Environment Magazine

Causes and Effects of Industrial Pollution

Posted on the 13 June 2013 by Rinkesh @ThinkDevGrow

Industrial Pollution

With the coming of the Industrial Revolution, humans were able to advance further into the 21st century. Technology developed rapidly, science became advanced and the manufacturing age came into view. With all of these came one more effect, industrial pollution. Early industries were small factories that produced smoke as the main pollutant. However, since the number of factories were limited and worked only a certain number of hours a day, the levels of pollution did not grow significantly. But when these factories became full scale industries and manufacturing units, the issue of industrial pollution started to take on more importance.

Any form of pollution that can trace its immediate source to industrial practices is known as industrial pollution. Most of the pollution on the planet can be traced back to industries of some kind. In fact, the issue of industrial pollution has taken on grave importance for agencies trying to fight against environmental degradation. Nations facing sudden and rapid growth of such industries are finding it to be a serious problem which has to be brought under control immediately.

Pollution From Industries

Industrial pollution takes on many faces. It contaminates many sources of drinking water, released unwanted toxins into the air and reduces the quality of soil all over the world. Major environmental disasters have been caused due to industrial mishaps, which have yet to be brought under control. There are many different factors that comprise of the issue of industrial pollution.

Causes of Industrial Pollution

1. Lack of Policies to Control Pollution: Lack of effective policies and poor enforcement drive allowed many industries to bypass laws made by pollution control board which resulted in mass scale pollution that effected lives of many people.

2. Unplanned Industrial Growth: In most industrial townships, unplanned growth took place wherein those companies flouted rules and norms and polluted the environment with both air and water pollution.

3. Use of Outdated Technologies: Most industries still rely on old technologies to produce products that generate large amount of waste. To avoid high cost and expenditure, many companies still make use of traditional technologies to produce high end products.

4. Presence of Large Number of Small Scale Industries: Many small scale industries and factories that don’t have enough capital and rely on government grants to run their day-to-day business often escape environment regulations and release large amount of toxic gases in the atmosphere.

5. Inefficient Waste Disposal: Water pollution and soil pollution are often caused directly due to inefficiency in disposal of waste. Long term exposure causes chronic health problems, making the issue of industrial pollution into a severe one. It also lowers the air quality in surrounding areas, causing many respiratory disorders.

6. Leaching of Resources From Our Natural World: Industries do require large amount of raw material to make them into finished products. This requires extraction of minerals from beneath the earth. It destroys the land used for mining and drilling, by removing all resources and leaving it to waste away, or through leaks and accidents that cause oil spills in both the land and the sea.

Industrial Pollution

Effects of Industrial Pollution

1. Water Pollution: The effects of industrial pollution are far reaching and liable to affect the eco-system for many years to come. Most industries require large amounts of water for their work. When involved in a series of processes, the water comes into contact with heavy metals, harmful chemicals, radioactive waste and even organic sludge.

These are either dumped into open oceans or rivers, or the water that has been polluted by them is released into the ground. As a result, many of our water sources have trace amounts of industrial waste in them and it seriously impacts the health of our eco-system. This water is used for irrigation, washing our food at home and sometimes recycled into drinking water.

Water pollution has already rendered many ground water resources useless for humans and wildlife. It can at best be recycled for further usage in industries, which costs tremendous amounts of money.

2. Soil Pollution: Soil pollution is creating problems in agriculture and destroying local vegetation. It also causes chronic health issues for the people that come in contact with such soil on a daily basis.

3. Air Pollution: Air pollution has led to a steep increase in various illnesses and it continues to affect us on a daily basis. With so many small, mid and large scale industries coming up, air pollution has taken toll on the health of people.

4. Wildlife Extinction: By and large, the issue of industrial pollution shows us that it causes natural rhythms and patterns to fail, meaning that the wildlife is affected in a severe manner. Habitats are being lost, species are becoming extinct and it is harder for the environment to recover from each natural disaster. Major industrial accidents like oil spills, fires, leak of radioactive material and damage to property are harder to clean-up, since they have a higher impact in a shorter span of time.

5. Global Warming: With the rise in industrial pollution, global warming has been increasing at a steady pace. Smoke and greenhouse gases are released by the factories into the air, which causes an increase in the greenhouse effect and increase in global warming. Melting of glaciers, extinction of polar beers, floods, tsunamis, hurricanes are few of the effects of global warming.

The issue of industrial pollution concerns every nation on the planet. As a result, many steps have been taken to seek permanent solutions to the problem. Better technology is being developed for disposal of waste and recycling as much polluted water in the industries as possible. Organic methods are being employed to clean the water and soil, such as using microbes that naturally use heavy metals and waste as feed. Policies are being pushed into place to prevent further misuse of land. However, industrial pollution is still rampant and will take many years to be brought under control.

Image credit: Squeakist , EnvironmentBlog

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