Mankind use millions of tons of potentially harmful chemicals every year. Greed and carelessness often result in the handling and transport of chemicals without proper safety precautions being put in place. Spills occur frequently and have already caused immense damage to the environment. Cleaning up the mess is difficult and expensive and by the time cleaning operations are launched it is often too late. It is absolutely vital to have equipment such as spill containment berms when handling or using such chemicals.
A berm can be invaluable in helping to prevent pollution from spreading over a wider period. This is just a temporary measure, however. It is necessary to launch an operation that will see the contaminants removed and transported to a facility or site that is properly equipped to dispose of the contaminants in a safe manner. Such operations are often hampered by rough terrain or adverse weather conditions.
Ongoing research has produced promising results. There are now special agents available to neutralize pollutants. Some of the agents work by speeding up the degrading process that occurs naturally. Other agents have been developed to physically absorb the harmful chemicals. These agents work very well but unfortunately not all pollutants degrade naturally and not all pollutants can be absorbed by these agents.
One of the most exciting recent developments is the creation of a super agent that not only renders the pollutants harmless. It actually transforms the pollutant into a harmless substance. Best of all, this new substance is useful and is commonly used in the manufacture of asphalt, other road surface products and rubber products. This makes cleaning operations much more viable and eventually it may even be profitable.
Many pollutants do not react to agents that aim to absorb or degrade the harmful substances. If it is water that was polluted, special machinery can be used to separate the pollutants and the water. This is done in very much the same manner as when milk and cream are separated. The pollutants are then transferred to special tanks and taken away to disposal facilities.
Lack of funds and resources necessitate that cleaning operations are prioritized. There is also a critical shortage of personnel that are properly trained in this field. In most instances pollution incidents in rough seas, sparsely populated areas and terrain that are difficult to access are disregarded. The available resources are rather employed when incidents occur at popular tourist attractions, areas that are densely populated and environmentally sensitive areas.
Organizations that handle chemicals and other dangerous substances should realize that there is always a risk that an accident can occur. They need to take steps not only to prevent such accidents, but also to make plans on how to deal with emergencies. This means that such organizations need to have a formal policy in this regard. Training and the availability of suitable equipment should also be a high priority.
The human race has succeeded in plundering the planet to the extent that it is close to collapse. Pollution is one of the biggest problems. It renders the air, the water and the soil poisonous. It would not be realistic to hope that harmful chemicals will be banned. Yet it can be hoped that organizations will become more responsible when they use or transport these poisonous substances.
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Author: Jocelyn DavidsonThis author has published 349 articles so far.