Freshwater Pollution

This Bug Can Eat Plastic. But Can It Clean Up Our Mess? loading...
This Bug Can Eat Plastic. But Can It Clean Up Our Mess?
Scientists have discovered that wax worms can eat plastic bags. Could that help us reduce plastic pollution?
See the Best and Worst Places for Breathable Air in the U.S. loading...
See the Best and Worst Places for Breathable Air in the U.S.
New rankings of air quality in cities show the cleanest air isn't always rural.
Quirky Portraits of One Town's Trash—And the People Who Take Care of It loading...
Quirky Portraits of One Town's Trash—And the People Who Take Care of It
A photographer’s work spotlights waste management workers in southern Italy.
The World's Most Polluted River Revealed in Photos loading...
The World's Most Polluted River Revealed in Photos
A recent high court ruling in India that gives the Ganges personhood status may lead to environmental redemption.
Straw Wars: The Fight to Rid the Oceans of Discarded Plastic loading...
Straw Wars: The Fight to Rid the Oceans of Discarded Plastic
Americans use 500 million straws daily. Citizen activists want to shrink that number.
These Photos Show the Pollution That Kills One in Four Children loading...
These Photos Show the Pollution That Kills One in Four Children
A new report from the World Health Organization found that nearly a quarter of children under five die from preventable environmental conditions.
Googly-Eyed Trash Eaters May Clean a Harbor Near You loading...
Googly-Eyed Trash Eaters May Clean a Harbor Near You
Baltimore’s success with Mr. Trash Wheel and Professor Trash Wheel may spread to other cities.
Deepest Place on Earth Contains 'Extraordinary' Pollution Levels loading...
Deepest Place on Earth Contains 'Extraordinary' Pollution Levels
One of the most remote places on Earth isn't immune to pollution that likely came from industrialised areas nearby.
5 Reasons to Like the US Environmental Protection Agency loading...
5 Reasons to Like the US Environmental Protection Agency
It keeps a lot of dangerous stuff from being dumped in our air, water, and land.
Haunting Photos Show Source of Illegal Carbon Emissions in China loading...
Haunting Photos Show Source of Illegal Carbon Emissions in China
A coal-fired steel plant in Inner Mongolia has continued operations despite the central government's efforts to reduce the industry, sources say.
70 Car-Size Stingrays Die Mysteriously loading...
70 Car-Size Stingrays Die Mysteriously
The huge freshwater fish may have been killed by pollution in Thailand's Mae Klong River.
About Freshwater Pollution

As technology improves, scientists are able to detect more pollutants, and at smaller concentrations, in Earth’s freshwater bodies. Containing traces of contaminants ranging from birth control pills and sunscreen to pesticides and petroleum, our planet's lakes, rivers, streams, and groundwater are often a chemical cocktail.

Beyond synthetic pollution, freshwater is also the end point for biological waste, in the form of human sewage, animal excrement, and rainwater runoff flavoured by nutrient-rich fertilisers from yards and farms. These nutrients find their way through river systems into seas, sometimes creating coastal ocean zones void of oxygen—and therefore aquatic life—and making the connection between land and sea painfully obvious. When you dump paint down the drain, it often ends up in the ocean, via freshwater systems.

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