Contaminated Water and What to Do

Feb 14 09:15 2008 Peter Kent Print This Article

Soil contamination as well as water contamination can occur in several different ways and can have extreme harmful reactions on the human body. Some of these illnesses and diseases that result from water and soil contamination range from liver and kidney damage to cancers to neurological effects. It is important for individuals to recognize when contamination occurs and what to do about it to protect themselves.

By breathing,Guest Posting ingesting or bathing in contaminated water, an indivudal is increasing their risk for serious and potentially fatal affects. Most often, groundwater contamination occurs when indivudals consume most of their daily water from wells. Chemicals can contaminate the ground acquifier, which eventually seeps into the drinking water exposing an indivudal to contamintation.

Groundwater contamination not only is caused through well water but can also occur through air contamination with low water tables. If the chemicals are volatile, such as gasoline or other materials, they may escape into people's basements and may be trapped, thereby exposing the homeowner who may inhale the fumes.

Soil is another way an individual can get contamination. This can occur as discussed above with groundwater contamination, but can also occur when streams or other bodies of water are contaminated with heavy metals or chemicals. When areas flood, these heavy metals and chemicals are deposited on an individual's property and thus contaminate the soil. People can be exposed to these contaminants in the following ways: skin contact (having skin contact with soil by gardening); inhalation (creating dust in the yard or tracking dust into the home); and ingestion (eating vegetables grown in the soil).

Sources of Soil Contamination

While it would be impossible to list all the potential sources of chemical contamination, the following list will serve to illustrate typical contamination sources:

* Gas stations,

* Machine shops,

* Railroad yards and other railroad-related work sites,

* Chemical manufacturing plants,

* Incinerators,

* Dry cleaning stores,

* Chemical waste storage facilities,

* Any manufacturing plant that uses any type of cleaning solvents or gasoline based products,

* Oil refineries, and

* Landfills.

Potential Injuries from Soil and Water Contamination

Contaminants are likely to cause chronic health effects, or effects that occur long after repeated exposure to small amounts of a chemical. Examples of chronic health effects include cancer, liver and kidney damage, disorders of the nervous system, damage to the immune system, and birth defects. While it would be impossible to list all the potential injuries that can be caused by various chemical agents, the list below will serve to be illustrative of those conditions, that when coupled with appropriate exposure, could be caused by chemical contamination. The potential injuries from soil and water contamination include the following:

* Various forms of cancer (lung, bladder, brain, kidney, leukemia, lymphoma, skin cancer);

* Various forms of learning disability (ADD, ADHD, LD);

* Teratogenic effects (effects on the fetus when the mother is exposed before or during pregnancy);

* Respiratory effects (breathing difficulties, allergies and other similar conditions);

* Gastrointestinal effects (stomach conditions);

* Cardiovascular effects (heart problems);

* Hepatic effects (various liver conditions);

* Renal effects (various kidney effects including blood in the urine and other kidney problems); and

* Neurological effects (various nervous system disorders, including reflex malfunction and headaches).

If you have been exposed to soil and/or water contamination and have been injured, you may have a legal case.

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Peter Kent
Peter Kent

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