As water pollution has come to be an issue in many societies for decades, even centuries in some cases, scientists have long researched just what effects different pollutants will have on living organisms. In researching this it is possible to see just what effects are harmful to the environment and the things that need to be done to clean it up. In observing key facts, it is possible to see why investigating the effects of pollutants may be important:
- Pollutants can increase the concentration of bacteria and viruses in water bodies leading to potential health hazards.
- Organic wastes which flow into water bodies can 'impose high oxygen demands on the receiving water leading to oxygen depletion' (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxygen) that has the potential to lead to severe impacts on the entrie eco-system of that particular water body.
- Chemical inputs into water can have serious effects on the well being of marine wildlife, often resulting in death.
In knowing that these things can occur, an incentive can be found for scientists to research just what exactly can be done to fix the problem of pollution and which are the chemicals that what will have the most damage on an organism.
Researchable Question (3.)
What effects will the introduction of various pollutants or a dramatic change of temperature in waterways have on the cell membrane of an organic cell's membrane?
If a cell is exposed to a variety of different pollutants or the cell's surrounding temperature is at an extreme low or high, the membrane will be damaged causing the pigment to leak.
Equipment for experiment 1 (change in temperature):
- Thermometer: -10oC - 110oC
- 10 mL measuring cylinder
- Marking pen or sticky labels
- Stirring rod
- 5 test tubes