In this article we examined the ecological impacts caused by massive releases of toxic substances, including chemical accidents such as Minamata, Bhopal, Seveso, Chernobyl, Sandoz, Prince William Sound, and Aznalcollar.

Magnitude, scale, and the significance of ecological impacts differ from one case to the next. The ecological impact of disastrous chemical pollutions or accidents can be huge once they happen. In some cases, population size of the affected species has not returned to their pre-affected population size. Reducing catastrophic events resulting from human activities is essential to sustainable use of environment. In order to reduce chances for similar future catastrophes, the following points should be emphasized. Avoidance of accidents or minimization of the emission of toxic substances can be the best way to prevent ecosystem from catastrophic damage. Preparedness against various emergencies considering realistic worst-case scenarios and planning adequate response system should be incorporated. Investigations of the long-term environmental effects should be carefully undertaken to plan restoration action in a wiser fashion.

See also: Ecotoxicological Model of Populations, Ecosystems, and Landscapes; Food-Web Bioaccumulation Models; Volatalization.

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