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How to replicate the pollution level of the Hudson River with simple and affordable...

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crazyaar123 | Student, Grade 9 | eNoter

Posted September 26, 2013 at 10:59 PM via web

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How to replicate the pollution level of the Hudson River with simple and affordable materials?

How to replicate the pollution level of the Hudson River with simple and affordable materials? 

I am currently doing a science fair project in which I am testing affects of pollution, but that is besides the point. 

I need to find a way to replicate the pollution in a safe and affordable way. 

As you may know, the Hudson River is extremely dirty and polluted as it flows down New York City. 
According to Wikipedia, the Hudson River includes various hazardous chemicals such as accidental sewage discharges, urban runoff, heavy metals, furans, dioxin, cadmium, mercury, pesticides, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). 

I was thinking just inserting carbon dioxide into a vacuum to complete my project but I was wondering if there is a better method... 
Please no joking around, I am open to any ideas and please tell me if my idea makes sense... Thanks! 

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jerichorayel | College Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted October 8, 2013 at 7:38 AM (Answer #1)

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Replicating a large-scale habitat to a miniaturized is not very easy. In order to make it possible, here are some points. 

1. Try to narrow down your research to what are you looking for in the Hudson River. It may be 'polluted' as reported, but you have to actually determine what are those pollutants and what do you want to know. For example you are looking for the effects of cadmium ions present in water systems that can cause detrimental disease in human. You can't just put all the things you've researched in the net about the content of the river. Say, you are going to add amounts of heavy metals, furans, dioxin and PAH's. That's not going to work since you have to but those chemicals and get a very small amount. 

2. Next you do not need to show a moving water to show a river but a motor can do. Get the motor similar to that with the aquarium and attach it to the water systems. 

3. In setting up your miniature river, it would be better if you will create two ecosystems: one with polluted water and the other one with clean water. Put some plants and animals (worms, insects and anything you found in your garden) in both set-up and see if there is a difference in their growth and metabolism. 

4. be sure that your ecosystem is secured and enclosed. You can do that in an aquarium so that plants can have access to sunlight even if it is tightly secured. 

Pollutants in the river can be transferred in the soil and atmosphere and eventually to the living systems that can affect their growth and existence. 

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