Industrial Pollution and Its Effects on Health: Why Immediate Change Is Necessary
Industries are a necessary part of our modern world. They are responsible for many of the comforts that we take for granted today. Unfortunately, the same industries that change our world for the better often affect our lives in more direct and sinister ways.
According to Thérèse Coffey, the British environmental secretary, it would not be possible to stop the massive pollution that plagues rivers without reversing the industrial revolution.
The health risks that come from industrial pollution are severe and often cause long-term, chronic problems. In today’s article, we are going to explore how this happens and what needs to change for a better future.
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How Do Industries Pollute the Environment?
It is sad that due to industries, every single element of our planet is affected. They are responsible for polluting the air, the water, and the soil, which has grave consequences as it is the environment that sustains humans.
As a result of the heavy pollution in countries like China, the quality of air has worsened to such an extent that according to the South China Morning Post, about 64,000 babies die every year in their mother’s wombs. It happens due to high levels of fine particulate in the air.
Fine particulate pollution is also known as PM2.5 and is produced via combustion when fossil fuels are burned, vehicle exhaust, and through the chemical reactions that occur in the production of cement and other materials.
PM2.5 pollution is known to cause chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma. In addition, it can worsen any pre-existing respiratory conditions that a person might suffer from.
This is but one example of air pollution. Industries also put out significant amounts of harmful chemicals in the form of carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxide.
Water and Soil Pollution
It isn’t just the air, of course. Industries tend to pollute water and soil in several ways. The most common way is the discharge of wastewater into water bodies and sources. This sort of wastewater often contains harmful pollutants such as heavy metals, chemicals, and organic compounds, which can have serious health effects.
Industries also contribute to water pollution as a result of runoff from land contaminated with chemicals. This is particularly common in the agricultural industry due to the runoff of fertilizers and pesticides from agricultural land into bodies of water.
It often seems like these industries are able to get away with things because of the wealth that they produce. Add politics to the mix, and you realize that powerful individuals often support and defend polluting industries, regardless of their potential dangers.
Contamination can occur whenever there is negligence in safety protocols. A good example is the Camp Lejeune incident that happened between the 1950s and the 1980s when water used by marines and other staff at the Camp Lejeune Marine base caused severe health effects.
Many of those exposed to the contamination ended up suffering from Cancer and Parkinson’s disease.
Right now, hundreds of cases are being filed with regard to the Camp Lejeune Lawsuit, and TorHoerman Law is one firm that is helping countless victims seek the justice and compensation that they deserve.
The legal help that TorHoerman is extending to victims of the Camp Lejeune incident should hopefully help offending industries know that gross violations of safety protocols won’t go unnoticed by the public.
How to Prevent Contamination From Affecting Your Health?
The adverse impact of industrial contamination and pollution on our health cannot be denied. While it may be difficult for an average citizen to stop industrial pollution completely, there are many approaches that could help decrease its harmful effects significantly.
There are essentially three main courses of action.
- Stay informed: Knowledge is power, and staying informed about current pollution levels in your local area and city is crucial. Pollution levels can change with time, so you want to keep an eye on Particulate Matter levels, Air Quality Index (AQI), and Carbon Monoxide levels, to name a few.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which provides real-time data, and the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) can be great sources of information on pollution and pollution levels.
- Reduce Exposure: While it may be impossible to completely escape the harmful effects of pollution, it is possible to at least reduce your exposure to it. Staying indoors during times of high pollution and using high-quality air filters at home and, if possible, at your workplace is a good start.
In many cities with high pollution, people wear masks as part of their daily life. This is commonly seen in Asia, but if industries are allowed to pollute and contaminate the environment unchecked, we may start to see similar forms of protection needed.
Reducing exposure can also involve showering regularly and staying as clean as possible, especially if you live or work in an area with a lot of polluting industries.
- Fight for Better Control: Lastly, Taking an active interest in promoting better environmental protection is essential. Too often, big industries rely on the fact that people are complacent and won’t bother to fight or push back.
However, by protesting effectively through consolidating scientific data that is backed by experts, it is possible to push for policy changes that help curb the reckless freedom that many industries currently enjoy. It won’t be easy, but when your health is at risk, you need to do as much as you can.