Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Ten Years of the Chornobyl Era Questions

1) What is radiation and how can it affect the human body?

2) How was the Chornobyl disaster caused?

3) How many times more radiation was let out during the disaster than in the Hiroshima bombing? How much radiation was let out?

4) How many square kilometers where contaminated? What countries where affected?

5) What is being done to stop the radiation from spreading?

Monday, August 30, 2010

5 Pannel Questions

1) How many of you think that the canal is safe?

2) What have agencies done to clean up the mess?

3) Is there any proof that there is still enough chemicals to cause birth defects or kill someone.

4) How many chemicals are left and how much of it.

5) Would you live there today?

Catalyst 8-30-10 Answers

1.)What caused the toxic waste to begin being pushed to the surface?
Answer: The blizzard and heavy rain of 1977 filled the "bathtub" where the chemicals where. When the "bathtub" filled, a water chemical sludge oozed out and contaminated storm drains, wells, and even streams around the love canal area.

2.) What are some of the health hazards associated with the chemicals dumped there?
Answer: The problem with the Love Canal disaster is that nobody really knew what was dumped into the canal. Also, because the EPA had just started, there was very little knowledge on what these chemicals could do. All they really knew was that there was dioxin in the canal which could cause birth defects.

3.) Besides humans how are other parts of the ecosystem affected by this?
Answer: The parts of the ecosystem that where affected by this where, the underground animals like ground hogs or even the worms; the fish that swam in the contaminated streams; any animal that drank the contaminated water; and lastly, any animals that ate the smaller animals, like bears.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Hazards of Oil Dispersants

1. While researching the effects of chemical dispersants I found some pretty startling things. I found that British Petroleum is using a chemical called Corexit which alone is extremely toxic, but when combined with oil is even more toxic. When oil is left alone it does not sink as fast so it is much less harmful. If oil does not sink it cannot harm the coral, grasses, or smaller animals; but with dispersant it harms anything below the oil, above the oil, or around the oil. If smaller animals ingest the polluted grass they will become contaminated, which will contaminate everything above the small fish in the food chain.

2. Wether or not fixing one problem creates another depends on what you are dealing with. For example, if you spill some water and you wipe it up, you aren't creating a new issue. But, in British Petroleum's case yes. The oil spill by itself was extremely devastating but by adding the toxic dispersant, they are creating a combination that is even more lethal than the oil itself. When the oil is left alone, it can bio degrade very easily, but with the dispersant it remains in the water for may more years. In conclusion, when British Petroleum added the dispersant, they created a worse problem than they had before.

3. In my opinion, the chemical dispersant is way more toxic than the oil. The dispersant also allows the oil/chemical mixture to go places that would have never been harmed by the spill without the introduction of the chemical dispersant. The chemical dispersant also allows the oil to get into fishes gills and other parts of their bodies which could contaminate millions of fish that would have been unaffected by the spill. In other words, the introduction of the chemical dispersant has caused much greater disaster than if the oil was just left alone.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Chemical Dispersant Questions

1. Is chemical dispersant really toxic?

2. Have more animals died since the introduction of the dispersant?

3. What chemicals are in the dispersant and how toxic are they?