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Ecosystems and Human Health, 3rd Edition by Richard B. Philp

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Chapter 3

Water and Soil Pollution

Hang your clothes on a hickory limb but don’t go near the water.

Introduction

Three components of the biosphere, soil, air, and water, can serve as toxicological sinks. These are often considered separately, but it should be obvious that they function as an integrated system. Thus, rain will transfer toxicants to soil and water, and evaporated surface water, and soil as airborne dust, can move them back into the air, where they may be transported over great distances by wind. Moreover, runoff from the soil, sewage, and industrial discharge are the main sources of water contamination. Seepage into deep aquifers from soil and surface water also may occur, and freshwater reservoirs are connected to the sea by ...

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