With all that is going on in today’s world, there is an increasing interest in helping care for and protect the environment. The level of focus on this subject had been increasing over the recent years, as consumers began to look at the environmental record of companies that they did business with. With the pandemic, people also had a lot of time to really think about what was important in life. Quality of life, for them and their children and grandchildren, became an ever important concern.
The pandemic also made us understand just how fragile life could be. Unseen dangers, which were not visible or previously in our awareness, became a subject of keen interest. With diminished resources due to drought and changed global conditions, it was obvious that future prosperity would depend on caring for the resources that we have. Environmental health went from something we probably should think about, to something that we simply must address.
How Environmental Testing Can Expose and Identify Hidden Dangers
When you work with a highly qualified materials analysis lab, they can provide many sophisticated services designed to identify hidden dangers in the environment. They’ll not only be able to determine exactly what is causing an issue, but the levels of toxicity and and mineralogical components present in the problem area. One of the laboratory services on offer is SEM, or scanning electron microscopy.
SEM uses electrons to provide extremely high-resolution imaging. In fact, it offers up to 100,000 X the magnification of traditional light microscopes. One of the most interesting case studies of the use of SEM was when soil around the Golden Gate Bridge was found to have extreme levels of lead. By employing scanning electron microscopy, scientists were able to identify numerous microscopic paint chips from the bridge that were the source of the lead in the soil.
Helping Improve Energy Efficiency
As our natural resources diminish and are increasingly affected by the changes across the globe, it will become even more critical to reduce our effect on the environment. One of the ways that scientists can help us do that is through improvements in energy efficiency.
Current predictions indicated that in several years, watersheds like the Colorado basin will fall even further and soon it may not be possible to generate power via the incredible dam systems there. Scientists are instrumental in the invention and testing of green energy systems, and in fostering improvements in existing energy systems in use today.
Monitoring Mining Sites and Working to Reclaim Land
Mining can have an adverse impact on the land and the environment, when not done with the proper care. Firms that are strictly interested in short-term profits can extract ore from the land, and just step away from the project when they have exhausted the resources. Often they leave behind sites that are compromised.
Key analysis and testing techniques can be used to quantify and identify the remediation needed for effective land reclamation. With XRD, or x-ray powder diffraction, it’s possible to study areas that may have been adversely affected by drainage of acid from mines. After accurately determining the mineral characteristics of the surrounding soil, appropriate remedial actions can be taken.