Environmental pollution and its impact on loss of quality of life
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JECA) defines environmental pollution as “any activity by companies or individuals that compromises the health of other people and/or the environment in a local area, when the causal relationship is clearly established”. Is”.
Zika indicates that there are six categories of environmental pollution: atmospheric, water, soil, noise, vibration, soil subsidence and noxious odors.
Environmental pollution is mainly caused by smoke, dust, exhaust gases, toxic substances—such as sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide—; These in turn cause asthma and bronchitis.
Water pollution is caused by contaminated sewage, residual liquids such as oil, sludge, domestic sewage, sewage discharge, general waste and agricultural chemicals. In turn, these cause noxious odors and toxicity among people who come in contact with them.
Soil contamination can occur by arsenic, heavy metals, especially agricultural chemicals.
Noise pollution is generated by factories, construction work, road traffic, trains and planes, night business operations, advertising, among other things. In the course of their manifestation they cause those who are exposed to headache, insomnia, depression, hearing loss and developmental impairment.
With regard to vibration pollution, it can be caused by factories, construction sites, road traffic, trains, and aircraft, which can cause dizziness, general discomfort in those who experience it, and can also cause structural damage to homes.
Contamination is caused by soil subsidence due to increased extraction of groundwater, gravel, coal mining, among other reasons. It causes structural damage to buildings.
Finally, pollution by toxic odors is produced by exhaust gases, river pollution, sanitation facilities, accumulated wastewater, animal farms, among other causes, and produces headaches and general malaise in those who experience it.
Environmental contamination seriously affects those it affects, as residents of an area can become contaminated by the water they drink or the air they breathe without knowing what the pathogen is.
Such is the case that caused Minamata disease, methylmercury poisoning, which accumulated toxic levels of organic mercury as a result of eating fish and shellfish that grew in an area contaminated with industrial wastewater.
Typical symptoms that affected people, humans or animals (cats) included were disorders of the central nervous system and sensory disturbances in the extremities.
Minamata disease originated around 1955 on the coast of Minamata Bay in Kumamoto Prefecture. Its traditional inhabitants were fishermen in the waters of Minamata Bay, leading to poisoning from the consumption of the fish.
Although symptoms of mercury poisoning had appeared at the site, the company continued to contaminate the bay, so official recognition of the disease was given 12 years after the first victims were identified and five years after the group’s last report. on one’s own.
Given the magnitude of the tragedy and its dire consequences, the Minamata disease has been regarded as the first major incident of environmental contamination in the history of Japan, and it set a standard for the victims’ struggle to identify the problem.
Minamata Convention on Mercury
One of the global consequences of the local Minamata case was the signing of the Minamata Convention on Mercury, as a multilateral environmental agreement that addresses specific human activities that contribute to widespread mercury pollution.
Implementation of this agreement is critical in helping to reduce global mercury pollution in the coming decades.
What is the need of Minamata Convention?
The Minamata Convention requires nations to commit to reducing and where possible eliminating the use and release of mercury from artisanal and small-scale gold mining.
In addition, they commit to controlling mercury air emissions from coal-fired power plants, industrial coal-fired boilers, certain non-ferrous metal production operations, waste incineration, and cement production; Taking steps to eliminate or reduce the use of mercury in certain products such as batteries, switches, lights, cosmetics, pesticides, and measuring instruments, and initiatives to reduce the use of mercury in dental amalgam.
Phase out or reduce the use of mercury in manufacturing processes such as chlor-alkali production, vinyl chloride monomer production, and acetaldehyde production.
Additionally, the agreement addresses the supply and trade of mercury; Safe storage and disposal, and strategies for addressing contaminated sites.
The agreement includes provisions for technical assistance, information sharing, public awareness and research and monitoring. It also requires parties to report on measures taken to implement certain provisions. The Agreement will be periodically evaluated to measure its effectiveness in meeting its objective of protecting human health and the environment from mercury contamination.
Minamata’s case has contributed to the global development of local environmental protection in countries that suffer from pollution due to lack of standards and/or regulatory actions that global industrial conglomerates seek to drive large-scale industrial development in developing countries. Processes. , and whose local standards are only for the treatment and disposal of wastewater of domestic origin, or industrial and commercial on a small scale.
Environmental pollution prevention measures
The Japanese government is a model of prevention and one of its best applications is the education it provides to its citizens so that, from all roles, they follow and understand environmental regulations that guarantee the safety and protection of the environment.
Prevention of industrial pollution is possible with a plan. This allows for effective waste management, which will lead to many different benefits. For example, it protects the safety and health of your employees and area residents, helps reduce industrial, commercial or domestic waste disposal costs, removes logistical bottlenecks, maintains regulatory compliance and is environmentally friendly. Optimizes stability.
In Panama, as in many other developing countries, activities that pollute the environment come from low-level sectors. For example, a neighbor who cleans his rain channel filled with a poppy husk with industrial amounts of kangaroo (disinfectant) is capable of causing air pollution, causing nausea and vomiting to residents of surrounding areas. Dizziness comes. This action, far from eliminating the problem, produces serious environmental consequences for the ecosystem that surrounds the habitat in question.
The Minamata case is an example of how operating permits for industrial, commercial or domestic activities, which lack standards in line with the activities to be carried out, lead to environmental consequences because it is unknown whether the emissions resulting from the activity will be significant. What will be the impact of raw materials, processes and waste. Impress the local residents.