Bio-remediation is a process that uses microorganisms to restore a toxic or contaminated environment to its natural state of homeostasis. This type of environmental remediation relies on the use of living organisms, such as bacteria, yeast, and fungi, to break down and remove pollutants from a biological environment. Bioremediation offers an effective, low-energy-cost solution to some of the most difficult environmental problems inside the human body as well as the external environment we call home. Earth.
Within and without, humans are subject to the same processes as the world around us we live in. Nature is simple and conservative in the way it functions, and we can learn a lot about our internal environment by studying the external environment we interact with daily.
Homeostasis is the maintenance of a stable internal environment of an organism, micro or macro, regardless of changes to the external environment and across different habitat conditions. Homeostasis refers to maintaining the physiological equilibrium of an organic environment, such as regulating temperature, pH balance, nutrient levels, and oxygen supply for optimal functioning of cells. Homeostasis plays an important role in bioremediation, as it helps keep the environment stable and conducive to microbial activity in the bio-remediation process.
Bioremediation continually takes place throughout the human body, especially within the G.I. tract. It is also a method by which nature cleans up polluted sites in our external environment, such as groundwater aquifers, industrial wastewater lagoons, contaminated soils, and landfills. The process begins with the selection of appropriate microorganisms that are capable of breaking down specific contaminants in the environment.
The human body, like our external environment, also creates/generates the appropriate microorganisms that build and serve the body as necessary for its own bio-remedial processes. Next, these organisms are introduced into the area that needs treatment, and their growth is encouraged. In the external world, microorganisms feed on pollutants such as petroleum hydrocarbons, pesticides, solvents, and heavy metals, breaking them down into harmless substances that can be naturally absorbed into the environment.
These microorganisms are not out to harm us but are here to help us. To kill them off would be akin to killing the firemen at a structure fire. Bacteria, yeast, fungi, etc., are not the cause of disease in the same manner that firemen are not the cause of structure fires, but the response and solution.
Homeostasis is essential for the successful bioremediation of contaminated sites. The environment needs to remain stable for the microorganisms to survive and do their job effectively. Changes in environmental conditions, such as temperature, oxygen levels, and pH balance, can have a dramatic effect on the microbial populations’ ability to function properly. To ensure successful bioremediation, it is important to monitor these factors and make necessary adjustments to maintain a stable environment for the microorganisms.
Together bioremediation and homeostasis are important concepts to understand, essential for a successful reversal to a healthier overall environmental state. The use of microorganisms to break down pollutants offers an effective solution to some of the most difficult environmental problems. Maintaining homeostasis is the goal and an important part of the circle of life, and bioremediation is the process that ensures a stable environment for the optimal functioning of the macro-organism. By understanding how these concepts work together, we can continue to progress in preserving and restoring the fragile human ecosystem as a microorganism, as well as the external ecosystems we call home, the Earth acting respectively as a macro-organism in which we live.
-Michael J. Loomis