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Industrial Pollution and Environmental Degradation

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  • Last Updated : 16 Mar, 2022

Manufacturing is the process of creating or producing items using equipment, labor, machinery, tools, and chemical or biological processing or formulation.

The manufacturing industries are known for secondary activities. The phrase can relate to a wide variety of human activities, from handcraft to high-tech, but it is most usually used in industrial design, which involves the transformation of raw materials from the primary sector into completed commodities on a big scale.

Such commodities may be sold to other manufacturers for use in the creation of more sophisticated products (such as airplanes, home appliances, furniture, sports equipment, or vehicles), or they may be delivered to end-users and consumers through the tertiary sector (usually through wholesalers, who in turn sell to retailers, who then sell them to individual customers). 

Pollution

Pollution, also known as environmental pollution, is the introduction of any substance (solid, liquid, or gas) or form of energy (such as heat, sound, or radioactivity) into the environment at a rate that exceeds the rate at which it can be dispersed, diluted, decomposed, recycled, or stored in some harmless form.

The three principal types of pollution, as defined by the environment, are air pollution, water pollution, and thermal pollution.

Specific sorts of pollutants, such as noise pollution, light pollution, and plastic pollution, are also of concern in modern civilization. Pollution of any form may harm the environment and animals, as well as have a detrimental influence on human health and well-being. 

Although industries have contributed greatly to India’s economic growth and development, their waste products have resulted in environmental deterioration.

Industries are responsible for four forms of pollution: air, water, thermal, and noise. 

Air Pollution

Air pollution is the contamination of air caused by the presence of chemicals in the atmosphere that is hazardous to human and other living beings’ health or cause damage to the climate or materials.

Air pollutants include gases (such as ammonia, carbon monoxide, Sulphur dioxide, nitrous oxides, methane, carbon dioxide, and chlorofluorocarbons), particles (both organic and inorganic), and living molecules. Air pollution may cause illnesses, allergies, and even death in people; it can also harm other living species such as animals and food crops, and it can impact the natural environment (such as climate change, ozone depletion, or habitat degradation) or the built environment (for example acid rain).

Air pollution may be caused by both human activities and natural phenomena. Air pollution is a major risk factor for a variety of pollution-related disorders, such as respiratory infections, heart disease, COPD, stroke, and lung cancer. Growing research shows that exposure to air pollution is linked to lower IQ scores, decreased cognition, an increased risk of psychiatric illnesses such as depression, and poor perinatal health. Poor air quality has far-reaching consequences on human health, although it mostly affects the respiratory and cardiovascular systems. 

Eg- As compared to other sources of pollution, air pollution has a heavy chance of affecting the whole planet, by the phenomenon of “Global Warming”.

In the Indian context, the Bhopal Gas Tragedy of 1984 is an example of the harm the gas leak from the industry caused in the lives of many people in Bhopal.

Water Pollution

Human activity adds to water contamination as well. Factory chemicals and lubricants are occasionally spilled or leak into streams, leading to water pollution. These substances are referred to as runoff. Chemicals in runoff can harm aquatic life by creating a hazardous environment. Runoff can also contribute to the growth of cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae. Cyanobacteria multiply fast, resulting in a hazardous algal bloom (HAB). Harmful algal blooms make it impossible for species like plants and fish to live in the water.

They are linked to “dead zones” in the world’s lakes and rivers, where little life occurs beneath the surface of the water.

It is caused by the discharge of organic and inorganic industrial wastes and effluents into waterways. Paper, pulp, chemical, textile, and dyeing businesses, as well as petroleum refineries, tanneries, and electroplating industries, are the major perpetrators. These industries discharge dyes, detergents, acids, salts, and heavy metals such as lead and mercury, as well as pesticides, fertilizers, synthetic compounds including carbon, plastics, and rubber, into bodies of water.

In India, the most common solid wastes are fly ash, phosphor-gypsum, and iron and steel slags. Contaminated water is exceedingly hazardous to human consumption and causes chronic illnesses. 

Eg- Pollution of the Ganga river due to industrial runoffs and human disposals; have caused extinction and endangerment of species.

Thermal Pollution

When hot water from industrial and thermal plants is discharged into rivers and ponds before cooling, this occurs. There is a link between soil and water pollution as waste dumped into soil leads to flow of pollutants to ground, as a result the groundwater is also polluted. Thermal pollution is the dumping of hot water into bodies of water.

Thermal or nuclear power plants are the principal sources of thermal heat pollution, as are industrial effluents from petroleum refineries, pulp and paper mills, chemical plants, steel mills and smelters, sewage effluents, and biochemical activities. The ambient water temperature is one of the most critical conditions for aquatic fauna and plant survival.

Cancers, birth abnormalities, and miscarriages are caused by waste from nuclear power plants, nuclear and weapon production sites.

Thermal pollution reduces the amount of dissolved oxygen in the water, which aquatic life requires, damages fish larvae and eggs in rivers, causes the extinction of some fish and macroinvertebrates that have a low tolerance for temperature change, and causes living entities to migrate from their environment. 

Eg- The pollution of Subarnarekha in Jadugoda in Jharkhand, is a good example of nuclear waste contamination and pollution, which if left untreated than results would be catastrophic.

Noise Pollution

Noise pollution is an unseen threat. It cannot be seen, although it is present both on land and beneath the water. Any undesired or irritating sound that impacts the health and well-being of people and other species is referred to as Noise pollution.

Noise pollution is described as repeated exposure to high sound levels that may cause harm to people or other living beings. Sound levels less than 70 dB are not harmful to living beings, according to the World Health Organization, regardless of how long or regular the exposure is. Continuous exposure to sound above 85 dB for more than 8 hours might be dangerous. If you work for 8 hours a day near a major road or highway, you are likely to be exposed to traffic noise pollution of roughly 85 decibels. 

It can induce hearing loss, increased heart rate, and blood pressure, among other physiological symptoms, in addition to aggravation and rage. Unwanted sound is a source of annoyance and tension. Industrial and construction operations, machinery, manufacturing equipment, generators, saws, and pneumatic and electric drills are the most common sources of noise pollution.

Eg- Noise pollution caused in the industrial areas like Thane, have caused lots of adversities to people in suburbs.

Sample Questions 

Question 1:What are the consequences of thermal pollution?

Answer:

  •  Decrease in dissolved oxygen (DO) levels: Thermal pollution raises water temperature by reducing dissolved oxygen (DO) levels. The concentration of oxygen in warm water is lower than in cold water, hence DO is lower. Plants and animals may as a result succumb to asphyxia.  Algae can thrive on the water’s surface when the temperature rises. Water oxygen levels may be reduced as a result.
  •  Toxicological increase: Toxins are frequently found in water that has been recirculated from industrial locations. Toxins have the potential to disrupt local ecosystem and make people more susceptible to sickness.
  •  Impact on the environment: Some aquatic animals can be harmed by small variations in temperature. Plants, insects, and amphibians can all die as a result of thermal pollution. However, other organisms, such as algae, thrive in hot environments.

Question 2:What are the measures to prevent Noise pollution?

Answer:

  • Honking in public spaces such as schools and hospitals should be prohibited.
  • Adequate soundproofing solutions should be provided in commercial, medical, and industrial facilities.
  • The sound of musical instruments should be limited to acceptable levels.
  • A dense canopy of trees can help to reduce noise pollution.
  • Explosives should not be utilized in wooded, hilly, or mining locations.

Question 3:How can we decrease industrial contamination of fresh water?

Answer:

By following ways 

  • Reducing the amount of water used in processing by reusing and recycling it in two or more stages
  • Rainwater harvesting to satisfy water requirements.
  • Before discharging hot water and effluents into bodies of water and ponds, they must be treated.

Question 4:What are the two negative consequences of nuclear energy?

Answer:

 The two negative consequences of nuclear energy are : 

  • Nuclear power plant waste can cause cancer, birth abnormalities, and miscarriages.
  • Radioactive materials have a negative impact on aquatic life.

Question 5: Give two importance of manufacturing industries?

Answer:

Two importance of manufacturing industries are : 

  • Manufacturing sectors employ a huge number of skilled as well as unskilled people.
  • Manufactured goods exports generate foreign exchange for India.

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