There’s no doubt that industries play a significant role in the damage done to the earth. They are responsible for 2/3rds of the pollution that led to climate change. Besides, not only does such pollution negatively affect the environment, but it is also hazardous to human health! Below are some examples of pollution that large industries significantly contribute to:
1) Water Pollution
According to the UN report: “Let no one is left behind,” there are currently about 7,700 million people living on our planet, of which 2,100 million (3 in 10) do not have access to a water supply.
Besides, more than 80% of the wastewater resulting from human activities is discharged into rivers or the sea without any treatment, causing pollution. All of this is the product of humans, especially polluting industries that do not consider their waste on humanity and the environment.
How Did Water Get So Polluted?
In the 20th century, when migration to major cities and rapid population growth led to accelerated urbanization, there was an overflow of public sewage systems in some places, mainly due to a lack of planning.
Thus, many industries appeared on the scene, dumping their waste into the water, making it hazardous for consumption. When these wastes and pollutants are discharged into the water streams, they are consequently transported to rivers, lakes, and seas and penetrate the groundwater, affecting both plants and animals and affecting the entire ecosystem.
Most plastic waste is found in the oceans, where it accumulates and is carried away by currents for thousands of miles. However, the use of means of transport by sea also causes much of the waters’ pollution through oil spills, fuels, or products used to clean them.
Another water-polluting industry is agriculture since it is the sector that consumes an immense amount of water on earth. To maintain production levels, they also resort to excessive use of pesticides and fertilizers, which seep into the aquifer and usually end up in the water sources used for consumption.
On the other hand, the textile industry also has a significant impact on water pollution, as it could not survive without these inputs. It is estimated that this industry is currently responsible for 20% of the world’s wastewater.
2) Air Pollution
Pollution of the air or atmosphere poses a severe risk to the health of both humans and animals. The large concentration of gases such as carbon dioxide in the atmosphere continues to increase since the Industrial Revolution explosion, causing the greenhouse effect.
This pollution is local when it occurs in areas close to air polluting industries, but it can also be global when the pollution occurs in places further away from the source.
The livestock industry, especially intensive agriculture, is responsible for emitting 15% of greenhouse gases. Livestock production alone emits as many greenhouse gases as all transportation worldwide.
As with water-polluting industries, population growth has led to a significant increase in air pollution, especially with cars worldwide. The automotive sector currently accounts for nearly 10% of greenhouse gas emissions.
Diseases Caused by Water and Air Pollution
Water and air pollution is a severe environmental problem and is also critical to the health of many people in all parts of the world. Due to lack of water, millions of people worldwide die from malnutrition and diarrhea.
Respiratory problems such as lung cancer, asthma, and cerebrovascular accidents are just some of the potential impacts that air pollution can have on human health, with children and the elderly being the leading risk group.
Although many companies use marketing strategies to position themselves as green or sustainable, they are usually dishonest campaigns that achieve nothing but to trivialize the problem and remain polluting industries for the planet.
Any ideas on how we can motivate people around us to be more responsible for pollution? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!