Industrialization has been the hallmark of human progress. However, industries have become to the biggest issue of environmental pollution. Industrial pollution is pollution that can be directly linked with industry, in contrast to other pollution sources. This form of pollution is one of the leading causes of pollution worldwide. Industries release a host of toxic gases into the atmosphere, and gallons of liquid waste into the seas and rivers. Some of the effluents percolate down and reach the ground water and pollute it to the extent, that people can’t use it for drinking or cooking. Besides adding to air pollution, the innumerable vehicles running on the roads add to noise pollution that has led to an increase in stress, anxiety and problems related to hearing. First, let’s talk about the origin of industrial pollution. “Since human beings started burning wood to stay warm, they have been releasing pollution into the environment. Not until the 18th century, though, when the Industrial revolution began, did humans begin to have a significant effect on Earth’s environment” (Broderick). According to Broderick, the steam-powered factories needed an endless supply of burning wood to run. Therefore, coal and oil became the predominant source of energy as industry spread across the world. However, the negative byproducts of burning coal and oil became obvious and fearful.
The forms of pollution involved radioactive waste, greenhouse gases, heavy metals and medical waste. One of the most harmful forms of industrial pollution is carbon dioxide gas released through the burning of coal and oil. Its increasing presence in the Earth’s atmosphere is a direct cause of global warming. Today, many developed nations realize the huge harm to environment and human beings by release of excessive carbon dioxide. They find many ways to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, such as, using filters on smoke stacks to help limit pollution by catching harmful substances and cleaning fumes before they reach the air; and by burning natural gas instead of oil and coal. However, despite the efforts of developed countries, the lax industrial regulations of developing countries such as China and India have led to a continued increase in emissions. Broderick warned that Possibly disastrous ecological consequences may occur within the next 100 years if carbon dioxide levels are not curbed. Urban industrial smog is another form of air pollution. The industrial furnaces, refineries, smelters, chemical plants and paper mills are the major contributors to smog. The large quantity of smog is emitted to the atmosphere from the smokestacks with inadequate pollution controls. Another harmful form of industrial pollution is water pollution, caused by dumping of industrial waste into waterways, or improper containment of waste, which causes leakage into groundwater and waterways. Industrial activities are a significant and growing cause of poor water quality. Industrial work involves the use of many different chemicals that can run-off into water and pollute it. Metals and solvents from industrial work can pollute rivers and lakes.
The result is poisoned aquatic life. Subsequently, birds, humans and other animals may be poisoned if they eat infected fish. According to Broderick, one of the most infamous examples is Minamata disease, a neurological disorder that occurred when residents of Minamata, Japan, ate fish containing large amounts of mercury obtained from a nearby chemical factory. Since the 1950s, more than 1,700 individuals have died as a direct result of mercury poisoning. In addition, the innumerable vehicles running on the roads not only emit a host of waste gas, but also cause noise pollution. This form of pollution has not received as much attention as other types of pollution, such as air pollution, or water pollution. However, noise pollution adversely affects the lives of millions of people. “Studies have shown that there are direct links between noise and health. Problems related to noise include stress related illnesses, high blood pressure, speech interference; hearing loss, sleep disruption, and lost productivity. Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) is the most common and often discussed health effect, but research has shown that exposure to constant or high levels of noise can cause countless adverse health affects” (Noise Pollution). From the above it is easy to find, human activities have brought great damage and pollution to the environment. At the same time, human beings have also suffered punishment by the injured environment. Humans should be held responsible for those problems Industrial pollution hurts the environment in a range of ways, and it has a negative impact on human lives and health. Pollutants can kill animals and plants, imbalance ecosystems, degrade air quality radically, damage buildings, and generally degrade quality of life. Factory workers in areas with uncontrolled industrial pollution are especially vulnerable. “Respiratory diseases in human beings are another price that we are paying for polluting the environment. Acid rains can kill trees, destroy crops and fish life in lakes and streams. Ingestion or inhalation of toxic substances increases the chances of having life-threatening diseases like cancer” (Bose).
Acid rain is an environmental phenomenon caused by industrial pollution. The scientists discovered, and have confirmed, “That sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) are the primary causes of acid rain. In the US, About 2/3 of all SO2 and 1/4 of all NOx comes from electric power generation that relies on burning fossil fuels like coal” (Faridi). “Because of the nature of the global environment, industrial pollution is never limited to industrial nations. Samples of ice cores from Antarctica and the Arctic both show high levels of industrial pollutants, illustrating the immense distances which pollutants can travel, and traces of industrial pollutants have been identified in isolated human, animal, and plant populations as well” (Smith). Industrial pollution exists in every country, both developed and developing countries. In the United States, for example, the Environmental Protective Agency estimates that up to 50% of the nation’s pollution is caused by industry. Because of its size and scope, industrial pollution is a serious problem for the entire planet, especially in countries which are rapidly industrializing, like most of the developing countries in the Asian region (Online). There are some reasons that can explain why developing countries have more air and water pollution problems than developed countries. The biggest reason is economic. Industrialization has been the hallmark of human progress. In order to achieve first world standards of living and production, the developing countries have to build more factories to produce more products. Because developing countries are seeking to expand their economic activities, consideration of environmental conservation often receives a low priority in those countries.
Their lack of the formal Regulation of Industrial Pollution leads to the toxic gas and polluted water releases into the atmosphere and waterways without treatment. Another main reason is lagging technology. Many developing countries, especially many heavily industrializing Asian countries such as China, are developing air pollution standards. “China is taking a unique approach in that rather than directly attempting to reduce industrial air emissions, they are aiming to instead reduce energy consumption by 20% per unit of GDP by 2010, to increase renewable energy by 10%, and cover 20% of the nation’s land with forest. Unfortunately, in the case of China as with many other countries, technology and cost are enormous barriers to pollution reduction” (Online). The factories don’t have technology and economic support and that makes their level of technology and equipment remain in the lower state. They are still burning coal to fuel industries and provide cheap energy, but this cause of heavy pollution. This give and take is a serious in balance. Otherwise, why do developing countries have more serious industrial pollution than developed countries? “Industrialized countries contribute to industrial air pollution by sending their most heavily polluting industries to developing countries” (Online). Nowadays, there’re many multinational companies in developed countries are building the factories and producing the products in developing countries. They choose to build their factories in those developing countries that have many advantages; and the most important one is they can avoid the environmental pollution regulations act up in their own countries. For example, Apple built 7 supplying plants in China. They caused heavy pollution in China but did not get any loss; that is because industrial pollution regulations are still lax or poorly enforced in many developing countries. However, legislation in the United States has helped to cut down significantly on air pollution. Therefore, the developed countries should pay for the environmental pollution of developing countries. “In addition, the temptation to keep environmental laws fairly relaxed is high due to the desire to attract foreign industries who want lower cost production facilities. The need to bring more money into the economy is seen as greater than the cost on human and environmental health” (Online). No matter it is a developed country, developing or emerging countries, they all have different levels of industrial pollution. Years of thoughtless exploitation of nature by human beings have seriously hurt the environment; and finally hit us hard. We as human beings have overworked the planet. Still, we can stop environmental degradation by many individual activities and certain rules. Creating awareness about the duties and responsibilities of the citizens of the earth is equally important.
“Air Pollution in Developing Countries” Web. January 5, 2013. Bose, Debopriya. “How does Human affect the Environment?” February 28, 2012. Web. January 5, 2013. Faridi, Rashid. “Acid Rain: Causes, Effects and Solutions” May 10, 2008. Web. January 5, 2013. “Noise Pollution” July 19, 2011. Web. January 5, 2013. http://www.epa.gov/air/noise.html S.E. Smith. “What is Industrial Pollution?” March 8, 2012. Web. January 5, 2013. T. Broderick. “What Are the Causes of Industrial Pollution?” January 23, 2012. Web. January 5, 2013.