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What type of contamination occurs if a paint chip falls into soup?
The answer is chemical contamination. This is because the paint chip that falls into the food contains chemicals that are harmful to the body such as lead that negatively affects the nervous system when consumed. Better handling of the food should, therefore, be observed by ensuring a greater distance between the place where the food is being handled and where the paint is.
The paint of the paint chip is a mixture with may chemicals that are not safe to health but hazardous, so you must inmediately think that a food contaminated with paint should be properly discarded.
Paint include voc (volatile organic solvents), chemical resins, pigments, oxides (dryers) which indeed are harmful if ingested.
Chemical contaminants are chemicals toxic to plants and animals in waterways.
The phrase ‘chemical contamination’ is used to indicate situations where chemicals are either present where they shouldn’t be, or are at higher concentrations than they would naturally have occurred. Chemical contaminants can be found as organic and inorganic molecules in mass produced products used day to day by almost everybody. These include plastics, resins, pharmaceuticals, disinfectants, deodorants, detergents, petroleum products, road runoff, pesticides and biocides, along with the results of land fill and incineration.
For many of these substances accumulation into aquatic environments can cause environmental problems, although some chemical contaminants do not damage the environment, and for many chemical contaminants the consequences are currently unknown. Chemical contaminants are often transported by water as it flows across the land, roads, and other impermeable surfaces. With little prior treatment, many of these contaminants may eventually discharge into waterways.
Some contaminants can increase bacteria growth and oxygen consumption within a waterway. In extreme cases, such as a large spill of sewage or milk, low oxygen conditions may kill mahinga kai species. Lower levels of nutrient contamination in waterways can result in eutrophication. Most eutrophication is due to the inorganic nutrients nitrate and phosphate that induce the growth of algae. The algae subsequently die, resulting in more organic matter and low oxygen conditions.
What are Chemical Contaminants?
Chemical contaminants are elements or compounds whose presence or amounts render a material, substance, environment, food, or water impure or unfit for consumption. For instance, the presence of chemical contaminants such as heavy metals in drinking water or food may pose a health risk factor leading to cancers and neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, drinking water pipes made of heavy metals such as lead may cause these elements to leach into the water supply. As a result, drinking such water may damage the nervous system.
Chemical contaminants are pretty common in day-to-day life. For example, some household items such as deodorants, disinfectants, detergents, and plastics may contain chemical contaminants. These contaminants can also be found in pesticides, pharmaceutical drugs, resins, and petroleum products.
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Types of Chemical Contaminants
Most of the chemical contaminants are artificial, while others are naturally occurring. Therefore, there are two types of chemical contaminants, namely:
1. Organic Contaminants
Organic contaminants are chemical contaminations that are composed of a carbon structure. They may also include other elements such as hydrogen. Some examples of organic contaminants include pesticides, organic solvents, drugs, hormones, oil, paint, wood preservatives, and herbicides. Most of the organic contaminants are introduced into the environment through human activities. For instance, most pesticides and herbicides contaminants result from extensive agricultural activities.
Organic contaminants may occur as a single molecule or suspended solids in the contaminated material or environment. They are highly resistant to microbial degradation (cannot be broken down by microbes), and therefore, they end up accumulating in the environment. Their accumulation in the environment leads to their uptake by plants and animals and is eventually incorporated into their tissues. This can be through soil absorption or consumption of contaminated water and food. However, some plants such as sedge and grass absorb organic contaminants from polluted environments and convert them into less hazardous forms. This type of chemical removal from a polluted environment using plants is called phytoremediation.
In addition, some organic contaminants such as cosmetic products, food additives, veterinary products, and nanomaterials were previously not known as contaminants and were never associated with contamination, especially with groundwater. However, these organic contaminants have been recently shown to be one of the organic contaminants, especially in groundwater. Therefore, they are collectively known as emerging organic contaminants (EOCs).
2. Inorganic Contaminants
On the other hand, inorganic contaminants are a group of chemical contaminants composed of either fluorine, some nutrients such as potassium and phosphorous, nitrides, inorganic salts, or heavy metals. The most commonly known inorganic contaminants are arsenic, lead, mercury, radium, cyanides, sulfates, selenium, and antimony. These contaminants easily leach from contaminated zones or areas to the groundwater.
Some contaminants such as potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorus can be carried to aquatic environments by runoff water. This may have a detrimental effect on aquatic life since the accumulation of these nutrients in the aquatic environment leads to rapid bacteria growth and algal bloom (a rapid increase of algae aquatic environment). This reduces dissolved oxygen content in the water, thus affecting aquatic life. This may lead to the death of many fish occupying such environments. Algal blooms are known to reduce the water dissolved oxygen once they die and start decomposing. Their decomposition process consumes a greater percentage of the water dissolved oxygen.
Chemical contaminants in food and feed
Chemical contaminants are substances that are unintentionally present in food or feed. These substances may be present in food as a result of various stages of its production, processing or transport. They might also result from environmental contamination. Chemical contaminants may be harmful to humans and animals.
The most relevant food and feed contaminants include:
- Natural toxins – naturally occurring substances that are produced by different organisms. Examples include plant toxins such as alkaloids or mycotoxins.
- Environmental contaminants – substances that are released into air, water or soil often as a result of industrial or agricultural activities. They can also enter the food and feed chain. Environmental contaminants include polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dioxins, persistent chlorinated pesticides, and brominated flame retardants but also metals such as arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury.
- Process contaminants – chemicals that naturally form in food and feed during industrial processes or cooking, such as acrylamide and furan.
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