Chemistry

Exploring the environment without destroying it


Almost everything we need comes from nature. The food, the metals, the water, the wood, the animals. These are therefore natural resources.

Renewable natural resources they are those that can be replaced in nature. When we harvest one vegetable for food, we can plant another in its place to replace it. This is the case with trees, through reforestation. They are also renewable natural resources animals.

Nonrenewable Natural Resources They are those who, after being taken out of nature, cannot be replaced. Many of these features are in danger of running out. This is the case of minerals, oil, coal. To contain the exhaustion of this type of natural resource there are some basic measures:

- carefully plan the extraction and utilization of resources;
- avoid overexploitation;
- Research new alternative sources to replace resources.

Sanitation and public health

Basic sanitation It is the maintenance of the cleanliness of a certain place to ensure the hygiene necessary for the health of the population. It is also the maintenance of health posts that provide vaccines to the population to fight diseases. Basic sanitation consists of:

- water treatment;
- sewage treatment;
- use of treated water pipes for distribution in homes and industries;
- sewage pipe;
- waste collection and treatment;
- vaccination;
- campaigns to defend public health against disease.

Trash

In some Brazilian cities, there is no sewage treatment or garbage collection network. There are still many cases of diseases from poor sanitation.

Some measures can be taken by the population to prevent diseases from spreading, such as:

- Do not leave trash scattered on the floor or in uncovered containers;
- land puddles and ditches where water accumulates;
- Do not throw trash and food scraps on vacant lots;
- build toilets where there is no sewage system.

Until the late 1990s, Brazil produced about 80,000 tons of trash a day. Only half of this garbage was collected, part of which was sent to landfills and another to open-air dumps. The rest were on the banks of rivers and streams. We currently produce more than 250,000 tons of garbage daily.

Waste collection and disposal is a major problem, especially in large cities that generate tons of waste a day. Population growth and the increase in non-degrading materials such as plastics only make matters worse. To dispose of the waste produced, there are landfills in which it is thrown to the ground, in layers, compressed by tractors and covered with soil.

Incineration (burning) is also a good measure. But treatment filter should be used to not pollute atmospheric air.

Waste can be recycled. There is a rotting part (organic waste such as leftover food) that can serve as organic manure. And the non-rotting part (inorganic, dry waste such as plastics, glass, cans, paper) can be reused by industries to make new products.

Recycling organic waste is an ecologically correct attitude, as it contributes to reducing the amount of waste produced and also helps to return organic matter to the enriched soil.

One of the most toxic wastes that we are usually in contact with is mercury, which is present in batteries. This heavy metal, when discarded, will rust. With the rust, the batteries open, leaking mercury and also another toxic metal, cadmium. Thus they pollute the soil as well as the waters. Today, there are already collection stations of this material for possible recycling, not to pollute the environment.