How Contamination Spreads

By: Nannaette Richardson | Posted: 04th April 2011

If your company works with chemicals, then it will likely use a range of chemical storage tanks in order to contain those chemicals and prevent leaks and spills or at least it should do in order to prevent causing damage to the environment and the surroundings. If your chemical storage tanks are not up to scratch however, and a leak does occur, then this can cause a lot of problems and specifically it can cause serious damage to the environment and the local wildlife. In the case of hazmat (hazardous materials) such as chemicals or radioactive substances this can cause contamination to an area and that can mean that the animal and plant life that grows there is also contaminated and possibly very unhealthy. You can be highly surprised at just how wide an area can be contaminated after a spill, and at how quickly contamination can travel through the food chain and even make its way to us humans. This is why getting the best chemical storage tanks is such a big responsibility for such organisations.

Take something like an acidic chemical that might realistically be stored in chemical storage tanks. This might seem like something that couldn't cause that much damage, but then if you think about the delicate acidity of soil and compost necessary for specific plant-life to grow, then a spillage of chemicals could very quickly kill off most of the plant life in the area. This would then render that area useless to the local wildlife that relied on the plants and trees there for their habitats and for their food millions of species would be left homeless with the death of one tree, and animals like squirrels would have to forage farther afield to get their food. Animals that did eat the plants there, or drink from the water, might be poisoned by the acidity and that acid in the water would also lead to the death of hundreds of marine creatures.

That's something very simple, but as fluid containment tanks will often contain things like radioactive materials this can be a lot more serious and spread in a different way. When radioactive spills effect a creature that will then mean that its DNA can become damaged and this can be passed on to the other animals that consume it. That means that it can be very easily be passed from plant life to other animals that could eventually end up on our plate and in our stomachs. This is an almost impossible process to stop as the effected creatures include bees that pollinate between plants for instance and even bacteria.

This then means that contamination can spread across huge areas and cause damage to creatures and plants seemingly nowhere near the site. At the same time it can take generations for an area to be safe again and this is why it's such an important responsibility for those companies with fluid containment tanks and chemical containment tanks to make sure that they are safe.

Chemical storage tanks and other fluid containment tanks exist in part to prevent contamination of the environment. Follow the links for such containers.
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Tags: food chain, surroundings, leaks, spill, soil, chemicals, acidity, compost, plants and trees, hazardous materials, spillage, habitats, contamination, forage