Effects of Waste Accumulation on Terrestrial Life

Effects of waste accumulation on Terrestrial Life are as follows


Effects of Waste Accumulation on Terrestrial Life


Effects of Waste Accumulation on Plants

  • Nitrogen dioxide leads to the premature falling of leaves. It also affects the growth of plants which results in low crop yields.
  • Ozone enters the leaves of plants through stomata. It then dissolves with water within the plant and reacts with other chemicals damaging its leaves. Plants weakened by ozone may become more susceptible to various diseases, pests, and droughts.
  • Peroxyacetyl nitrate causes premature falling and discoloring of leafy vegetables.
  • Sulphur dioxide has a bleaching effect on plants. It results in the loss of chlorophyll. Many leafy vegetables become yellow because of the effect of the gas.
  • Radioactive pollution affects our environment. Radioactive wastes cannot be destroyed, and hence, they remain in our environment for a long period of time. They cause the discoloring of trees in the forests. After the Chernobyl nuclear accident, a pine forest cover near the power plant turned reddish-brown.

Effects of Waste Accumulation on Animals and Birds

  • Animals may consume toxic materials or polythene bags from wastes. This results in the spread of diseases among them.
  • The underground disposal of radioactive wastes may contaminate the drinking water which may be harmful to plants, animals, and humans.
  • Birds consuming agricultural wastes produce defective egg shells and show increased mortality.

Effects of Waste Accumulation on Aquatic Life

When the quantities of harmful substances such as pesticides and insecticides increase in the food chain of marine and aquatic organisms who are then consumed by other living beings, it is known as the process of biomagnification. The phenomenon of concentrated toxic deposition at the higher trophic level in the food chain is known as bioaccumulation.


Minamata Tragedy

Minamata is a coastal town in Japan. It had a vinyl chloride factory that used to discharge effluents contaminated with methyl mercury into the sea. This was consumed by fish. When these fish were caught and consumed by the people, it caused Minamata disease. The disease affected the central nervous system resulting in difficulty in walking and speaking among humans. Under extreme circumstances, the disease also resulted in death among people. Fishing in Minamata Bay was later banned by the Japanese authorities.


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Waste Management-I

Waste refers to any discarded material which no longer remains useful. According to the Environment Protection Act, 1990, waste is any substance that constitutes a scrap material, or effluent, or an unwanted surplus that arises out of the application of any process. Read more

Waste Management-II

If wastes are allowed to accumulate and are not disposed of carefully, then they will not only affect our environment but will also affect our health. When accumulated wastes are left open and unattended, they begin to decompose. Read more