2: Inorganic Chemicals

a. Toxic metals: the impacts of heavy metals are well known - see earlier notes for more on this topic.

  • Cadmium: & Mercury & Chromium result in a variety of diseases including cancers, thinning of bones, impacts on fetus development, mutations;
  • Lead affects the cytochrome oxidases for ATP formation, the Cytochrome 450 - MFO systems, which can lead to diminished IQ, affect heart and blood pressure, hand-eye coordination, altered behavior and many more,
  • Arsenic is known to induce cancer, liver, kidney, blood and nervous system damage

For more on inorganics, see the listing of metals/inorganics below whose presence are required to be tested by local authorities in municipal water supplies.

b. Salts- salinity is the total content of dissolved minerals. Sources include irrigation, domestic & industrial wastes, mines, small dumps which evaporate & concentrate plus snow control.

Hardness of 100 ppm+. affect taste, long term effects on people with heart & kidney disease. Enough salts have entered the Chesapeake Bay from snow/ice removal events that efforts are being made to find substitutes


Solutions? Phytoremediation or plants that can pick up toxic metals and molecules....

A recent research report shows that bracken ferns, one of the few ferns that does well in sunny areas and is quite hardy, accumulates arsenic in phenomenal amounts. It accumulates the metal in its' fronds, which means that older leaves can be cropped as needed to remove the metal, and leave the plant rhizome intact for further growth. There is the potential that this plant prosper not only in moist areas, but also in near aqueous environments, which means it may be used for treating contaminated water supplies.

Other plants have already been used to clarify water supplies of metals, radioactive compounds, and even organic wastes. This applied area of study is called phytoremediation and is being used commercially to deal with industrial wastes and contaminated areas along with bioremediation of compounds by bacterial and fungi.

Introduction,> 1. Go to sediments.> 2. Go to inorganics > 3. Go to disease vectors >.4. Go to plant nutrients.>.5. Got to organics.> 6. Go to Oxygen-demanding wastes.> 7. Go to radioactive & thermal wastes