Water pollutants in USA and the American Continent: perspectives and health risks

Currently, water pollution represents a serious environmental threat, causing an impact not only to fauna and flora but also to human health

by Lorenzo Ciotti
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Water pollutants in USA and the American Continent: perspectives and health risks

"Currently, water pollution represents a serious environmental threat, causing an impact not only to fauna and flora but also to human health. Among these pollutants, inorganic and organic pollutants are predominantly important representing high toxicity and persistence and being difficult to treat using current methodologies For this reason, several research groups are searching for strategies to detect and remedy contaminated water bodies and effluents.

Due to the above, a current review of the state of the situation has been carried out.The results obtained show that in the American continent a high diversity of contaminants is present in the water bodies affecting several aspects, in which in some cases, there exists alternatives to realize the remediation of contaminated water.

It is concluded that the actual challenge is to establish sanitation measures at the local level based on the specific needs of the geographical area of interest. Therefore, water treatment plants must be designed according to the contaminants present in the water of the region and tailored to the needs of the population of interest." This was reported in the study A Current Review of Water Pollutants in the American Continent: Trends and Perspectives in Detection, Health Risks, and Treatment Technologies, published in the International journal of environmental research and public health.

Water Pollutants in USA and the American continent

The study also said: "Important issues have been detected in aquatic environments. The bioaccumulation of several organic compounds, such as polychlorinated biphenyl compounds and polybrominated diphenyl ethers, in important water bodies, such as Lake Chapala (Mexico), has been reported, through the analysis of samples recollected from water, fish, and sediments from two local seasonal periods.

In this case, the fish analyzed were Cyprinus carpio, Oreochromis aureus, and Chirostoma spp., establishing that these chemical substances can reach the lake via industrial activities and strong winds and enter from the Lerma River (Mexico).

A water analysis was performed in the river and its treated water throughout a year in Minas-Gerais (Brazil). The detection of seventeen phenolic compounds with a single quadrupole gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer equipment coupled with a flame ionization detector was analyzed.

From the samples analysed, only sixteen were detected, being that 3-methylphenol was the only one not detected. In raw water, the detection of 2,3,4-trichlorophenol, 2,4-dimethylphenol, and 4-nitrophenol was found with the most frequency and for treated water, 4-nitrophenol and bisphenol A, establishing that a health risk to the environment and humans was identified with the contamination of these phenolic compounds.

Another study carried out in the St. Lawrence River, Quebec, (Canada), was performed based on an analysis of surface water for the detection of ultraviolet absorbents and industrial antioxidants. For northern pike, some were BP, BP3, BHT, and BHTQ, establishing an environmental risk assessment in terms of possible adverse effects on fish."