Q:

How does water pollution affect animals?

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Quick Answer

Water pollution causes immense damage to marine life and the death of numerous land animals. It kills more than a million mammals and seabirds every year and has caused around 400 dead zones worldwide.

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Human activities are the main culprits of water pollution. Approximately 10 percent of the 100 million tons of plastic manufactured each year becomes ocean litter. Common sources of ocean litter include trash from cities, waste from landfills and containers accidentally thrown off into the sea during typhoons. All of these gather in large chunks, go with currents and end up washing ashore. Many marine mammals, fish and birds ingest the litter and suffer fatal consequences. The Trash Vortex of the North Pacific ocean has countless pieces of decaying plastic that create an enormous revolving garbage patch comparable to the size of Texas.

Farms that use excessive pesticides and fertilizers produce chemical runoff that leaches into groundwater, waterways and streams and kills thousands of fish and insects. The chemicals also change nutrient systems and cause the uncontrolled growth of algae that generate toxins and use up oxygen in the water, thus killing marine life.

Cruise ships throw 250,000 gallons of wastewater and sewage on a daily basis, resulting in massive destruction of aquatic life. The waste typically contains harmful bacteria, pathogens, oils and other dangerous substances that endanger most marine animals.

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Related Questions

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    How does water pollution affect people?

    A:

    The most common effect of water pollution on human beings is disease. Drinking water contaminated by disease-carrying micro-organisms, also known as pathogens, cause various waterborne diseases, such as typhoid, dysentery, hepatitis and cholera.

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  • Q:

    What is water pollution?

    A:

    Water pollution occurs when water is contaminated with chemicals and foreign substances that are harmful to humans, plants and animals. Water pollutants include chemical contamination from waste sites, chemical wastes from industrial discharges, heavy metals such as mercury and lead, sewage waste, food processing waste, fertilizers and pesticides.

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    How does air pollution affect animals?

    A:

    Air pollution harms animals as a result of direct exposure to contaminants and destruction of their habitats, food and water sources. For instance, acid rain, which forms when pollutants in the atmosphere combine with precipitation, causes aluminum to leach out of the soil, poisoning and often killing fish.

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    How does air pollution affect the environment?

    A:

    Air pollution affects the environment by causing acid rain, reducing visibility, damaging plants and animals, and contributing to climate change. It has a negative effect on biodiversity and the survival of species. Air pollution is caused by both particulate and gaseous pollutants.

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