GCSE Religious Studies Unit 2 (Religion and Society)- Environmental and Medical Issues

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Environmental and Medical Issues

Forms of pollution and possible solutions...

Acid Rain- caused by buring fossil fuels, these release sulphuric and nitric acid. These pollutants go into atmosphere and change pH fo rainwater (turns acidic), this then burns things when it comes back to Earth. Solution--> if society stops using fossil fuels in power stations, acid rain not produces so we need to create electricty from renewable sources.

Eutrophication- is execess of nitrates, nitrites and phosphates in rivers leading to lack of oxygen + increase in aquantic plants which causing fish to die + posion water supplies. Caused by fertilisers being washed into streams, sewage pollution & lack of trees to soak up the nitrogen. This could lead to major health problems for humans. Solution--> Already being cut down with improved sewage treatment and less use of phosphates in detergents and less use of nitrogen in fertilisers. However increases in organic farming could reverse effects as manure can lead to increase in nitrates in streams and rivers.

Human waste- in form of sewage, litter, refuse is a major threat to planet. As world's economy grows so does production of wastes. Human excreta/other waterborne waste from houses, streets (etc) transported through sewers to sewage works where undergoes treatment to make safe before put into rivers/sea. Raw sewage is serious problem for water pollution + cause of Eutrophication. Litter causes rat population to increase and bring many dieases with them. litter also chocks animals and cause traffic accidents. Solution--> solved using combination of recycling, incinerators to produce electricity and sewage to produce methane to fuel power station. Each has bad sides. Reusing glass takes more energy than making new ones. Inciderations cause greenhouse gases + toxic chemicals. Litter only stopped if people stop. UK pass laws so first time litter = fine, second time= community service picking up litter.

Radioactive Pollution- nuclear power stations don't produce CO2, but produces nuclear waste that takes thousands of years to be safe. This waste burned & no one knows if containers will contain it safey fo long period of time. When in contact with too much can die, get cancer + have genetically mutated children. Solution--> some waste reprocessed with chemical operation which seperates useful fuel for recycling from waste. Reprocessing = 97% of waste reused. Safest method of treating long term waste (3%)= geological disposal (isolating waste deep in rock formation, unable to reach surface.)

The scarcity of natural resources (two types...)

Renewable Resources- can use over and over again because they renew themselves. Use of them cause no problem but expensive to produce electricty. Examples= wind power, solar power, water power, fertile land producing food, oil seed **** and sugar cane (can provide energy for cars), soft woods (grow quick, used for paper, furniture etc). 

Finite/non-renewable Resources- disappear once used, use of causes major problems for enviroment + run out. Examples-coal, iron, copper, natural gas, oil, tim, uranium, hard woods.

Problems with finite resources-most noticable in case of oil, usually thought


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