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Environmental Problems

In today’s environment Palm Beach County alone faces many environmental problems, which can turn disastrous if not taken care of. Included in these problems are air pollution, water contamination, and urban explosion. Air pollution is a major factor threatening our health and our environment. Due to the pollutants that circulate in the air, many people can come into contact with cancer causing gases. Atmospheric contaminants are derived from human practices, such as gas from automobiles, factories, and even chimneys.

Pollutants do not only cause damage to our health, but they cause damage to the health of plants and animals as well. Sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide cause damage to leaves of crop plants and trees when they enter leaf pores. Exposure of leaves to air pollutants can also break down the waxy coating that helps prevent excessive water loss and damage from diseases, pests, drought, and frost. Water pollution is another problem our county faces. There are many causes for water pollution but two general categories exist: direct and indirect contaminant sources.

Direct sources include effluent outfalls from factories, waste treatment plants etc. , which emit fluids of varying quality directly into urban water supplies. Although these practices are regulated, this doesn’t mean that pollutants can’t be found in these waters. Indirect sources include contaminants that enter the water supply from soils/groundwater systems and from the atmosphere via rainwater. Soils and groundwater contain the residue of human agricultural practices (fertilizers, pesticides, etc. ) and improperly disposed of industrial wastes. The effects of water pollution are varied and can be severe.

They include poisonous drinking water, poisonous food animals, unbalanced river and lake ecosystems that can no longer support full biological diversity, deforestation from acid rain, and many other effects. These effects are harmful to everyone either directly or indirectly. It seems as if everywhere you look you either see construction, or a sign confirming construction will soon be present in that particular area. Urban explosion has played a big role in Palm Beach County’s environmental problems. Construction of so many new restaurants and stores has lured many new residents to Palm Beach County.

This urban sprout has slowly deteriorated the natural habitat in many areas where entire forests have been cut down in order to make room for homes and new resident areas. The fast population growth has put additional pressure on water quality as well as air quality. In summary, it seems as if our environmental problems are all around us and usually oblivious to most people. The major ones that I’ve noticed in Palm Beach County are: air pollution, water contamination, and urban explosion. If these problems continue growing in the form that they are, there will be serious consequences for us all.

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