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Deforestation In Idaho

Decent Essays
What are the main causes of deforestation and pollution in Idaho?

Did you know that Idaho was recently ranked second in the nation for poor air quality? This problem can be attributed to pollution and other issues that continue to plague Idaho. Pollution is the entrance of foreign or harmful chemicals or other wastes into an environment. One of the main causes of pollution in Idaho is excessive smoke from burning leaves, firewood, and other substances. Water contaminants also contribute a great deal to pollution. Most contaminated water in Idaho is caused by mining. Deforestation is another issue in Idaho, and it is the loss of natural habitat by human developments, whether it be urban growth, mines, logging, or factories. All of these causes
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There are many factors that contribute to Idaho’s pollution problem, but mining may be the biggest. Mining is a huge industry in Idaho, hence the nickname “The Gem State”. The biggest product from Idaho’s mines is silver. Silver mines are some of the largest polluters in the state. Bunker Hill, or Silver Valley, as the Coeur d’Alene region is known for its numerous mines, was recently named a Superfund site. A Superfund site is a site under protection for removal of toxic wastes by the EPA. Although that beautiful valley was also once known for its abundant wildlife, now the rivers are flooded with phosphorous, selenium, zinc, lead, silver, cadmium, and arsenic, all from tailings of several mines in the region. Lake Coeur d’Alene now contains over 70 million tons of toxic waste sediments in its bottom. This pollution has endangered people in the area for years. In Smelterville, where a smelter ran for nearly 100 years, a large number of people have been diagnosed with health complications caused by extremely high levels of lead and other toxins in their blood. These conditions, for most, have existed nearly all their lives. Many remember being ill for most of their childhood and on. In 1973, before the smelter was closed, the average lead toxin level per deciliter of blood in children tested was 70. A reading of 10 is considered high alert. Rocky Hill, who grew up in Smelterville and…show more content…
As I stated earlier, in a recent study by the United Health Foundation, it was found that Idaho had the second worst air in the nation--it was beat only by California. Air pollution in Idaho is caused by different things. The most prevalent cause of air pollution are emissions from vehicles and industrial sources such as factories. Visible emissions (smoke, soot, dust, etc.) contribute to a large portion of Idaho’s bad air. Smoke from wildfires is especially harmful and is very present in Idaho. 2015’s fire season was one of the worst the state has seen. More than 1,300 fires burned almost 800,000 acres. Air pollution can also be caused by haze. The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality says “Sources of haze-causing pollutants include emissions from on- and off-road vehicles, trains, agricultural equipment, and gas-powered lawn mowers, [and] from smoke stacks at large industrial facilities... Exposure...can contribute to increased respiratory illness, decreased lung function, and even premature death…[and] contributes to acid rain formation, which makes lakes, rivers, and streams unsuitable for many fish, and erodes buildings, monuments, and paint on
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