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Man is a discovering specie. Economic man has always had to be concerned

with his environment Until recently, environment was seen as a boundless

comucopia, to be engaged, pounded and rearranged for profit. Today many

thoughtful people look at it as a limited resource. The relationship between modem

man and his environment is a major and growing problem. The very survival of

man as a ^ecie depends upon intelligent and moral human action with respect to

these problems. (Mr. S.Murthy 1996).

The environment is under constant interference and attack by man. Some of

the changes wrought about are imperceptible and insidious while others are

blatantly obvious. What is beyond doubt is that society is altering the balance of a

relatively stable environment system by its actions. The ecology of life on the planet

Earth is being radically altered by man. From the medical point of view some of the

changes may be good, some may be harmful and others may well prove

catastrophic. That there is no precise view of the impact of the changes being

wrought in the balance of the great natural forces and of the new environment being

created is cause for serious concern. (R.D. Sharma 1991).

The quality of the atmo^here, on which existing terrestrial forms of life are

dependent, has been recongised as an important variable in the environment only

during the past few decades. The emergence of air pollution as a regional, or even

global phenomenon has already had some impacts on governmental and

administrative procedures. Air massesrecognizeno political jurisdictions, and in

their movements frequently do violence to democratically evolved concepts of local

autonomy. Air pollution shares with all other tlireats to pubUc health and welfare

the certainty of becoming more and more severe as long as the population increase

remains unchecked. Unless some eflfective population control is permitted to

intervene, the monetary cost of maintaining an acceptable air quality can be

expected to rise in some exponential relationship to the number of people and

associated activitiesrequiringit.

The four decades of progress have brought the average citizen a vote, a

national anthem, a fore, a bank account and a high opinion of himself but not the

capacity of life in high density witiiout defouling liis environment; nor a conviction

that such a capacity rather than such density is the true test of whether he is

civilized. Man is forced with an ecological crisis-developed as a consequence of

increasing mismanagement of world environment and unrestrained growth of

human population. It not only threatens achievement of standard of living for the

present generation, but also is a threat for his continued existence. This would result

in an imbalance of food production and human population growtii, areductionin

productivity in major areas of land and water, a gradual change of regional and

global climates, destruction of important wild life species, disturbance of natural

biotic communities and an increase in pest and disease organisms (Rai.R.K.etal


Environment and its related issues are gaining ground in the research field

recently. Literally "environment" refers to all a^)ects that people have in mind

when they talk of environmental crisis, i.e., the subjects of concern are the purity of

air and public waste, plentifiilness and vitality of natural landscape, fauna and flora

and the integrity of other natural features such as beaches. These may be precisely

termed as ecosphere the space shared by all living creatures. Man has been

tampering with tlie eco^here for a very long time and is now forced to recognize
the fact that enviromnent consists of scarce and exliaustibleresources.(Karpagam,


Man damages Nature by excessive use of itsresourcesand even misuse or

abuse of those resources for profits and for satisfying liis greed. And after a great

deal of such damages and because it is expensive, he does httle to protect nature or

improve it further because it becomes e)q)ensive to maintain it.

There is an inq)ending danger of the planet earth sufferingfi-omtiietragic

consequences of acid rain, global warming, ozone depletion, green house gases,

widespread desertification and species loss, all at record rates within 2030 AD. As

such there is an urgency to protect and promote the interest of material and animal

resources and of homosapiens, the species to which mankind belongs. (The Hindu,


Deforestation is one of the basic causes for deteriorating environment in the

forest area. Max Nicholoson (1970) has given numerous examples 6f the severe

consequences of deforestation around the globe, especially in Greece, Rome, Italy,

North Africa, Lebanon, Spain, India and Mexico. Carter and Dale have reason to

feel that deforestation leads to the collapse of the Sinhalese civilization in Srilanka

the most advanced of its kind.

The World Bank Report of 1985 warned that degradation of environmental

^stem and natural resources has assumed massive proportions in many developing

countries like India wliich would be a llureal to continued sustainable development.

Anotlier dimension is related to uncontrolled consumption patterns depleting

precious non-renewable natural resources, upon whichfixturedevelopment depends.

Rapid population and economic growth also stimulate tlie demand for scarce

resources. This leads to among other things, environmental degradations and

reduced resources productivity.

The environmental pollution of different types damages the natural and

human resources. The substances enter the human body by absorption through the

skin or eyes, by means of injection or by inhaling dust or gas. Air pollutants enter

the body through respiratory system and may affect specific organs. Industries and

automobiles dxt the primary source of atmospheric pollution. Cities and sub-urbs
contain numerous industrial enterprises, which pollute the atmosphere and

negatively influence the local climate.

Today, there is an over whelming evidence to prove that various pollutants

do and will continue to affect life on this plant. The deleterious effects of various

pollutants on human, animal and plant life and on our climate have been

recognized. In the last few years, it has become increasingfy evident that pollution

is affecting vegetation at least to the same extent as it is affecting human and animal

lives. Pollution affects plants in two ways;firstlydisturbing physiological process

tliereby affecting the growth, productivity and quality of the vegetation without

producing any visible damage and secondly by producing visible effects. (Zaka

Imam, 1975).

Generally, pollution was considered as one of the public health problems.

Now it is an economic problem, influencing the consumer, the industrialist, the

businessman and the farmer alike. It has also become a social problem, influencing

the pattern of land use, and the regional as well as local plans for development. It

has further emerged to be a problem in resource, management too.

Enviromnentalists consider that the continued piursuit of economic growth by

western societies was more likely, on the balance, to reduce rather than increase

social welfere. Welfare economists today feel that welfare of individuals depended

not only on goods and services produced, but also on the pollution of the quality of
environment in which they live. (Anthony CFisher, 1981).
At the current stage of development in India, the basic minimum needs of the

people are: clean water for drinking and domestic use, clean air, health caie,

education, fuel for cooking and heating, environmental sanitation, shelter,

recreation and security. If not managed properly, providing most of these basic

needs of our masses may have negative environmental impacts. (Tiwari,T.1990).

The term environmental pollution refers to situations in which harmfiil

materials are present in the outdoor atmosphere. Domestic pollution, agricultural

pollution, fertilizer pollution and heavy metal pollution are some of the different
types of environmental pollution. (Black.J.A.,1977).
Pollution is an undesirable change in the physical, chemical or biological

characteristics of our air, land and water tlial may or will liamifully affect human

life or that of desirable ^ecies, our industrial processes, hving conditions and

cultural assets. (Odum.E.P.1971).

The National Academy of Science in its study on pollution has brought to

our notice undesirable change in the physical, chemical or biological characteristics

of our air, land and water that may or will harmfully affect human Itfe or that of

desirable species; industrial processes, hving conditions and cultural assets; or that

may or will waste or deteriorate our raw materialresource.Pollutants are residues

of the things we make, use of and throw away. Pollution increases not only because

as people multiply the space available to each person becomes smaller, but also

because the demands per person are continually increasing so that each grows away
more year by year. As the earth becomes more crowded there is no longer an

'away'. One person's trash basket is another's living spac^. (Resources and

Man, 1969).

Every human society be it rural, urban, industrial and most technologically

advanced society, dispose of certain kinds of bye products and waste products

which when injected into the bio^here in quantities so great that they affect the

normalfimctioningof ecosystems and liave an adverse effects on plants, animals

and man. (Smith, 1977).

It is widely known today that human activities are responsible for

envirorunental pollution and destruction of ecosystem. The land we walk on, the air

we breathe in and the water we drink are slowly being polluted in the process of our

struggle for better living. Industrial effluents / emissions are the major source of

pollution (WH0,1977).

Some time accidental discharge of these effluents in large quantity can cause

acute poisoning of the surrounding areas resulting in large death tolls. In low dose

exposure the death may not be instantaneous but still it can cause major damage to

human health. (Kozowski.S and Krasuchi, 1979).

Sulphur acid forms much more easily in the atmosphere tlian expected, say

chemists in Britain. This suggests that the atmosphere may become acidic enough to

damage the environment even when the air is too dry for rain. (New Scientist,


Southwick,,(1976), asscxnate the human population explosion with

the pollution problem. They point out that with more people there is more sewage,

more sohd wastes, and more fuel being burned, more fertilizers and insecticides

being used to produce more food for hungry mouths. But, there are others who liave

pointed out that in underdeveloped countries, pollution is not the severe problem as

it is in technologically developed countries and yet the populations may be very

dense. They feel that it is the wasteful aspects of our technology, which strive

always to produce more convenient products ("desirable" items), which pollute our

Smith (1993) defines exposure effectiveness as the fraction of released

material that actually enters someone's brealliing zone as measured in exposure

units. Receptor-source modeling and exposure assessment can help detennine the

exposure effectiveness of and entire category of source.

Severe air pollution affects human health and causes many fatal diseases in

men. For example, there occur lung diseases in workers exposed to occupational

hazards, such as black lung disease among coal miners who inhaled mine dust for

many years or asbestosis among pipe fitters and insulation workers, exposed to

airborne asbestos fibers. A variety of air pollutants have been found to cause many

human diseases such as emphysema, chronic bronchitis, pollen allergies, lung

cancer, especially in city dwellers. (P.S.Varma and Agarwall V.K.,1992).
Industrial air pollution is a cause for concern in this scenario. During tlie

recent years, there has been a rapid increase in the demand for photo films

worldwide. It is achieved through extensive mechanization of photo film

manufacturing industries. Hence, analysing the present air quality of the industrial

areas is necessary for formulating strategy for control of air pollution. Air borne

particulates, like total suspended particulate matter, sulphur di-oxide and nitrogen

di-oxide are the most basic and usefiil indications for tiie degree of air pollution.


The possible health effects of air pollution have never enjoyed, such a high

profile as they have over the past few years. This has largely been fuelled by the

media and certain pressure groups, boQi of whom liave been responsible at times for

injudicious and inaccurate reporting of the true size of any health problem. Having

said that, there is Utfle doubt that the quaUty of the air we breathe is imperfect and

that it does indeed have determined health effects upon certain groups within the

population. But exactly how much can it affect our healfli and our chance of
developing certain diseases is not easy to say. (Ayres J.S,1996).
Industry-related water pollution is particularly concentrated during the dry

season, when surfece water dilution is at a minimum. The ecological impacts of

industrial pollution vary by medium (water, air, and solids), but are probably the

greatest in terms of water pollution impacts on fisheries. The public health impacts

of industrial pollution also vary by medium, but are significant across many forms

of water-borne, air-bome, and toxic pollutants. (, 1996).

K.S.R.Murthy, K.G.K.Sastry, and N.S.Prasad (1995) reported that the

gaseous effluents of the major industries at Visakhapatnam are released at such

points from where the prevailing south west winds carry the pollutants over the

residential areas in the north and east direction, hi addition to industrial pollutants,

automobile exhaust emissions also contribute to the over all pollution levels. The

impact is more during the recent years. A close observation indicates a relatively

high concentration during pre-monsoon period. The residential area in and around

the city shows appreciable level of Ph and Zn particularly in the industrial regions.

Ashutosh Dubey and R.Nath (1997) observe that land degradation is directly

related to air pollution. During excavation of mineral/coal, the fire dust and trace

elements such as Cu, Zn, Ni, Co, Fe, Mn etc, are released in air. These fire dust

particles and trace elements deteriorate air quahty. When they are inhaled by living

community, they pose severe health problems and a number of chronic diseases,

such as, silicosis, pneumoconiosis, asbestosis, etc., contacted by mine workers as

well as residents of surrounding locaUties. Loose over burden deposits in active

mining areas are causing grave problems of air pollutions.

S.Sadasivem, B.S.Negi and M.R.Menon (1996) studied the impact of fly ash

disposal over flow water, river water and ash pond slurry. The elemental

concentrations in slurry samples connected well with the samples collected from

inside the plant. It revealed that the addition to background concentrations due to

leaching from the ash pond was insignificant. The leachate exceeded the limits

specified in the standards for the drinking water, the cation exchange capacity and

the redox potential and PH of the fly ash. The CEC values a ranged from 15.1-30.9

Meg/Kog and were consistent with the clayey soil found at the ash pond site.

Air pollution damage to property is a very important economic aspect of

pollution. In the United States of America, Great Britain, France and many other

European countries, this problem has been investigated in detail and successful

attempts have been made to translate observable air pollution damage in terms of

economic impact. Air pollution damage to property covers a wide range corrosion

of metals, soiling and eroding of building surfaces, fading of dyed materials, rubber

cracking, spoiling or destruction of vegetation, effects on animals, as well as

interference with production and services. Another important economic effect of air

pollution is deterioration of works of art. In our country today there is an urgent

need to investigate and study this problem in detail and express the damage to

property in economic terms. (M.N.Rao and H.V.N.Rao, 1989).

A number of toxic and non-toxic metals occur in the atmosphere. Wind and

rain release metals from the soils and rocks of earth's crust to rivers and seas.

Indusfrial activities discharge many of the metals into air, water and soil. Various

metals creating environmental hazard are essential dietary trace elements required

for growth and development of plants, animals and human beings. Most of the

metals are indestructible poisons to living organisms and are ubiquitous in the

environment. (B.K.Sharma & H.Kaur, 1996-97).

Emissions from industrial plants, particularly the gaseous pollutants are

carried over large distances by wind currents, and pollute even the environment of

areas far away from these industrial centers. Air pollutants can disrupt plant leaf

biochemical processes after absorption through the stomata or cuticle, and have

significant impacts on the growth and reproduction of plants (Foster.J.R.,1991).

The exhaust from automobile is also another major source. The deposition of

lead and existence of lead salts, such as lead chloride and lead bromide in the

atmosphere have been reported (Habibi K.1970).

Thefirstsymptom of chronic lead poisoning is anemia. Lead poisoning leads

to kidney dysfunction and skeletal changes. Long-term exposure results in

interstitial nephritis. A number of cases have been reported. (Chishohn J.J. 1971).

The problem of pollution is serious enough in developing countries, like

India, to call for the attention of physicists, environmentalists and public. An

integrated effort is necessary for understanding its mechanism, implications and

consequences. There are serious difficulties in planning effective control measures

on account of inherent fact that the growth tends to aggravate the pollution of air

and water. (Koteshwaran P. 1973).

The environmental pollution is the necessary evil of all man made progress.

It is not only the industrialised countries, which are threatened with the

environmental pollution, but the menace is growing in India too. The developed

countries dump lot of effluents into the environment, polluting the whole globe. It

would not be wrong to say that pollution has been exported to developing nations

by the developed countries of the world. U.S is the most polluted continents of the

world today and New Delhi is the third polluted metropolis in India (B.K.Sharma

and H.Kaur, 1996-97).

Industries are the backbone of economy in any country. India being a

developing country, much emphasis has been given to rapid industrialization for

economic prosperity. As a result, environmental pollution has increased manifolds.

The situation is grim particularly in industrial areas. Unfortunately, the so called

prosperity has caused nearly an environmental hazard. Moreover, lust for modem

life has resulted in large number of automobiles, use of machineries, hazardous

chemicals which have significantly influenced climatic changes leading to global

warming and depletion of ozone layer. According to an estimate, 80 percent of the

world's natural resources are consumed by 25 percent of the world's population and

that too from developed countries which produce most of the pollutants.

(Anonymous 1989).

Any economic activity, industrial or agricultural has a bearing on the

environment. As the pace of development is accelerating the world over, production

has become more complex with the use of non-renewable resources and energy

becoming more intensive. As a result the ravages on environment have assumed


alarming proportions. Literature on environmental problems and the deleterious

effects thereof is mounting. However, the discussion over environmental issues is

more rhetoric in nature. Quantitative information is scanty on environmental

aspects, particularly regarding the impact of pollution on human health.

(M.Ravichandran, 1997).

It was held by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) (1984)

experts that more than half of India's land suffered from some form of soil

degradation. Victims of unidentified pollution hazards cannot be completely cured

by any medical or health services. Half of India might not get clean drinking water

by 1990. In brief depleted environment in India cannot sustain development

schemes related to both agriculture and industry for long.

Air pollution has arisen in India basically, due to emission of smoke; sulphur

dioxide, carbon monoxide and dust fall. The degree of air pollution depends upon

some relevant factors like population density, industrial development, geographical

situation, social and economic structure etc. Delhi, Bombay and Calcutta have

suffered largely from air pollution due to excessive concentration of big factories in

very small areas and overload of traffic on a few key routes resulting in pollution of

atmosphere there. (R.K.Sapru, 1987).

The Sixth Five Year Plan (1980-85) gave importance to the protection of

environment. It has clearly emphasized that environment fonns a crucial guiding

dimension in planning and development. Environment management has to take the


impact on health and integrity or our natural resources and, soil, water forests, wild

life etc. (Suresh Jain, 1980-85).

Hazardous waste is the key word in the environmental management. The

problem is of international importance and the developed countries have already

stipulated a number of regulations for management of hazardous wastes. There are

also a number of complaints that hazardous wastes from rich countries are being

dumped in the developing countries. It has thus importance of international

transboundary movement too. Basal Convention on the Control of Transboundary

Movement of hazardous wastes and their disposal was adopted in 1989 by 116

states. In India the Hazardous Wastes (Management and Handling) Rules, come
under Environment (Protection) Act. (Anonymous, 1989).

Certain types of air pollution have only limited impact. The particulates of

quarries and stone crushing units do not go deep into the atmosphere nor travel

much distance. They tend to settle in nearby places and affect only human beings,

cattle and productive assets in the area. In fact they are polluting enterprises. But the

impact of the pollution is not as intense as in the case of cement industries, thermal

power generation units and industries which generate toxic fumes and gases.


Research of an integrated perspective regarding human ecology is therefore

essential for carrying the central tasks assigned to economic, social behavioral and

biological sciences. Jordan (1971), emphasized that major economic problem such

as environmental deterioration, water and air pollution, increasing population and

its density and resources depletion have aroused grave concern. More information

and research studies treating man and his environment from a holistic and

ecological point of view have appeared in the past few years than that appeared

during the previous three decades.

The number of studies conducted recently in India have revealed that due to

the bad impact of pollution, people around the polluting units had to incur huge

medical expenses. Employment attendance was affected, having negative impact on

income and expenditures. And also affected was the agriculture field in surrounding

area. In short pollution is affecting the economic growth in our country.

Basically industries of certain types such as automobiles, tanneries, stone

crushing units, distilleries, sugar and paper are capable of creating emissions and

spoil the atmosphere. The accumulation of wastes, gases and the particles from

combustion, production and other economic activities exceed the natural dispersion

capacity of the atmosphere. When air movements are unable to disperse wastes at

the rate they enter the atmosphere, air quality deteriorates and the seemingly infinite

supply of clean air diminishes.

Stone crusher pollution has become a major menace for people and cattle

living nearby. The dust particles, depending upon their sizes concentrate and

contaminate the environment affecting not only the vegetation but also the living

things of the area. There is a growing feeling that the crusher pollution has

exceeded the tolerance level in study area, that is Tiruchirapalli, wherein a

concentration of stone crusher units is found in the form of a cluster.

Citing pollution as a menace, the production of blue stone jelly cannot be

dispensed with. Hence the wise thing is to encourage the entrepreneurs concerned

to install certain anti-pollution and control devices at the production level itself

along with various other anti-pollution measures.

But unfortunately, inspite of pressure in this directionfromboth Central and

State Governments, not much progress has been made in the installation of

anti-pollution devices and pollution continues in the area. The present study has

been undertaken to assess the intensity of the problem and assess its socio-economic



Technically, medically, economically and socially speaking, due to different

types of pollution, there has been an environmental degradation in India. Today

bearing this in mind, many efforts have been undertaken by Government and

voluntary agencies, to assess the socio-economic effects of pollution and to plan for

remedial measures thereof But unfortunately in the study area, namely,

Tiruchirapalli no attempt has been made to analyse the impact of stone crusher units

on the living conditions in the area.


The stone crushing units in the study area were advised to install pollution

control devices to minimize wastages by feedback process and thereby control

pollution. But the cost of the pollution control device is estimated to run in to lakhs

of rupees, which certainly is a heavy burden for the capital starved entrepreneurs. A

cost benefit study of these ventures in other parts of India has not shown any

tangible benefits so far. It is a pity even such a limited study has not been taken up

in Tiruchirapalli where there is some concentration of stone crushing units. Hence,

the researcher has taken up this problem for study with a view to bring out the

nature of pollution caused by crusher units and its consequences in and around the

area of study.


The following are the objectives of the study.

(s To find out the socio-economic characteristics of the respondents and show

how the pollution caused by the crusher units has affected them.
ra To analyse the impact of crusher pollution on employment, productivity,
income, health and expenditure patterns of workers employed in the units.
m To assess the impact of crusher pollution on agriculture and livestock in the
nearby area.
ra To highlight the anti-pollution measures provided by the respondent crusher
units and
£s To suggest measures that can be taken by the government as well as the units
concerned to contain pollution within the safety limit.


m The pollution caused by the stone crusher units has affected the health of

their workers and has given rise to ailments which have not affected them

before they joined this work.

Es Medical expenses incurred by pollution-affected workers do increase with an

increase in the duration of the suffering.

s The shorter the distance of the residence of the respondents from the stone

crusher units the greater will be the intensity of the pollution affecting them.

B The farther the distance of households from the source of pollution, the less

will be the decline in yield and revenuefi'omthe livestock.


The study is based on the survey method. As far as the stone mills are

concerned there are only 14 units in the area and all of them have been covered by

tlie survey. The total of 246 households consisting of households of workers,

agricultural households and non-agricultural households were selected for the

survey. As there are only 106 workers employed in the stone crushing units all of

them have been covered by the survey. The remaining 140 households were

selected on the basis of random samplingfromout of the households residing with

in an area of one kilometer from the cluster of stone crushing units. This has been

done so, because the studies conducted by the Tamilnadu Pollution Control Board

have shown that the extent of the pollution will be only up to a kilometer.

A questionnaire comprising four sections was prepared for the survey. The

four sections covered the stone crushing units, the employees of the stone crushing

lanits, agricultural households within a radius of one kilometer and non-agricultural

households, also within a radius of one kilometer. With a view to testing the validity

and reliability of the questionnaire a pilot survey was conducted.

For the purpose of pilot survey altogether 30 households were selected at

random giving equal representation to the three categories included in the study,

namely households of stone-mill workers, agricultural households and non-

agricultural households. Some of the previous studies have found that the pollution

caused by clusters of stone crushing units has affected only households within a

radius of 1 km.fromthe cluster. With a view to test the validity of thisfindingto

the present study area the thirty households selected for the study were chosen from

among the households within 1 km. radius as well as those outside the hmit. The

survey revealed that the households outside the 1 km. radius were not at all affected

by the pollution caused by the stone mills. Even within the one km. range the

intensity of the impact varied according to the proximity of the households from the

stone crusher clusters. On the basis of results of the pilot survey the questionnaire

was finalised by removing all unnecessary items and by including items suggested

by the respondents of the pilot survey.

Each and every respondent was directly interviewed by the researcher and

information given by him was duly recorded. After completing the survey the

researcher classified and tabulated the data under various heads for purpose

analysis. For the purpose analysis statistical instruments such as chi-square test,

normal (Z) test, standard deviation and correlations were used. A time series

analysis was employed for the purpose of studying the decline in agricultural yield

in the study area during a j)eriod often years.


The study has the following limitations:

(s It is a micro level study relating to a particular area. As such the findings

may not apply on a macro scale.

B The researcher faced a lot of problems in getting data from the stone

crushing units included in the study.

B The data provided by the other respondents are not to be regarded as

exact ones. There is scope for statistical errors.



There are Six Chapter is this dissertation. The First Chapter provides an

introduction to the study and also deals with methodological details. The Second

Chapter contains conceptual definition and a review of literature. The Third

Chapter provides the profile of the study area. The Fourth Chapter deals with the

ix)lluting units and the socio-economic impact of the pollution on their employees.

The Fifth Chapter highlights the socio-economic impact of pollution on

agricultural and non-agricultural households in near by area. The Final Chapter

contains thefindingsof the study, suggestions and conclusion.


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33. ANONYMOUS (1989), Global Change, ladian Council of Science Museum,


34. RAVICHANDRAN M. (Jan-Mar, 1997) Economic impUcations of Industrial

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35. United Nations Envirotmient Programme (UNEP), 1984.

36. SAPRU R.K (1987X "Environmental Management in India", Ashish Publishing

House, Delhi, PP.71-75.

37. SURESH JAIN (1980-85), Ed., Indian Sixth Five Year Plan. P.343.

38. ANONYMOUS (1989), Ibid.