Effects and management of biological magnification on human health

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Harmful chemicals and heavy metals flow into lakes, seas and ocean when agricultural and human waste is discharged into water. These chemicals and harmful metals cause various dangerous diseases and also affect the plants and animals. They also disturb the food chain and aquatic organisms. These chemicals are not digested they accumulate into animals that ingest them. Bio magnification happens due to predator and prey relationship.

Effects of Bio magnification

Some diseases which badly effects human health like birth defects, kidney and liver failure, respiratory disorders, brain hemorrhage and heart diseases that are caused by mercury, lead,cobalt,chromium and various chemicals.

Effect on growth of marine life:

Many harmful chemicals which accumulate in the vital organs of aquatic organisms that effect their growth. SO seabird crushes their eggs due to thinner shell instead of incubation them. Selenium and other heavy metals like mercury affect the reproductive organs of fish.

Disturbance in food chain:

Mostly aquatic organisms only depend on natural food web for growth. When harmful chemicals enter into soil, sea and ocean then consumed by aquatic organisms, so they create disturbance in food chain. It’s due to when small animals and plants absorb these harmful chemicals and after that small animals are consumed by large animals, and affecting the entire food web.

Biological magnification Process:

It consist on six various steps that are given below:

  • By releasing harmful chemicals and other industrial effluents into environment:

In this step, these harmful chemicals enters into soil, water, lakes. Concentrations of these chemicals are very low.

  • Phytoplankton:

Those plants which float in the sea and absorb toxins that stay in the tissues of them. Once absorbed, the toxins stay in their tissues without being excreted or broken down. With the passage of time toxin concentration will be very high up to 200 parts.

  • Zooplankton:

Those animals which float in seas and consume phytoplankton so by consuming them they take toxins which are present in these plants.so with the passage of time concentration increased up to two parts per billion.

Small fish eat zooplanktons:

They feed on these small animals so consequently, they also take up toxins which get absorbed in fatty tissues

 

  • Large fish consume smaller fish:

Large fish consume smaller fish for survival so like that they take up toxins by feeding smaller fish. The concentrations become higher up to 80 to 100 parts per billion.

  • Other organisms consume large fish:

When other organisms like dolphins and human consume large fish for food, they also absorb toxins. Human beings build up the toxins when they consume fish. So concentration will be high up to 10000 to 15000 parts per billion.

Management strategies:

  • We should not put the grease, fat oil and other oils down the sink
  • We should not place the chemicals and other cleaning material down the sink
  • Dust clothes, rappers, and other papers should be properly discarded in basket or dustbin
  • We should use minimum amount of detergents for washing clothes and dishes
  • We should use only phosphate free soaps
  • We should use minimum quantity of fertilizers and chemicals for increasing our production

This article is collectively authored by Umar Niaz1, Burhan Ahmad2, Department of Entomology University of Agriculture Faisalabad, Pakistan.


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