A Brief Note On Biotechnology And Its Effects On Environmental Problems

1461 Words6 Pages
ation: Biotechnology Using Plants to Reverse the Effects of Environmental Problems.

Introduction
In the last century the population has increased by 6 billion and by 2050 is expected to reach 8 Billion, this coupled with global industrialisation has placed huge stresses on the environment, affecting sustainability and causing buildups of organic and inorganic contaminants throughout the biosphere, most notably in the rhizosphere (Ward & Singh, 2004). Phytoremediation coming from the Greek word phyto, meaning “plant” and the latin remediare, meaning “to remedy” is a term first coined by Dr. Ilya Raskin in 1991 terming the use of vascular plants, fungi and algae in either the control of waste, the encouragement of waste break down or the
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Legally contaminated land is defined when these concentrations pose a significant risk to human health or protected species or has the possibility of contaminating surface of ground water systems. Projections of global risk of arsenic in drinking water (United Nations Environment Programme, 2006) in figure. 1, and the map of global risk of radioactive contamination in figure. 2 (Kunkel, 2011) show the extent of the problem;

Figure, 1- United Nations Environment Programme, (2006) Estimated Risk of Arsenic in Drinking Water.

Figure, 2- Kunkel, (2011) Probability of contamination from severe nuclear reactor accidents.

Key Contamination Events In Niagara Falls in the state of New-York during the 40’s and 50’s a huge company called Hooker Chemical Company used an abandoned canal to dump around 20,000 tons of PCP’s, pesticides and other chemical waste, twenty to thirty years later huge rises in miscarriages and deformities where reported in the area (Ward & Singh, 2004). The Chernobyl disaster of 1986 ,in which, a nuclear reactor released huge amounts of contaminants such as, iodine, plutonium and caesium effected 200,000 square kilometres of Europe causing high increases in cancers and affecting over 600,000 people (United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), 2014). On March 11th, 2011 an earthquake led to three reactor
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