LEAD CONTAMINATION IN LAKE ONTARIo
CHEMICAL STRUCTURE OF LEAD
Since lead is just one element and not bonded with anything, there is no visible chemical structure. However, when lead comes in contact with moist air reactivity with water increases and a small lead oxide (PbO) layer forms at the surface of the metal. Lead may also be dissolved in water as PbCO3 or Pb(CO3). Below is the chemical structure of PbCO3:
As a responsible citizen, we should not abuse the work of God. As water is very precious and can be considered a limited/non-renewable resource, we should be able to take care of the land God has given us. Ways that can we can take care of the land and water God has given us is being able to conserve water and being aware of what is in our water.
As an effective communicator, our goal is to present on how we can inform others on the problem of lead in our lakes, drinking water and etc. As a communicator, I hope that other people will understand that lakes, ground water, even the land was given to us by God and we should be appreciative and not take the things that we have for granted.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON LEAD
Lead is a heavy metal that is denser than most common materials. Lead is extracted from he ores galena (PbS), anglesite (PbSO4), cerussite (PbCO3) and minum (Pb3O4). Today, lead is widely used for car batteries, pigments ammunition and etc.
PHYSICAL PROPERTIES OF LEAD
Melting point: 327.462°C Boiling Point: 1749°C
Density: 11.3g/cm Colour: Bluish-Grey
Physical state: Solid
CHEMICAL PROPERTIES OF LEAD
Reactivity with water: Dissolves Oxidation: Does not
slowly in water readily react with Flammability: Does not burn oxygen in the air
Reactivity with acids: Quickly Corrosion: Very
reacts with hot acis but slowly to resistant to
cold acids. corrosion but Toxicity: Toxic tarnishes upon exposure to air
HOW DOES LEAD GET INTO LAKES AND DRINKING WATER?
Lead is rarely found in natural sources of water such as rivers and lakes or underground aquifers. Lead can enter drinking water through corrosion of pipes. This is more likely to happen when the water is slightly more acidic. The most common problem is with brass or chrome-plated brass faucets and fixtures with lead solder from which larger amounts can enter the water, especially hot water. When water is rested in leaded pipes for several hours, lead can leach into the water supply. The greater concentration of lead in drinking water and the greater amount of contaminated lead being consumed
FACTORS THAT CAN CONTRIBUTE TO LEAD IN WATER
A number of factors are comprised to the extent in which lead enters the water including:
The chemistry of water (acidity and alkalinity) and the types and amounts of minerals in the water.
The amount of lead it comes in contact with.
The temperature of the water.
Amount of wear in the pipes
How long the water stays in the pipes and presence of protective scales or coating inside the plumbing materials.
EFFECTS OF LEAD
Lead can cause effects such as:
Rise in blood pressure
Miscarriages and subtle abortions
Behavioral Disruptions of Children
HOW CAN WE REDUCE LEAD IN DRINKING WATER?
To reduce lead in drinking water at home there are many options. First, using only cold water for drinking, cooking, and making baby formula is essential. Hot water dissolves lead more quickly than cold water, so don't use water from your hot-water faucet for cooking or drinking. Boiling water does not remove lead from water but only increases the concentration of lead. Due to the fact that some of the water evaporates during the boiling process, that is why the concentration will increase.
Next, before drinking water, flushing the pipes by running the tap, taking a shower, doing laundry or a load of dishes can help to limit the lead found in water. Another way to reduce lead is to consider using a water filter as it an effective way to reduce lead in drinking water.
HOW DOES LEAD AFFECT OUR ENVIRONMENT?
Under normal conditions, lead does not have a major effect on freshwater ecosystems because of its generally low bio-available inorganic lead salts in controlled conditions. However, effects may occur in the environment due to increased concentration of lead. Both Health Canada and Saskatchewan Environment have established a Maximum Acceptable Concentration (MAC) of 0.010mg/L. Levels that are even slightly over the MAC can cause the effects as listed above,
LEAD AND AQUATIC LIFE
LEAD AND AQUATIC LIFE
Lead and its compounds, such as PbO can form a layer at the surface of the metal when lead comes in contact with moist air and the reactivity ends up increasing. When both oxygen and water are present, metallic lead is converted to lead hydroxide (Pb(OH)2.
If Lead and these compounds are present in aquatic environments in sufficient amounts, they can cause acute or chronic toxicity to organisms. However, the level of toxicity is determined by the bioavailablity factor such as:
Organic matter content
DISRUPTIONS OF FOOD CHAINS
As water pollutions can disrupt the natural food chain, lead can be eaten by tiny animals in which are consumed by fish and shellfish and the food chain continues to be disrupted at higher levels. Eventually, humans are affected and can get diseases such as hepatitis by eating the seafood that has been poisoned.
HOW DOES LEAD AFFECT OUR ECONOMY?
Stated before, lead solder was commonly used for the instalment of copper piping systems, but leader solder can increase the levels of lead found in water that travels through pipes by 10 to 60 times the legal limit. Economically, money is being spent on trying to replace pipes on their property and this could cost around $1,800 to $3,000. The cost of replacing pipes could be very difficult for families with low incomes as they do not have that income in order for the pipes to be replaced.
HOW DOES LEAD AFFECT THE SOCIAL LIFE?
If places such as hotels or motels are serving or drinking water that comes through pipes that have traces of lead found, this may affect the people or tourists who are staying in the residence. If tourists are finding out about these places having lead in their drinking water, this will affect the amount of people that would never want to go back to the hotel residence. With this, that will affect loss of business and revenue within the institution and possibly having money for replacement of pipes.
Through the analyzation of lead posing a risk to lake Ontario, it is my duty as a responsible citizen and an effective communicator to let my peers and other people know the dangers of lead if it was drunk by the people of my community. What I aimed to achieve through the evaluation of lead affecting the water quality, I hope other people would understand the risks, how it's coming into our lake and how we can reduce the levels of lead in our water.