Industries are pivotal to every economy today especially the manufacturing sector. The term industry itself covers the whole spectrum of products and services that are demanded by human beings to fulfil their everyday needs and wants.
Hence, the nature of pollutants that are released by different industries is different. From toxic chemicals, harmful gases, radioactive elements to waste water etc. the contaminants produced by these diverse industries create a much more complicated and dynamic threat than one form of pollution.
Some of the causes of industrial pollution are the effluents from petrochemicals and construction industry. These release aromatic compounds and micro particles that can severely impact the aquatic life leading to en masse killing of fishes, destruction of coral colonies etc.
The pollutants gases and green house gases produced by thermal industries based on fossil fuels lead to inhospitable breathing atmosphere and several respiratory diseases.
The electronic and engineering industry produces enormous electronic waste that is not only difficult to dispose off but contains harmful substances like cadmium, arsenic etc which can be lethal in small amounts. The industries based on forest materials lead to deforestation which in turn is a catalyst for worsening the overall pollution levels.
They may also aid onset of various natural disasters like floods, acid rains etc. The list of effects that are caused by industrial pollution is the direct manifestation of all the forms of pollution that it entails. There are several respiratory diseases like asbestosis, emphysema etc caused by inhalation of harmful industrial particles and gases.
There are also frequent cases of chemical poisoning from industries dealing with lead, arsenic, dioxins etc. Severe bouts of headaches, nausea etc are also some other ailments that are caused by industrial pollution. Apart from human beings, it also affects plants as an accumulation of these harmful chemicals can caused plant death and stunted growth.
Animals that feed on these plants are affected adversely in terms of physical and reproductive health. The overall effect of global warming (due to industrial emission of greenhouse gases) and its cascading effects on the environment cannot be overlooked either. The strategy for combating industrial pollution has to be holistic n scope and planning.
The location of industries and its adherence to environmental laws need to be strictly regulated. This requires more meticulous environmental impact assessments and consequent licensing. The need for alternatively sustainable and cleaner raw materials is paramount and must be prioritized.
The treatment of waste (effluent or gaseous) needs to be upgraded and improved to minimize the environmental damage caused. Afforestation and using natural methods of damage control like composting etc need to be leveraged in order to reduce the impact of industries on ecological and human health.
The need of the hour is accountability and it can only be exercised if there are widespread awareness and education about the menace of industrial pollution. This is also important because any successful and wide-scale campaign for cleaning the industries will require popular support and vehemence.