Golf Balls an unexpected environmental issue

dlynn By dlynn, 23rd Sep 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/2j89agbd/
Posted in Wikinut>News>Environment

I was surprised to hear that something as small and common as the lowly golf ball was actually causing some serious environmental issues

Scientific surprise

In the fall of 2009 scientists using a submersible robot were searching the waters of Scotland's famous Loch Ness. They were, of course, hoping to find real evidence of the elusive Loch Ness Monster or Nessie as she is lovingly referred to.

They did not locate Nessie. But what the cameras showed them was a major surprise. At a depth of around 700 ~ 750 feet they found golf balls, Hundreds of thousands of golf balls. Laying about the bottom of the Ness. These seemed to be scattered from 100 to 300 feet from the shoreline. It is not one or two golf balls, it literally is thousands upon thousands of golf balls. It would seem locals and tourists have been practicing their golf swing into the Loch for many years.

enviromental impact

Golf balls take somewhere between 100 and1,000 thousand years to decompose. As they decompose they give off a high quantity of heavy metals. The solid core of some golf balls holds dangerous levels of zinc. When submerged in water, the zinc attaches itself to the ground sediment and can poison surrounding ground and plants. Golf balls can also leach tungsten, cobalt and lead. All of these are also heavy metals. Most of us are aware of the dangers of lead poisoning. These heavy metals remain in the environment for thousands of years. So this impacts the environment for generations.

Another issue is the sheer number of golf balls. Estimates place the number of golf balls lost or thrown out, just in the USA, at around 300 MILLION golf balls in a single year. Not world wide, we are talking just one country.

more interesing information

In 1971 during the moon walk. Astronaut Alan Shepard left 3 or 4 golf balls on the moon surface. Scientist believe that the extreme temperatures on the surface of the moon has likely decomposed those already. But their environmental foot print remains.

On September 17, 2014 a couple was spotted hitting around a dozen golf balls into the Gulf of Mexico. This was in the Redington Shores area. Officials were looking for their whereabouts for littering charges. This sparked a lot of outrage locally. A passerby approached the couple and they basically said that they were not retrieving them and local kids could and sell them on a street corner or such.

The alternative is to use environmentally friendly biodegradable golf balls. Cruise ships use them. There are even a line of environmentally safe biodegradable golf balls made from lobster shells.

Tags

Environment, Environmental Crisis, Environmental Pollution, Environmentalism, Loch Ness Monster, Lochn Ness

Meet the author

author avatar dlynn
I was published many moons ago, But gave up writing to raise a family. Now the nest is emptied and I am back. I will write about pets, gardening, nature, hobbies and family and grief.

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Comments

author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
24th Sep 2014 (#)

It is surprising why we had not thought about this all along to make environmentally friendly bio-degradable golf balls - siva

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author avatar dlynn
24th Sep 2014 (#)

There are environmentally friendly options. One is even made of shells.

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
24th Sep 2014 (#)

Maybe Nessie died choking on a golf ball years ago.

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author avatar dlynn
24th Sep 2014 (#)

The video of what they saw is on youtube, judging from all the balls there were it is a possibility!

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
24th Sep 2014 (#)

Who would have thought that it would be such a problem and I do like Mark's thought.

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author avatar dlynn
24th Sep 2014 (#)

I would have never known except my daughter and her hubby are divers and made crazy $$$ removing golf balls from a pond, and they were told that they are dangerous to the environment, intrigued I searched. I like Mark's comment too.

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author avatar AjaySinghChauhan
25th Oct 2014 (#)

good post and thanks for sharing it with us.

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