lauren Lee

Water Pollution: Ammonia

My sustainability issue is about ocean pollution. Over 80% of the marine pollution comes from land based activities. Agricultural practices, coastal tourism, port and harbour developments, damming of rivers, urban development and construction, mining, fisheries, aquaculture, and manufacturing, among others, are all sources of marine pollution threatening coastal and marine habitats. From plastic bags to pesticides, most of the waste we produce on land eventually reaches the oceans, either through deliberate dumping or from run-off through drains and rivers.
There is one specific chemical in the United States produced by industries and that is known as NH3 more commonly known as Ammonia. Ammonia is used in industry and commerce, and also exists naturally in humans and in the environment. In the environment, ammonia is part of the nitrogen cycle and is produced in soil from bacterial processes. Ammonia is also produced naturally from decomposition of organic matter, including plants, animals and animal wastes. It is also used as a refrigerant gas, for purification of water supplies. It is found in many household and industrial cleaning solutions. Household ammonia cleaning solutions are manufactured by adding ammonia gas to water and can be between 5% to 10% ammonia. Ammonia solutions for industrial use may be concentrations of 25% or higher. Ammonia can cause major health issues when exposed to it. Exposure to low concentrations of ammonia in air or other solutions may produce rapid skin or eye irritation. Higher concentrations of ammonia may cause severe injury and burns. Contact with concentrated ammonia solutions such as industrial cleaners may cause corrosive injury including skin burns, permanent eye damage or blindness.
There are three main pillars of sustainability. Our sensor is related to the environmental pillar of sustainability. The environmental pillar focuses on reducing carbon footprints, packaging waste, water usage, and their overall impact on the planet. Our sensor will be used to tell us the amount of ammonia levels in different water samples. The amount of ppm (parts per million, a way of quantifying small concentrations) is determined by the color of the water sample and how much light is reflected. The colorimeter reflects blue, red, and green light, which calculates the different measurements. That also depends on the amount of ammonia in the solution. Using the color chart, we are able to see an estimate measurement of the ppm in the water sample. The purpose of the ammonia sensor is to detect the ammonia levels in the water we drink and the water that is around our environment.
To create my chime, I used gold paint as the base, symbolizing the sand, and seashells. The purpose of the items I used is to show that the beaches might look clean from afar, but when one takes a closer look, one can see the many different types of pollution on our beloved beaches. The items hanging from my chime are trash that one can often see on beaches or other bodies of water. The jellyfish is made out of trash also found on beaches. My chime as a whole symbolizes that above the water, it may look clean, but underneath, there are pollution that no one cares about. With my chime, I hope to send a clear message of how pollution in any bodies of water can cause harm to the human and marine population. I hope people will take action in beautifying our bodies of water, or maybe to create clubs in their communities that deals with ocean pollution. At least, I hope I can get people inspired to throw their own trash in the waste bins.