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Contaminants in the Environment Essay (Critical Writing)

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Updated: May 10th, 2022

Biomonitoring and Biomarkers


The human body contains multiple elements and chemical compounds. The body is built to withstand the existence of these materials since most of them are usually toxic (Sexton, Needham & Pirkle, 2004). The ability to withstand the toxicity of the said compounds is referred to as the ‘body burden’. Biomonitoring is used to measure this burden in an individual. Most of the tests carried out in the process of biomonitoring are performed on body fluids like blood and urine.


When an organism is exposed to the environment, they come into contact with several chemical compounds. The chemicals affect the health of this organism. According to Sexton et al. (2004), dealing with such exposure requires medical intervention. It is here that a biomarker comes into play. It is regarded as an event, at a molecular level, which is associated with the said medical intervention. In essence, a biomarker is used to understand the effects of environmental exposure on the organism to determine the best medical regimen to be used. The common assays related to biomarkers include scans and toxicology examinations.

The specimens used include body tissues and fluids. An example of such a biomarker is Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG). It is used in pregnancy tests. The specimen used can be urine (using a colorimetric stick) or blood (using ELISA).

Edible Bug Filled Cheese

The environment is full of organisms that can contaminate the food consumed by people. DrMarcone (2012) recommends the production of cheese using mites. In a video blog, DrMarcone emphasizes the need for food production to meet the flavor and texture requirements. The German MIlbenkase (mite cheese) is an example of cheese produced using mites. Millions of mites are included in the cheese block to enhance flavor. The process involved is referred to as mite-assisted-affinage.

Soil Contamination

The soil is a key component of the environment. It is exposed to several toxins. The high rate of industrialization evidenced in the 21st century has led to increased soil pollution. In addition to pollution, Bini (2010) suggests that there are natural processes that may alter the chemical content of the soil. As such, soil contamination can be regarded as the alteration of its chemical content.

The altered chemical composition harms humans, especially concerning agriculture. In light of this, it is necessary to conduct various tests on the soil. According to Bini (2010), the tests are used to determine the acidity levels and presence (or absence) of certain minerals. Soil remediation is needed to restructure its chemical composition to meet agricultural demands.

Distinguishing Facts from Sensationalism after a Disaster

Whenever there is a disaster involving chemical alterations in the environment, some people may make frivolous claims to explain the issue. Gabriel (2014) demonstrates such a scenario by illustrating an event in West Virginia. Residents became paranoid over a chemical spill, which contaminated water bodies. Gabriel (2014) exhibits sensationalism by insisting that 300,000 residents will lack water for their grooming essentials. However, according to the authorities, the toxicity of the chemicals, in this case, was insignificant.

A similar act of sensationalism is made apparent in the reporting of an oil spill off the Gulf of Mexico. Bluemink (2010) speculates that the disaster is the largest in history. Blue mink compares it to a 1989 tanker spill associated with Mobil Exxon. The truth is that the disaster in New Mexico could not be wished away. However, the stakeholders should examine the environmental impact of such occurrences. Focusing on the magnitude of the event can be regarded as sensationalism. Factual representation of events will greatly improve the handling of such disasters.


Bini, C. (2010). From soil contamination to land restoration: Air, water, and soil pollution science and technology sciences. London: Nova Science Publishers.

Bluemink, E. (2010). The size of Exxon spill remains disputed. Web.

DrMarcone. (Blogger). (2012).. Web.

Gabriel, T. (2014).. Web.

Sexton, K., Needham, L., & Pirkle, J. (2004). Human biomonitoring of environmental chemicals. American Scientist, 92, 38-45.

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IvyPanda. 2022. "Contaminants in the Environment." May 10, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/environmental-contamination/.


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