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

  • Q:

    What are the pros and cons of water pollution?

    A:

    Water pollution is the dumping of foreign materials in water. Water pollution has the following advantages: helps in disposing harmful materials off the land surface and is inexpensive. Disadvantages of water pollution include: waterborne diseases, death of aquatic life and hindrance to boating activities.

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  • Q:

    Why is pollution bad?

    A:

    Pollution can profoundly affect air, water and soil, causing breaches in the ozone layer, introducing toxins to rivers, soils and the surrounding air and even causing harm in the form of excess noise. Environmental pollution exists in five fundamental forms: air, soil, water, noise and light pollution. Of the types of pollution, air is the most harmful variety.

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    How does acid rain affect animals?

    A:

    Acid rain affects animals by changing the pH of their environments. The increased acidity causes anatomical changes, reduces the population of some organisms and may affect reproduction in some species.

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  • Q:

    How does water pollution occur?

    A:

    Water pollution can occur via several mechanisms, but the most common causes are dumping industrial waste and sewage into bodies of water, along with the use of toxic substances in agriculture that runs off into rivers. There are also less common causes of water pollution like accidental oil spills.

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