Environmental chemistry is a branch of chemistry that deals with the study of effect of chemicals on environment. These include the formation of compounds, how chemicals get into the environment, the changes they undergo once introduced into the environment, the number of chemicals in the environment and how they enter the organisms and other things from the environment and the damage they cause.
In other words, environmental chemistry deals with the effect of pollutants on the environment and the ways and means to reduce the contamination. This branch of chemistry is the study of pollutants behavior from the environmental point of view. The environmental chemistry is further classified into main areas; measurement of pollutants, and study of the behavior of the contaminants.
Environmental chemistry is vital as chemicals introduced into the environment proves to be harmful not only to the environment but also to human health and economy. We have discussed below why environmental chemistry is essential and how it benefits human health, environment and the economy.
Importance of Environmental Chemistry for Human Health
Environmental chemistry helps to develop methods and procedures to reduce the contaminants or the chemicals in the air, which improves the quality of air. Cleaner air with fewer chemicals leads to less damage to the lungs. Several methods and preventive procedures have been developed with the help of environmental chemistry to reduce the release of hazardous substances into the water bodies, which leads to clean and recreational drinking water. The study also helped in reducing the risk for workers working in the chemical industries by inventing procedures which minimize the use of chemicals in manufacturing products.
Safer products with fewer chemicals are available for consumption purposes resulting in reduced chemical waste which results in less environmental pollution. This branch of chemistry also helps in introducing new ways of farming using fewer chemicals and more organic compounds to make safer food available for people across the world. It also helps to eliminate toxic chemicals from entering the food and food chain with the help of pesticides that are degradable and are toxic only to specific pests.
Importance of Environmental Chemistry for Environmental Safety
Many chemicals are introduced into the environment from various sources which include pesticides, harmful emissions from factories and vehicles, in the form of chemical waste from industries and many others.
Environmental chemistry researches into the core cause and develops methods, techniques and tools that reduce the chemical disposal into the environment. The chemistry has also contributed to developing green chemicals that either degrade compounds to innocuous products or to recover them for further use. Reduced chemicals in the environment help plants and animals to suffer less from harmful chemicals. It also helps to reduce global warming by lowering the rate of ozone depletion and pollutant deposits in thickly populated places. It also contributes a lot to less use of hazardous landfills that are persistent.
Importance of Environmental Chemistry for Economy and Business
Environmental chemistry is not only important to humans and the environment but is also crucial for business and economy. It helps in finding methods and techniques to speed up the chemical reactions using small amounts of reactants to deliver the same results and the same price of the product.
It also helps in reducing the number of synthetic steps which enables increased production, increase in the plant capacity while saving energy and water consumption. Using fewer chemicals for manufacturing the products results in reduced waste which results in reduced cost for disposing of chemical waste and toxic waste treatments. Environmental chemistry facilitates the replacement of new and purchased raw material with derivative waste material from other processes.
The environmental chemistry helps in developing methods and procedures which facilitates better performance by using less raw materials to achieve the desired results. It also helps in preventing the depletion of natural resources by reducing their use in the manufacturing industries. The greener products that are used by using environmental chemistry can generate more sales as they carry a safer product label.
There is a unique need for greener products, reducing chemical waste and hazardous landfills to make the earth a safe planet for humans, plants and animals.