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Question:
Do you think the pollution will still be on Earth in 100 years?



Replies:
Yes, (and some people will still be around on Earth in 100 years too: my Grandmother is 90 years old and still going strong!) Some kinds of pollution are a necessary part of life, and will be around as long as there are living things. Other kinds of pollution happen as a result of human industry - the things we make for a more comfortable life sometimes generate toxic waste that is harmful to life if it is not destroyed or stored safely. For the first 100 years of the Industrial Revolution, people did not always handle the waste safely, because there was plenty of room to just "throw it away" so it would not bother anyone. More recently we have begun to recognize the health problems caused by some kinds of pollution and are more careful about how wastes are handled and disposed of. There is a special kind of waste that is radioactive and harmful to life, but which does not break down and become harmless for a very long time (up to 10,000 years in some cases). This nuclear waste must be kept isolated from the environment in a special kind of dump, and scientists here at Argonne are working hard to find better ways to keep radioactive waste from bothering people.

Don Libby



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