Environmental Issues - Research Article from UXL Encyclopedia of Water Science

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The Heavy Metal-Water Connection

There is a connection between heavy metals and water. Because heavy metals are part of Earth's crust, they can be worn away by the action of weather. When they are worn off of rock, they can collect in surface or groundwater (fresh water in rock and soil layer beneath Earth's surface). Depending on the chemistry of the water, the metals might stay in the water, or come out of the water and gather on an available surface such as plants. Heavy metals can, therefore, enter peoples' bodies via drinking water and food.

Heavy metals get into fresh and salt water when water or other fluids are added to the water body. Examples include industrial waste, sewage (even treated sewage can contain high levels of heavy metals), run-off (water that flows over surfaces) after a rainfall and from mining operations.

Microorganisms, plants, and...

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This section contains 1,005 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Environmental Issues Encyclopedia Article
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UXL Encyclopedia of Water Science
Environmental Issues from UXL Encyclopedia of Water Science. ©2005-2006 by U•X•L. U•X•L is an imprint of Thomson Gale, a division of Thomson Learning, Inc. All rights reserved.
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