Biomagnification, it’s a term that most of the common people wouldn’t here, but it’s a serious term that is slowly destroying our environment. It can be defined as the increase in the level of the toxic substance in the food chain as the food chain moves up the upper level.
Biomagnification, Bioaccumulation, Eutrophication are all connected to destroying our environment. Biomagnification can also be called as Bio amplification or Biological magnification. Biomagnification wasn’t there in our environment earlier but was gradually increased throughout the time starting from the Industrial revolution, this can’t be reduced because it is persistent, contains bioenergetics, and low rate of internal degradation or excretion.
Biomagnification spreads mainly through water, as the waste materials get dumped in the ocean, lakes, rivers, etc… these waste or pollutants are taken or consumed by the microorganism and the chemicals are concentrated in their organs or tissues present and gradually the amount moves up towards the food chain and when consumed regularly will be led to a lot of diseases.
Biomagnification can occur at places like terrestrial, aquatic, etc… and Biomagnification increases day by day, and several activities cause this activity including agricultural activities. Farmers use pesticides, fungicides, and inorganic fertilizers, and indirectly these chemicals enter into the lower trophic levels, the microorganisms present in water bodies and then it will go into the higher trophic level and disturb the natural food chain. And it will affect our whole environment in the upcoming years, and the waste materials coming from the agriculture industries like copper, arsenic, mercury, and cadmium are affecting a lot of living creatures and organisms in the food chain. This waste flows in a normal River and lakes and gets absorbed by the soil and plants and enters into the food chain indirectly and cause diseases. Plants that are present near water bodies absorb this chemical waste and die also the soil fertility decreases bringing more damage to the environment.
Mining in the deep sea to extract minerals like zinc, cobalt, silver, gold, aluminium and this destroy the coastal regions and due to the process of mining sulfide and selenium are deposited in the waters and the toxic level of this gets build-up which is consumed by the microorganisms and the important part is the destruction of the coral reefs by Cyanide used in fishing and leaching gold, due to this the survival of the aquatic creatures is highly compromised. Sometimes during the transportation of oils like motor oils, crude oil .., the ship spills these oils in the oceans and since oils float in the water due to their densities and the microorganisms(like Phytoplankton, Zooplankton, etc..,) engulf it and these toxic chemicals make their way towards the food chain and since these oils cannot be broken down by these microorganisms they float for a long period and indirectly destroys the ecosystems.
Nowadays humans are working not for their need but greed. Humans introduce various harmful chemicals for increasing their productivity. Some of the chemicals are DDT (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane) and PCBs (polychlorinated Biphenyls). DDT is an insecticide that is made against some diseases like malaria etc… But DDT causes very serious problems it attacks our nervous system, immune system, reproductive system, and damages the body organs and it weakens the shells of the egg, due to these harmful effects it is now banned in India.PCBs(polychlorinated Biphenyls) is used as a softening agent and it is resistant to heat and temp and a higher concentration of PCBs will lead to cancer which is a very serious disease.
Heavy metals like arsenic, mercury, selenium, nickel, chlorinated hydrocarbons, etc… these chemicals are insoluble in water but soluble in organic solvents (including animal fat and plant oils) and cause danger to the ecosystem and leads to ecotoxicological problems, these chlorinated hydrocarbons are persistent in environment because these could not be broken down into simpler chemicals by the metabolism of the organisms or by ultraviolet radiation.
If all these chemicals used in the same way or increasing then there will be an accumulation of such chemicals started in living beings and this phenomenon is known as bioaccumulation. And the main thing is it affects the producers which lead to disturbance in the food chain… and also its effect on the growth of some organisms like amphibians, reptiles, etc…
Nowadays industries, as well as vehicles, produce very harmful and toxic gases which affect our environment and cause air pollution and these toxins can be combined with rainwater and causes acid rain. And these acids combine with the soil and find a way to come up in a food chain and be a part of magnification, due to our greediness we destroy our environment and our generation as Biomagnification is a big threat to the last organism in the food chain i.e., Humans as we will contract major diseases like kidney and liver failure, respiratory disorders, brain damage, heart diseases, hepatitis(caused by mercury), cancer(caused by aromatic hydrocarbons) and birth defects in pregnant women. The effect of Biomagnification spreads everywhere no matter where the effect takes place, like if a developed country’s industries pollute the water or a developing county’s agriculture activities pollute the soil or water the effect spreads everywhere no matter where you live it affects.
As the years go by and technology advances the damage to the environment increases, never decreases, but we can reduce the effect of Biomagnification by controlling the activities we are performing to save our environment.
To save our environment and our ecosystem we have to take responsibility for the damage and work towards it to save it, starting with the industries that allow free flow of its wastewater or its effluents into rivers, lakes, ponds, etc.., as this would directly affect the ecosystem. Ensuring the rules and regulations are not broken by any industries, organizations, and governments. Avoid draining or pouring harmful chemicals like motor oils, kerosene oils into water bodies, or sewage drains. Avoid fishing or spending time near the contaminated areas or water bodies near any industry and spreading awareness to common people about the dangerous effect of Biomagnification.
Encouraging farmers to use natural fertilizers and products instead of using pesticides and insecticides that help in increasing the level of Biomagnification. Producing sustainable products using advanced techniques instead of conventional techniques to decrease environmental degradation. Minimal usage of unwanted products. Proper rules and guidelines have to be and should be laid down by the respective governments of each country to reduce and control the pollution level and thereby reducing the ecosystem damage and these should be followed accordingly and using biotechnology to find new microorganisms that can break down these toxic chemicals.