter
  • Employment Opportunities
  • National Development
  • Ecosystem Services
Natural Capital:  The term 'natural capital' was first used in 1973 by E.F. Schumacher in his book Small Is Beautiful and was developed further by Herman DalyRobert Costanza, and other founders of the science of Ecological Economics.

According to the World Forum on Natural Capital, natural capital is the world's stock of natural resources. They are assets such as soils, waters, air and all living organisms. They are assets that provide us with free materials and essential services.

Energy Supply: Natural resources such as solar radiation, wind, geothermal heat, water, tides, fossil fuels and biomass are used in generating energy.

Food: Humans depend solely on natural resources for food. These food sources are plants, aquatic organisms and other animals. All classes of food nutrients needed by man are provided by nature.

Raw Materials for Industries: The petroleum industry derives her raw material (crude oil) from reservoirs of long deposited fossils. It is not the only industry that relies on natural resources for the supply of raw materials.

The textile industry, construction industry, power sector and food industries utilize natural resources such as hide and skin; natural fibres; minerals; solar radiation; plants and animals for production..

Medical Value: Herbs are used in their raw or modified forms in the medical field to cure ailments and diseases. 80 percent of the world population depends on plants for medicine.

Products isolated from fungi, bacteria, plants and viruses are used as vaccines against certain diseases. Titanium, an element found in ores in the earth's crust is used in prosthetics.  

Basis for Further Scientific Studies: The existence of natural resources forms the basis for further scientific studies. 

Shelter: Timber from trees, cement from limestone, sand and gravel, mud bamboo sticks, metals from ores are all materials used for shelter. These are derived from the earths stock of resources. 

Employment Opportunities: Stages involved in the development of natural resources from raw form to finished products provide employment opportunities. These stages require manual imput and brainstorming. 

For instance, crude oil exploration and production involves the following processes; Drilling, Exploration, Production, Transportation, Refining and Distribution. 

Each of these processes require professionals and a wide range of skill set for smooth running of the industry.

National Development:  For countries that properly manage their natural resources, these resources have contributed greatly to their Gross Domestic Product. Sadly, it is ironic that countries with the most abundant resources are underdeveloped.  

This can be attributed to the high levels of corruption, extortion, and poor governance that accompany resource wealth. 

In order to abate corruption and improve resources among resource-rich countries, Lawson-Remer argues that there is need to improve cooperation among three groups: "capital-exporting countries, international financial institutions, and private sector companies.

Ecosystem Services: Ecosystem services are benefits derived from nature and  the environment. 

These services include supporting services (e.g water cycle, nutrient cycle, soil formation and photosynthesis); regulatory services (e.g pollination, climate regulation and water purification); cultural services (e.g aesthetics) and provision services (e.g food, water and shelter). Natural resources contribute to these services. Oceans as a natural resource are part of the hydrology cycle which is an ecosystem supporting services.

CLASSIFICATION OF NATURAL RESOURCES.

In this article, I have explained natural resources, classification of natural resources and types of natural resources in understandable details with plain English.

The earth is the only planet that has successfully sustained life for many centuries. This might be as a result of the various materials and services the earth has that has made survival possible in it. These materials are able to support the existence of various life forms. These materials are referred to as natural resources.

Classification of Natural Resources
Forest - Natural Resource

What are Natural Resources ?

Natural resources can, therefore, be said to be those materials; known or unknown to man, which have been provided by nature or came into existence through natural processes and are useful for sustenance on earth. In this definition, we are considering.natural resources from the human perspective.

Natural resources are widely distributed across nations. Some have them in abundance while others have a few of them. A good understanding of natural resources makes for proper management of these resources wherever they are found. They are resources because they can be harnessed and used directly, converted into other usable forms or monetarized.

Classification of Natural Resources

Natural resources are classified basically under only three categories. Namely:

  1. Classification based on origin
  2. Classification based on availability.
  3. Classification based on level of development

Classification of Natural Resources Based On Origin.

Here, we have the biotic and abiotic resources.
  • Biotic Resources: The word 'bio' means life. Biotic resources are those natural resources that have life in them snd originate from living organisms. Examples include all species of plants and animals, microorganisms, fossil fuels, etc.
  • Abiotic Resources: These are resources that have no life in them or originate from non-living things. Examples include water, air, soil, rocks, minerals, etc.

Classification of Natural Resources Based On Availability

Here, we have renewable and non-renewable resources.
  • Renewable Resources: These are natural resources that can be replenished. The rate at which they can be replenished exceeds the rate at which they are being used up. Thus, they are always available. Examples include solar energy, water, wind, etc
  • Non-renewable Resources: Resources in this category are limited and can be exhausted. Their formation takes millions of years. Examples include fossil fuels, coal, rare species of organisms.

Classification of Natural Resources Based On Development

Here, we have the potential, reserved, stock and actual resources.
  • Potential Resources: These are resources that are known to exist, have not been quantified and can be used for future use. For instance, wind energy exists in certain areas but have not been used to generate energy.
    Example: Wind, nuclear minerals.
  • Reserved Resources: They are natural resources that have been identified and quantified but have not been harnessed because they are being reserved for future use.
    Example: Rivers.
  • Stock Resources: These are resources that have been discovered, quantified but have not been harnessed due to insufficient technologies.
    Example: Hydrogen.
  • Actual Resources: These are resources that have been discovered, quantified, harnessed and are being used.
    Examples: Crude oil, forest.
This is a concise basic classification of natural resources. All natural resources both known and unknown must fall into one of these classes and subsequently under any of the subclasses.

Natural resources are very important to man and his survival as they serve as a safety net for people of different localities and are a great source of income to nations all over the world. They provide different raw materials for man.

Types of Natural Resources

There is a huge difference between classification of natural resources and types of natural resources and you have to understand this to be able to differentiate between both.

Crude oil, trees, coal, natural gas, forests, rocks, oceans, air, sunlight, soil, etc are typical examples of types of natural resources. Any organic or inorganic material provided by nature which is used by humans is regarded as a natural resource.

Every natural resource type is found under the three main classifications of natural resources,

For example, under classification of natural resources based on development, crude oil is a type of actual resource. This way, every other natural resource you hear of, must fall under one of the classifications. This is the major difference between types of natural resources and classifications of natural resources.