Killing our planet with plastics

begreen Posted By begreen, Jul 2, 2017 at 11:55 AM

  1. SpaceBus

    SpaceBus
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Nov 18, 2018
    2,363
    1,051
    Loc:
    Downeast Maine
    A properly functioning septic system shouldn't ever need to be pumped, but you bring up a valid point. In fact, everyone in NC I knew with a septic tank has needed it to be pumped multiple times over the last year due to all of the rain. I hadn't thought of synthetic fibers at all, thank you for mentioning it. We are trying to not buy any more synthetic materials whenever possible. It's amazing how pervasive petrochemicals really are.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  2. begreen

    begreen
    Mooderator 2.
    NULL
    
    Staff Member

    Nov 18, 2005
    77,604
    12,725
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Septic systems regularly need to have the solids pumped out that accumulate over time. Household septic tanks are typically pumped every three to five years. How frequently will depend on the tank and household sizes and lifestyle. Then there are circumstances that can accelerate the pumpout schedule. If you suddenly have 10 people staying for a wedding or other event, for example. Heavy antibiotic or chemotherapy drugs use is another issue, misuse is yet another common one, (tissues, kitty litter, garbage disposal, etc.).
    https://inspectapedia.com/septic/Septic_Tank_Pumping_Schedule.php
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    Ashful and SpaceBus like this.
  3. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Oct 17, 2008
    6,297
    1,303
    Loc:
    Eastern Central PA
    Again worldwide population will determine how fast things go downhill. Each person times x number of consumables. Were living on a larger version of Easter Island.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  4. CaptSpiff

    CaptSpiff
    Feeling the Heat 2.
    NULL
    

    Jan 13, 2014
    410
    107
    Loc:
    Long Island, NY
    Yup, that's why China (and India) cannot commit to "reasonable" increases in future climate targets.

    We want to look at their past & present pollution and GHG numbers, and use those as anchor numbers.
    They know as their vast population transitions from 3rd world into middle class consumerism, each person's energy consumption and personal pollution & waste rises (on a per person basis).

    That means they'll have problems replacing those "coal polluters" with newer clean tech, because they'll need em just to keep up with growth/demand. Maybe run em even harder if they go thru normal economic downturns.
     
    SpaceBus likes this.
  5. begreen

    begreen
    Mooderator 2.
    NULL
    
    Staff Member

    Nov 18, 2005
    77,604
    12,725
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    China is a huge topic, with some mind-boggling statistics. It deserves its own thread because they are using some strategies that would be impossible here. They don't mind starting with a clean slate if it is the best way to achieve their objective. That includes complete, giant cities from scratch which allow them to put in infrastructure to better deal with waste and provide the newest technologies. So far, they have been quite successful. India otoh has not so far except in some smaller areas like Bangalore, Hyderabad, Gurgaon, Noida, yet India population is exploding.

    That said, this thread should stick to the topic of plastics. Another thread either on developing nations, China or the 600# gorilla in the room, over-population would be a better place to expand on these interesting and important topics.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  6. semipro

    semipro
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Jan 12, 2009
    3,568
    672
    Loc:
    SW Virginia
    Non-organic materials (minerals) and synthetics that don't break down biologically in a septic tank will accumulate there and require eventual removal - a lot like ash in a wood stove.
    I installed a filter between our septic tank and drain field to capture synthetic fibers that will collect and hinder infiltration. This should hopefully extend the life of our drain field. Coincidentally a semi-yearly reminder popped up today for me to clean the filter. :)

    Edit: for fun sometime, filter the water coming out of your clothes washer. I was astounded by the amount of synthetic fiber (and pet hair) in ours.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    SpaceBus likes this.
  7. SpaceBus

    SpaceBus
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Nov 18, 2018
    2,363
    1,051
    Loc:
    Downeast Maine
    We don't have a washer, yet, but we do have three dogs. I fill a Dyson canister every day.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  8. semipro

    semipro
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Jan 12, 2009
    3,568
    672
    Loc:
    SW Virginia
    IIRC hair and fingernails act a lot like synthetics in that they take quite a long time to break down biologically.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    SpaceBus likes this.
  9. SpaceBus

    SpaceBus
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Nov 18, 2018
    2,363
    1,051
    Loc:
    Downeast Maine
    I'll have to talk to the plumber about a drain filter.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  10. CaptSpiff

    CaptSpiff
    Feeling the Heat 2.
    NULL
    

    Jan 13, 2014
    410
    107
    Loc:
    Long Island, NY
    I drain my washer into a slop sink, and I do this by tying a woman's stocking over the end of the drain hose. Amazing how much lint is captured in a few washes.
    If I didn't do that I'd run my washer into a separate dry-well.
     
  11. semipro

    semipro
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Jan 12, 2009
    3,568
    672
    Loc:
    SW Virginia
    We recently added a utility sink and relocated our clothes washer nearby so we just discharge to that sink now. A screen strainer in the bottom collects the lint. We have to clean it with almost every washer load.
    utility tub drain.jpg
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  12. Ashful

    Ashful
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Mar 7, 2012
    14,542
    7,185
    Loc:
    Philadelphia
    This thread has been a real eye-opener. I had no idea!

    We are also trying to maximize the life of an old drain field, as our only replacement option is putting in a very inconvenient mound, and pumping up-hill to it. Not attractive.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  13. AlbergSteve

    AlbergSteve
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Dec 11, 2017
    543
    338
    Loc:
    Vancouver Island
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    SpaceBus likes this.
  14. paulnlee

    paulnlee
    Member 2.
    NULL
    

    Dec 2, 2018
    188
    70
    Loc:
    Flemington, NJ
    I heard today he's pushing for paper cartons for water. Wonder why. Could it be the huge paper industry in Canada. Also a CEO of a carton maker here in the good old USA called in and described what goes into a paper carton. More crap than you would want to know.
     
  15. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Oct 17, 2008
    6,297
    1,303
    Loc:
    Eastern Central PA
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  16. SpaceBus

    SpaceBus
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Nov 18, 2018
    2,363
    1,051
    Loc:
    Downeast Maine
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  17. Ashful

    Ashful
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Mar 7, 2012
    14,542
    7,185
    Loc:
    Philadelphia
    If we look back over the decades of past health scares, one thing that’s been pretty consistent is the medical establishment’s inability, or decades-long delays in being able to tie effects to their causes. Using the cellular telephone as a great example, we have had the ability to measure the electric and magnetic field strengths at various distances for 100 years, but it’s nearly always multiple decades past the obsolescence and decommissioning of any cellular protocol before the medical folks have any consensus as to its effect on the users. Heck, they’re just wrapping up many studies on the health effects of exposure to radiation levels commensurate with your father’s 1980’s car phone, in the last two years!

    Unfortunately, it appears to me that microplastics are falling into the same trap. We can detect and measure the content of microplastics in our food and water supplies, and everyone is making gross (and almost certainly wrong) assumptions as to the health risk they create. It will likely be decades before that is really understood.

    This isn’t an argument to ignore the problem, just an observation, when I see articles like the one above opening with statements about their disastrous effects on our health. That is an assumption, with very little evidence behind it. It is an emotional response to a scientific problem.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    Woody5506 likes this.
  18. SpaceBus

    SpaceBus
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Nov 18, 2018
    2,363
    1,051
    Loc:
    Downeast Maine
    I am 100% certain ingesting petrochemicals is bad.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  19. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Oct 17, 2008
    6,297
    1,303
    Loc:
    Eastern Central PA
    From what i understand rainwater is as pure as distilled water initially, but the air is not pure. Im betting all the pollutants in rain water come from passing through polluted air so the article is a bit misleading.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  20. SpaceBus

    SpaceBus
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Nov 18, 2018
    2,363
    1,051
    Loc:
    Downeast Maine
    Unless the small plastic particles are becoming airborne like Saharan dust that makes its way across the Atlantic.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  21. CaptSpiff

    CaptSpiff
    Feeling the Heat 2.
    NULL
    

    Jan 13, 2014
    410
    107
    Loc:
    Long Island, NY
    Nerd mode triggered...

    Isn't the formation of raindrops based on the presence of "condensation nuclei"?

    Think plastic dust??
     
    SpaceBus and Ashful like this.
  22. Ashful

    Ashful
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Mar 7, 2012
    14,542
    7,185
    Loc:
    Philadelphia
    Maybe microplastics are the solution for some of our drought issues. People in South America don’t have enough water, thanks to Avacado farmers taking it all for irrigation of trendy Europeon exports. Answer: microplastics!

    Of course I’m being facetious.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    SpaceBus likes this.
  23. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Oct 17, 2008
    6,297
    1,303
    Loc:
    Eastern Central PA
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  24. begreen

    begreen
    Mooderator 2.
    NULL
    
    Staff Member

    Nov 18, 2005
    77,604
    12,725
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    While true that we will be studying this for years, there is an ample body of science proving that the bioaccumulation of plastics have harmful effects on animals. Mammals bioaccumulate in fatty tissue. Not good for women at all. The fossil fuel/petrochemical industry is banking on the delayed, provable effect on humans, but scientists are already sounding the alarm

    The big issue is that while research continues, these particles of plastic aren't disappearing. They just continue to break down into tinier nano-plastic particles. These get airborne, they pass through filters, they are in bottled water. As the particles break down, the "stable" long-chain molecules breakdown and release toxins that were used to create these ubiquitous plastics. Toxins like BPA and phthalates. BPA is a known endocrine disrupter. Most concerning is once they are small enough to show up in the bloodstream. This is a global catastrophe developing and yet the fossil fuel industry has the pedal to the floor, building more refineries and producing a great deal more plastics.

    Here is a tiny sample of recent research. There has been a lot in the past several years. No one is saying this is a trivial problem:
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6132564/
    https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13181-018-0661-9
    https://www.news-medical.net/news/20100320/Impact-of-plastics-on-human-health-and-ecosystems.aspx
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    Ashful likes this.
  25. begreen

    begreen
    Mooderator 2.
    NULL
    
    Staff Member

    Nov 18, 2005
    77,604
    12,725
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    This was on the wires today. Plastic particles are showing up in arctic ice cores and in snowfalls in the Alps. This illustrates how planet-wide the terrifying problem is.
    “Once we’ve determined that large quantities of microplastic can also be transported by the air, it naturally raises the question as to whether and how much plastic we’re inhaling,” Bergmann said in a statement.
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-environment-arctic-plastic/punch-in-the-gut-as-scientists-find-micro-plastic-in-arctic-ice-idUSKCN1V41V2
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    SpaceBus and Ashful like this.

Share This Page