Industrial Pollution, Environmental Degradation and its Control

Industrial pollution and Environmental Degradation

  • Industries are responsible for four types of pollution: Air,  Water, Land, Noise. 

Air Pollution:

  • It is caused by the presence of a high proportion of undesirable gases, such as sulphur dioxide and carbon monoxide in the air.
  • Airborne particulate materials contain both solid and liquid particles like dust, sprays mist and smoke.
  • Smoke is emitted by chemical and paper factories, brick kilns, refineries and smelting plants, and burning of fossil fuels in big and small factories that ignore pollution norms.
  • Air pollution adversely affects human health, animals, plants, buildings and the atmosphere as a whole.

Water Pollution:

  • It is caused by organic and inorganic industrial wastes and effluents discharged into rivers.
  • The main culprits are paper, pulp, chemical, textile and dyeing, petroleum refineries, tanneries and electroplating industries.
  • These industries let out dyes, detergents, acids, salts and heavy metals like lead and mercury pesticides, fertilisers, synthetic chemicals with carbon, plastics and rubber, etc. into the water bodies.
  • Fly ash, phosphor- gypsum and iron and steel slags are the major solid wastes in India.
  • Contaminated water is extremely harmful to human consumption and leads to chronic disorders.

Thermal pollution:

  • It occurs when hot water from factories and thermal plants is drained into rivers and ponds before cooling.
  • Wastes from nuclear power plants, nuclear and weapon production facilities cause cancers, birth defects and miscarriages.
  • Soil and water pollution are closely related, as waste dumped into soil percolates pollutants to the ground and the groundwater also gets contaminated.

Noise Pollution: 

  • It not only results in irritation and anger, it can also cause hearing impairment, increased heart rate and blood pressure among other physiological effects.
  • Unwanted sound is an irritant and a source of stress.
  • Sources: Industrial and construction activities, machinery, factory equipment, generators, saws and pneumatic and electric drills.

Control of Environmental Degradation

The pollution of freshwater can be reduced via:

  • Minimising use water for processing by reusing and recycling it in two or more successive stages.
  • Harvesting of rainwater to meet water requirements.
  • Treating hot water and effluents before releasing them in rivers and ponds.
  • Treatment of industrial effluents can be done in three phases:
  1. Primary treatment by mechanical means. This involves screening, grinding, flocculation and sedimentation.
  2. Secondary treatment by biological process
  3. Tertiary treatment by biological, chemical and physical processes. This involves the recycling of wastewater.
  • Legal Regulation of overdrawing of water near the industries.
  • Particulate matter in the air can be reduced by fitting smokestacks to factories with electrostatic precipitators, fabric filters, scrubbers and inertial separators.
  • Smoke can be reduced by using oil or gas instead of coal in factories.
  • Machinery and equipment can be used and generators should be fitted with silencers.
  • All machinery can be redesigned to increase energy efficiency and reduce noise.
  • Noise absorbing material may be used apart from personal use of earplugs and earphones.
  • NTPC also has a proactive approach for preserving the natural environment and resources like water, oil and gas and fuels in places where it is setting up power plants. This has been possible through-

(a) Optimum utilisation of equipment adopting the latest techniques and upgrading existing equipment.
(b) Minimising waste generation by maximising ash utilisation.
(c) Providing green belts for nurturing ecological balance and addressing the question of special purpose vehicles for afforestation.
(d) Reducing environmental pollution through ash pond management, ash water recycling system and liquid waste management.
(e) Ecological monitoring, reviews and online database management for all its power stations.

 

Related Questions:

1. How do factories cause noise pollution?
Ans. Industrial and construction activities, machinery, factory equipment, generators, saws and
pneumatic and electric drills also make a lot of noise.

2. How are industries responsible for polluting freshwater? Suggest any three measures to reduce water pollution. [CBSE (F) 2017]
Ans. Industries are responsible for polluting freshwater in the following ways:

  • Water pollution is caused by organic and inorganic industrial wastes and effluents discharged
    into rivers.
  • The main culprits are paper, pulp, chemical, textile and dyeing, petroleum refineries, tanneries
    and electroplating industries that let out dyes, detergents, acids, salts and heavy metals like
    lead and mercury, pesticides, fertilizers, synthetic chemicals with carbon, plastics and rubber,
    etc., into the water bodies.
  •  Fly ash, phospo-gypsum and iron and steel slags are the major solid wastes in India.
    Steps to minimize water pollution :
    (i) Minimising use of water for processing by reusing and recycling it in two or more successive
    stages. Harvesting of rainwater to meet water requirements.
    (ii) Treating hot water and effluents before releasing them in rivers and ponds. Treatment of
    industrial effluents can be done in three phases

(a) Primary treatment by mechanical means. This involves screening, grinding, flocculation and sedimentation.

(b) Secondary treatment by biological process

(c) Tertiary treatment by biological, chemical and physical processes. This involves the recycling of wastewater.

(iii) Overdrawing of groundwater needs to be regulated legally.

3. How is a land polluted?
Ans. The land is polluted by wastes from nuclear power plants, nuclear and weapon production
facilities.  Dumping of wastes, especially glass, harmful chemicals, industrial effluents, packaging, salts
and garbage, makes the soil useless. Rainwater percolates into the soil carrying the pollutants to the ground and the groundwater also gets contaminated.

4. Suggest any three steps to minimise the environmental degradation caused by the industrial development in India. [CBSE (Comptt.) 2017, CBSE (AI) 2016]
Ans. Three steps to minimise the environmental degradation caused by industrial development in
India is:
1. Water Pollution
Energy lite of wastewater discharged by one industry pollutes eight times the quantity of freshwater.
(i) Minimising use of water for procuring by reusing and recycling it in two or more successive
stages.
(ii) Harvesting of rainwater can be dense to meet water requirement.
(iii) Treating hot water and effluents before releasing them in rivers and ponds.
2. Air Pollution
(i) Particulate matter in the air can be reduced by fitting smokestacks to factories with
electrostatic precipitators, fabric filters, scrubbers and inertial separators.
(ii) Smoke can be reduced by using oil or natural gas instead of coal in the factories.
3. Noise Pollution
(i) Machinery and equipment can be used and generators should be fitted with silencers.
(ii) Almost all machinery can be redesigned to increase energy efficiency and reduce noise.
(iii) Noise absorbing material may be used apart from personal use of earplugs and earphones.

5. Suggest any five measures to control industrial pollution in India. [CBSE (F) 2017]
Ans.Five measures To Control Industrial Pollution
(i) Minimizing the use of water for processing by reusing and recycling it in two or more
successive stages
(ii) Harvesting of rainwater to meet water requirements
(iii) Treating hot water and effluents before releasing them into rivers and ponds.
(iv) Treatment of industrial effluents can be done in three phases
(v) Primary treatment by mechanical means involves screening, grinding, flocculation and sedimentation. , Secondary treatment by biological process, Tertiary treatment by biological, chemical and physical processes. This involves the recycling of wastewater.

6. NTPC has set an example of a pollution-free industry. How is it possible? Explain.
Ans. NTPC has created an example of the pollution-free industry via:

  • Optimum utilisation of equipment adopting the latest techniques and upgrading existing equipment.
  • Minimising waste generation by maximising ash utilisation.
  • Providing green belts for nurturing ecological balance.
  • Addressing the question of special purpose vehicles of afforestation.
  • Reducing environmental pollution through ash pond management, ash water recycling system and liquid waste management.
  • Ecological monitoring, reviews and online database management for all its power stations.

 

 

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