5.3 Approaches to Pollution Management

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Human activity producing pollutant
Altering human activity through education incentives and penalties to promote:
  • Alternative Technology
  • Alternate Life styles
  • Reduce, reuse and recycle
Release of pollutant into environment
Regulating and reducing the pollutant at the point of emission by:
  • Setting standards
  • Monitoring and imposing standards
  • Cleaning up emissions
  • Introducing measures for extracting the pollutant from wastes emissions
Long-term impact of pollution on ecosystem
Cleaning up the pollutant and restoring ecosystem by:
  • Extracting and removing the pollutant from the ecosystem
  • Replacing and restocking with animal population
  • Habitat restoration

5.3.1 Outline approaches to pollution management with respect to figure
  1. Change the human activity that generates the pollutant in the first place.
  • this is the most proactive/preventative strategy because the pollutant is not created (or less of it is created) in the first place
  • tends to be difficult to achieve because it’s necessary to change the behavior of people, businesses, and/or governments
  1. Minimize the amount of the pollutant released into the environment.
  • this is the next most proactive/preventative strategy because the pollutant is controlled at the place where it is released
  • this strategy is frequently adopted by government agencies that regulate industries because monitoring is easiest at the place of emission
  • this strategy fails to fully address the problem because the pollutant is still being produced
  1. Clean up the pollutant and the affected areas after the pollutant has been released.
  • this is a reactive strategy and tends to be very expensive; it also usually takes a very long time to implement
  • Sometimes it may not be scientifically possible
  • this strategy does not solve the problem

5.3.2 Discuss the human factors that affect the approaches to pollution management.
  • Cultural factors: if society adopts an 'out of sight, out of mind' approaches then individuals would be more likely to dispose pollution in a more hazardous way
  • Political: weak regulation and lack of enforcement in LEDC’s; strong corporate involvement and lobbying in policy decisions in MEDC’s
  • Economic: pollution can be promoted if the environment is seen as a free resources; the cost of reducing or cleaning pollution would reduce the likelihoods of solving the pollution problem





5.3.3 Evaluate the costs and benefits to society of the World Health Organization’s ban on the use of the pesticide DDT.

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DDT:
  • is a pesticide used for controlling lice that spread typhus and the mosquitoes that spread malaria.
  • is persistent organic pollutants that is extremely hydrophilic and strongly absorbed by soil
  • have a soil half-life range from 22 days to 30 years
  • Banned after the publish of Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
  • Stockholm Convention banned DDT internationally for agriculture but not for disease control

Pro DDT and against banning
Con DDT and for banning
  • Broad spectrum
  • Non-toxic
  • Highly persistent giving long lasting effect
  • Safe if used properly
  • Alternatives are not as effective
  • DDT significantly reduce malaria death e.g. in Ecuador between 1993-1995, the increase use of DDT= 61% reduction in malaria
  • 250 million/year of Malaria death
  • Banning of DDT equal to increase in malaria and resurgence of mosquitoes
  • Lead to premature birth, low birth weight and abnormal mental development of infants
  • Alternatives methods of pest control exist
  • Would affect other wildlife
  • Significant ecological effects
  • The effects of accumulation in human tissue are not fully known
  • Loss and degradation of soil
  • Lead to premature birth, low birth weight and abnormal mental development of infants
  • Alternatives methods of pest control exist
  • Would affect other wildlife
  • Significant ecological effects
  • The effects of accumulation in human tissue are not fully known
  • Loss and degradation of soil




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