Industrial Pollution and Effects on Health – The concentration of industrial activities – especially those of large-scale petrochemical, power generation, heavy industry and mining – involves environmental pressures, with potentially adverse effects on the health of local communities through their occupational and residential roles (WHO, 2009).
What is Industrial pollution?
Industrial pollution is the pollution which can be directly linked with industry. This form of pollution is one of the leading causes of pollution worldwide. The heavy emission from industries releases potentially hazardous pollutants into the air which, in turn, affects human health. There are a number of forms of industrial pollution. Industrial pollution also impacts air quality and it can enter the soil, causing widespread environmental problems.
The major Industrial pollutants are:
These form a major portion of the contaminated air released from industries. Particle pollution, also known as PM, is linked with most of the pulmonary and cardiac diseases. Particles of smaller size cause the lungs and heart diseases by reaching the respiratory tract.
CO, a colourless and odorless gas, produced by fossil fuels on incomplete combustion. CO has a greater affinity with hemoglobin and hence affects human health. Symptoms of CO poisoning may include headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, and finally loss of consciousness. The symptoms are very similar to those of other illnesses, such as food poisoning or viral infections.
SO2 is a colourless, highly reactive gas, which is considered as an important air pollutant. It is mostly emitted from fossil fuel consumption, natural volcanic activities, and industrial processes. SO2 is very harmful to plant life, animal, and human health. Due to its solubility in water, SO2 is responsible for acid rain formation and acidification of soils. SO2 reduces the amount of oxygen in the water causing the death of marine species including both animals and plants.
Nitrogen oxides are important ambient air pollutants which may increase the risk of respiratory infections. They are mainly emitted from motor engines and thus are traffic-related air pollutants. They are generally less toxic than O3.
Industrial Pollution and Effects on Health
Industrial activities are a major source of air, water and land pollution, leading to illness and loss of life all over the world. This pollution is a complex mixture of different gaseous and particulate components and can cause several health effects. Both long- and short-term exposure to industrial air pollution can cause health effects.
- Diseases like cardiovascular diseases
- Respiratory diseases
- Decreased lung functioning capacity
- Coughing and wheezing
- Headache, Dyspnoea, Chest pain
Factors causing Industrial Pollution
The major factors contributing to the release of enormous amounts of Industrial Air pollution which affects human health are:
- Production and untreated release of toxic substances
- Untreated waste disposal.
- Unplanned industrial growth
- Large scale depletion of resources from nature
- Unregulated bloom of small scale industries
Industries are responsible for environment degradation in India in the following ways:
- Industries contribute significantly to India’s economy and development but the increase in the number of industries has also lead to an increase in the level of pollution of land, water, and air. This has led to the degradation of the environment.
- There are four types of pollution caused by industries- air pollution, land pollution, water pollution, and noise pollution.
- Air pollution is caused by the presence of undesirable gases such as Sulphur dioxide and carbon monoxide in a high proportion.
- Land pollution is caused by the dumping of waste by the industries.
- Water pollution is caused by organic and inorganic industrial waste and effluents discharged into the river.
- Noise pollution is caused by industrial machinery which creates a lot of noise and is a source of annoyance.
Industrial Pollution- Solutions
The purpose of economic development in any region is to provide opportunities for improved living and jobs to people. The industrialization has led to environmental degradation in terms of industrial pollution. Adequate and effective pollution control measures are required so that adverse effects on the environment are minimised.
Some of the effective measures can be:
- Measuring the waste components released from one’s end- Reducing and checking on the wastes disposed of from one’s end can be effectively measured and can be easily checked on before disposing of their wastes.
- Exchanging and reusing of Waste Products- Exchanging the waste disposed of from one’s end can be of use for another one. By exchanging your waste in this manner instead of disposing of it, you are preventing your waste from becoming waste
- Control at Source- It involves suitable alterations in the choice of raw materials and processes in the treatment of exhaust gases before finally discharged.
- Selection of Industry Site- The industrial site should be properly examined considering the climatic and topographical characteristics before setting of the industry.
- Treatment of Industrial Waste- The industrial wastes should be subjected to proper treatment before their discharge.
- Plantation- Intensive plantation in the region considerably reduces the dust, smoke and other pollutants.
- Stringent Government Action- The government should take stringent action against industries that discharge a higher amount of pollutants into the environment than the level prescribed by the Pollution Control Board.
- Assessment of the Environmental Impacts- Environmental impact assessment should be carried out regularly which intends to identify and evaluate the potential and harmful impacts of the industries on the natural eco-system.
- Strict Implementation of Environmental Protection Act- Environment Protection Act should be strictly followed and the destroyer of the environment should be strictly punished.
Also Read: World Environment Day 2020: Theme
She is a Conservation Biologist deeply concerned with the protection and sustainability of natural resources and wildlife. She is particularly interested in studying and addressing the loss of Biodiversity and educating the people about the same. She has a Master’s degree in Zoology with Post Graduate Diploma in Environment and Sustainable Development and another in Sustainability Sciences.