Chemical and Human Relations: The Symbiotic Environment
In today's society, we as a race have come to depend upon thousands of different chemicals to support our daily state of being. We have slowly evolved from complete independence, to a near symbiosis with the environment on an atomic scale. This is evident in the foods we eat, the machines we use, and even the air we breathe. On the other hand, chemicals and related materials have proved to be toxic disasters when the tiniest mistakes are made. Beware humanity; our saviour lies within the killer. And that is the issue that I shall deal with in this essay, essentially how chemicals can detrimentally affect the human condition.
Over the course of our superiority as mammals, humans have created more deviant things than those with beneficial purposes. It is innately within us to kill, rather than save. Chemicals have been doing both jobs since the beginning of time. Over the course of the past 20 years, over 200, 000 have died indirectly or directly as a result of chemical disasters. Several of the larger scale disasters will be looked at in detail farther on.
So just how safe is our system today? Well, it is recorded that on average, there are 19 reports of accidental toxic chemical releases every day in the United States. There does not exist any single list that states all of the hazardous chemical factories out there. "Nobody even knows how many of these companies exist, or where they are" states Gerald Poje, member of the US Safety and Hazard Investigation Board.
Even farther into the issue of safety is the detection process. Currently, most toxic chemical companies use a "lighting strike" approach to detecting a chemical leak. Using a monitor with an extremely limited range (about 4m), the technicians hope that any leaking chemicals will drift into the scope of the monitor. "Standard monitoring is like winning the lottery; it's hit and miss…