Non biological minerals and metals and anthropogenic compounds

A large variety of minerals and metals are mined from desert environments. Many of them, if found in large quantities, can be highly toxic; such as Uranium and Thallium. In addition, the practice of mining such metals and minerals results in the deposition of toxic chemicals in water bodies in concentrations which may be toxic to a wide variety of organisms. In addition to natural elements and minerals in desert environments, the potential exists for anthropogenic-related compounds to be found in desert environments. These can be pesticides, insecticides, industrial waste, and hydrocarbons and have the potential to cause toxicity and adverse health effects to organisms and people in desert environments.