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Migrants living in NY
April 12, 2024

Has your cafeteria water ever seemed dirty or unsafe to drink?
Yogendra Singh
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Has your cafeteria water ever seemed dirty or unsafe to drink? Have you ever had to buy water because there are things in the cafeteria water that aren’t safe? Well, if that’s the case, then pollution is to thank for it. 

The natural environment is being greatly affected by human activity. Things like factories, disposal of toxic wastes and lead from pipes can all become causes of this issue, especially in New York. As they can sometimes cause the issue, humans can also be the ones ending it as well. There are different types of pollution, with the water and air all affected if not taken care of by us as a community. 

Ms. Liao and Mr. Harrison, two of our environmental science teachers, as well as Mr. Fonseca who have experienced environmental pollution in other parts of the country, are people at UAM who shared their views on pollution in nature.

“I think there are pollution problems and landfill problems or any problems where a company doesn’t get rid of chemical waste properly.” Liao said, “New York does not. New York is not top of mind. But at the same time, we have to be more vigilant about how we regulate it.” 

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Something New York does poorly is the way it manages its chemicals. It is known that hazardous waste can contain high levels of damaging metals such as lead and this can cause pollution, but there is still more about the issue that needs to be resolved. 

“You know that the Hudson River has also been polluted for a really long time. But that’s also being worked on as well,” Harrison remarked, “So, that’s our water pollution and the other form of pollution is just physical trash. That’s on the ground and is everywhere.” 

The Hudson river has been polluted. Though it’s not as intense as other places, it’s still representing a problem with the environment. 

Pollution is an effect of New York failing to dispose of hazardous waste properly, and there’s water pollution which can be caused by more than this. Water pollution is mainly caused by the disposal of trash done in the wrong way, as well. Plastics and metals degrade slowly and they can drop harmful chemicals and wastes into the environment. Pollution exists as an issue in other places besides New York. 

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The environment is being endangered in places outside of New York, and the way it exists is not better than it does elsewhere.

“A lot of industrial usage where there’s meat processing and waste processing; a lot of that over the course of the years had seeped into water supplies and into the land,” Fonseca stated,  “and as a result, one of the one of the chief complaints that residents have there (Los Angeles) or  problems that they experienced with their health, are higher levels of cancer and developmental issues. Some of the students that I taught were born with these and some of their parents attributed it to this type of pollution.”

Pollution is a problem and it won’t stop being one, but it can become less of a problem if it is looked at and dealt with well. The growth of pollution can be slowed down by considering the causes of it, properly disposing trash and waste from factories. This can prevent lead from getting into the water. Please consider this next time you take a drink; pollution can be slowed if the causes are slowed, and it takes action on our part for the planet to have hope for a better future.

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About the Contributor
Alex Blackstock
Alex is a sophomore at Urban Assembly School for Media Studies in Manhattan, New York. He is very devoted to his work and an intelligent person. Outside of school he can be found watching cartoons like The Powerpuff Girls. Alex is also autistic.
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