Industrialization has revolutionized our world. It has changed our lives for the better and brought about unprecedented social and economic developments. But the blessings have come at the cost of environmental degradation.
The industrialized countries are the major contributors to environmental degradation while the developing countries are also in a hurry to become more and more industrialized for their economic development. The industrial revolution has its own history. It started in the 18th century and quickly spread to the rest of the world.
As the number of industries enhanced, it started to deteriorate the entire ecosystem. The industries create environmental pollution which not only threatens the population’s health but it has also been disturbing the balance between economic development and the protection of the environment. The industries create numerous problems, which are needed to be taking care of; some of them are given hereunder
Air Pollution: The industries release toxic and dangerous gases in the atmosphere which degrade the air quality. It is estimated that annually 9% of the world population dies due to air pollution.
Water Pollution: The industries dump the chemicals and untreated industrial waste into the water reservoirs which contaminates the water quality. It makes the low water quality which is unable to use by humans as well as for irrigation purposes.
Soil Pollution: The factories openly discharge chemical and hazardous waste into the soil. It directly affects the quality of the soil. The use of fertilizers, oil spillage, and leaching of waste from landfills contaminate the soil quality.
Marine Pollution: For ages, the seas have been used for dumping waste and other hazardous industrial garbage, mainly due to the misconception that waste will be dilute into seas but it severely affects marine life.
Natural Resources: The industrialized countries use their natural resources at a rapid pace; it leads to the quick depletion of natural resources. Fossil fuel and Hydrocarbons are the major manifestations.
Acidic Rain: Mills release the Sulphur dioxides (SO2) and Nitrogen Oxides (NO) into the air and then it reacts with water, oxygen, and other chemicals to compose the acidic rain. The acidic rain is highly dangerous for all living things.
Solid Waste: Factories generate tons of solid waste daily. It is not properly managed and often it is dumped without any treatment. The landfills and dumping sites are not meeting the standards of proper management of solid waste of the industries. If the hazardous material is not treated accordingly, it can damage human health and the environment.
Deforestation: The forests are the main source of carbon consumption. The industries cut off the trees to utilize more land. The destruction of forests will not drive development but it creates harsh environmental problems.
Industrial Transportation: The industries use high vehicles to transport their goods; these vehicles release a high concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide reacts with other substances and creates numerous other toxic gases.
Smog: Several industrial units are still burning coal which has a dangerous impact on our atmosphere. The smog is one of the examples; it is yellowish or blackish fog with a mixture of industrial smoke. The speed of the wind is low in the winter, the fog and smoke become stagnate then it leads to creating smog. The smog affects the respiratory system and it hinders visibility and disturbs the entire atmosphere.
Global Warming: It refers to the steady temperature rise in our atmosphere. The world is heating up and this rise in temperature is known as global warming. As reported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) the world temperature is increased at a rate of 0.13 degrees Fahrenheit (0.07 degrees Celsius) on average between 1880 and 1980. The main reason for this rise in the temperature is the overall anthropogenic activities like, the excessive use of fossil fuel in industrial units which release the greenhouse gases into the atmosphere; resultantly it traps the warmth of the sun and increases the temperature of the earth.
The Greenhouse Effect: Industrial developments are driving up the earth’s temperature and it is changing the world around us. The main reason for the Greenhouse effect is the presence of gases such as carbon dioxide, Methane, Sulphur dioxide, Nitrous oxide, Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), and water vapors. When the sunlight enters the atmosphere, these gases keep some of the heat. The more greenhouse gases, the more heat gets trapped, strengthening the greenhouse gas effect and increasing the earth’s temperature.
To sum up, industries have increased the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere since the industrial revolution. The rapid increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has warmed the planet at an alarming rate.
The earth’s temperature fluctuated in the past but the atmosphere’s carbon dioxide has not reached today’s level in hundreds of thousands of years. Climate change has consequences on oceans, weather patterns, food sources, and our health.
There is a dire need that industries should be careful to deal with environmental pollution because the earth is the only planet to live in.