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Industrial Pollution And Environmental Degradation

Industrial pollution can be classified under four categories:

  1. Air pollution: Air pollution is caused by a number of toxic and poisonous gases which are released from industrial chimneys. Sulphur dioxide and carbon monoxide are very harmful to human health. Particulate matters such as dust, smoke, ash are emitted from chemical plants, refineries and blast furnaces where a large quantity of fossil fuel is burned.
  2. Water pollution: Industrial effluents and wastes are discharged into rivers which pollute the river water. Various chemicals, acids, dyes and heavy metals such as lead and mercury pesticides are released in the river water from refineries, tanneries, textile units, etc., which degrade the water quality as well as affect the aquatic life. Hot water is released from factories which drain into rivers or other water bodies without cooling. This adversely affects the aquatic life.
  3. Land pollution: Land pollution occurs when chemicals, industrial effluents, glass, salts and garbage are left on the land. These make the soil useless. Moreover, they percolate down with the rainwater, thereby causing contamination of the underground water. Nuclear wastes released from nuclear armaments factory and power plants cause extreme health hazards, and various forms of cancer and defects at birth.
  4. Noise pollution: In industrial units, tremendous noise is generated by running machineries, drills, generators, etc. These may lead to impaired hearing. Moreover, constant exposure to such high volume causes irritation and high blood pressure amongst the people.

Measures to Control Industrial Pollution

  1. Fresh water must be prevented from getting polluted by mixing with industrial effluents. Use of recycled and reused water will decrease the demand on fresh water. By rainwater harvesting procedure, the water requirements of the factories can be met. Moreover, it would be required to maintain aquatic life by treating hot water and water polluted by effluents to be treated before being released to water bodies.
  2. Excessive withdrawal of ground water causes its depletion. The upliftment of ground water must be regulated, and due measures must be taken to recharge the same.
  3. The release of particulate matter in air must be checked by adopting some suitable scientific measures.
  4. Reduction of noise pollution has to be attended to. Using sound absorbing materials, using machineries which produce less sound and are more efficient can replace the existing machinery.

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