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Maps, photographs, graphics and cartoons for this project are drawn
from a variety of sources. The following institutions and persons
(with their institutional affiliation) are gratefully acknowledged in
this regard:

West London Friends of the Earth for Types of Pollution

WiseGEEK for Industrial Pollution
EduGreen for Types of Pollutants and their Ill-effects
50 Simple Things You Can Do To Save The U.A.E.’S
Environment for Consequences of Industrial Pollution
Wikipedia for the information and pictures under Land
Degradation for the article under Case Study:
ThinkQuest for the ideas expressed in Summary and
Google for making possible all the necessary searches

Last, but not the least, I would like to thank Mrs. Tresa Joseph,
Class X Social Studies teacher, St Joseph’s School, Abu Dhabi, for
the opportunity, and for the guidelines, to do this assignment.

To collect data about industrial pollution and environmental degradation.

To study about the ill-effects and consequences of various industrial pollutants and
how it results in environmental degradation.

The required information was collected with the help of computer from the World
Wide Web, as well as from books.

Investing in time and energy to bring out a study of the types, causes and
consequences of various industrial pollutants and land degradation, and draw a


There are several types of pollution, and while they may come from different sources
and have different consequences, understanding the basics of pollution can help
environmentally conscious individuals minimize their contributions to these dangers.

There are certain basic types of environmental pollution, and each one has
detrimental effects on wildlife, human habitation, and the quality of life in the
affected area.

Air Pollution
Air pollution is defined as any contamination of the atmosphere that disturbs the
natural composition and chemistry of the air. This can be in the form of particulate
matter such as dust or excessive gases like carbon dioxide or other vapors that cannot
be effectively removed through natural cycles.

Air pollution comes from a wide variety of sources. Some of the most excessive
sources include:

Vehicle or manufacturing exhaust

Forest fires, volcanic eruptions, dry
soil erosion, and other natural
Building construction or demolition

Depending on the concentration of air pollutants, several effects can be noticed.

Smog increases, higher rain acidity, crop depletion from inadequate oxygen, higher
rates of asthma, and global warming are all related to increased air pollution.

Water Pollution
Water pollution involves any contaminated water, whether from chemical,
particulate, or bacterial matter that degrades the water‟s quality and purity. Water
pollution can occur in oceans, rivers, lakes, and underground reservoirs, and as
different water sources flow together the pollution can spread.

Causes of water pollution include:

Increased sediment from soil erosion

Improper waste disposal and littering
Leaching of soil pollution into water supplies
Organic material decay in water supplies

The effects of water pollution include decreasing the quantity of drinkable water
available, lowering water supplies for crop irrigation, and impacting fish and wildlife
populations that require water of certain purity for survival.

Soil Pollution

Soil, or land pollution, is contamination of the soil that prevents natural growth and
balance in the land whether it is used for cultivation, habitation, or a wildlife
preserve. Some soil pollution, such as the creation of landfills, is deliberate, while
much more is accidental and can have widespread effects.

Soil pollution sources include:

Hazardous waste and sewage spills

Non-sustainable farming practices, such as the heavy use of inorganic
Strip mining, deforestation, and other destructive practices
Household dumping and littering

Soil contamination can lead to poor growth and reduced crop yields, loss of wildlife
habitat, water and visual pollution, soil erosion, and desertification.

Noise pollution refers to undesirable levels of noises caused by human activity that
disrupt the standard of living in the affected area. Noise pollution can come from:

Manufacturing plants
Construction or demolition

Effects may include hearing loss, wildlife disturbances, and a general degradation of

Radioactive Pollution
Radioactive pollution is one of the types of pollution that is rare but extremely
detrimental, even deadly, when it occurs. Because of its intensity and the difficulty of
reversing damage, there are strict government regulations to control radioactive

Sources of radioactive
contamination include:
Nuclear power plant accidents or
Improper nuclear waste disposal
Uranium mining operations

Radiation pollution can cause birth defects, cancer, sterilization, and other health
problems for human and wildlife populations. It can also sterilize the soil and
contribute to water and air pollution.

Thermal Pollution
Thermal pollution is excess heat that creates undesirable effects over long periods of
time. Many types of thermal pollution are confined to areas near their source, but
multiple sources can have wider impacts over a greater geographic area.

Thermal pollution may be caused by:

Power plants
Urban sprawl
Air pollution particulates that trap heat
Loss of temperature moderating water supplies

As temperatures increase, mild climatic changes may be observed, and wildlife

populations may be unable to recover from swift changes.

All types of pollution are interconnected. For example, light pollution requires energy
to be made, which means the electric plant needs to burn more fossil fuels to supply
the electricity. Those fossil fuels contribute to air pollution, which returns to the
earth as acid rain and increases water pollution. The cycle of pollution can go on
indefinitely, but once you understand the different pollution types, how they are
created, and the effects they can have, you can make personal lifestyle changes to
combat poor conditions for yourself and others around you.

Industrial pollution is pollution which can be directly linked with industry, in contrast
to other pollution sources. This form of pollution is one of the leading causes of
pollution worldwide; in the United States, for example, the Environmental Protective
Agency estimates that up to 50% of the nation's pollution is caused by industry.
Because of its size and scope, industrial pollution is a serious problem for the entire
planet, especially in nations which are rapidly industrializing, like China.

This form of pollution dates back to antiquity, but widespread industrial pollution
accelerated rapidly in the 1800s, with the start of the Industrial Revolution. The
Industrial Revolution mechanized means of production, allowing for a much greater
volume of production, and generating a corresponding increase in pollution. The
problem was compounded by the use of fuels like coal, which is notoriously unclean,
and a poor understanding of the causes and consequences of pollution.

There are a number of forms of industrial pollution. One of the most common is water
pollution, caused by dumping of industrial waste into waterways, or improper
containment of waste, which causes leakage into groundwater and waterways.
Industrial pollution can also impact air quality, and it can enter the soil, causing
widespread environmental problems.

Because of the nature of the global environment, industrial pollution is never limited
to industrial nations. Traces of industrial pollutants have been identified in isolated
human, animal, and plant populations as well.

Industrial pollution hurts the environment in a range of ways, and it has a negative
impact on human lives and health. Pollutants can kill animals and plants, imbalance
ecosystems, degrade air quality radically, damage buildings, and generally degrade
quality of life. Factory workers in areas with uncontrolled industrial pollution are
especially vulnerable.

A growing awareness of factory pollution and its consequences has led to tighter
restrictions on pollution all over the world, with nations recognizing that they have an
obligation to protect themselves and their neighbors from pollution. As these
countries industrialize, they add to the global burden of industrial pollution,
triggering serious discussions and arguments about environmental responsibility and a
desire to reach a global agreement on pollution issues.


Modernization and progress have led to our world getting more and more polluted
over the years. Industries, vehicles, increase in the population, and urbanization are
some of the major factors responsible for this pollution. The following industries are
among those that emit a great deal of pollutants into the air: thermal power plants,
cement, steel, refineries, petro chemicals, and mines.

Listed below are the major industrial pollutants, their sources and effects:

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas that is

produced by the incomplete burning of carbon-based fuels
including petrol, diesel, and wood. It is also produced from
the combustion of natural and synthetic products such as
cigarettes. It lowers the amount of oxygen that enters our
blood. It can slow our reflexes and make us confused and

Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) are gases
that are released mainly from air-
conditioning systems and refrigeration.
When released into the air, CFCs rise to
the stratosphere, where they come in
contact with few other gases, which lead
to a reduction of the ozone layer that
protects the earth from the harmful
ultraviolet rays of the sun.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the

principle greenhouse gas emitted as
a result of human activities such as
the burning of coal, oil, and natural

Lead is present in petrol, diesel, lead batteries, paints, hair dye products, etc. Lead
affects children in particular. It can cause nervous system damage and digestive
problems and, in some cases, cause cancer.

Ozone occurs naturally in the upper

layers of the atmosphere. This
important gas shields the earth from the
harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun.
However, at the ground level, it is a
pollutant with highly toxic effects.
Vehicles and industries are the major
source of ground-level ozone emissions.
Ozone makes our eyes itch, burn, and
water. It lowers our resistance to colds
and pneumonia.

Nitrogen oxide causes
smog and acid rain. It is
produced from burning
fuels including petrol,
diesel, and coal. Nitrogen
oxides can make children
susceptible to respiratory
diseases in winters.

Suspended particulate matter (SPM)

consists of solids in the air in the form of
smoke, dust, and vapor that can remain
suspended for extended periods and is
also the main source of haze which
reduces visibility. The finer of these
particles, when breathed in can lodge in
our lungs and cause lung damage and
respiratory problems.

Sulphur dioxide (SO2) is a gas

produced from burning coal, mainly
in thermal power plants. Some
industrial processes, such as
production of paper and smelting of
metals, produce sulphur dioxide. It is
a major contributor to smog and acid
rain. Sulfur dioxide can lead to lung

Pollution is far from something that is merely unsightly. All over the world, industrial
pollution has raised a number of alarms.

There are a number of serious health

consequences that can result from unchecked
pollution. The inhalation of gases released by
industries can cause breathing difficulties and
are poisonous in large quantities if the air
supply is restricted. Many chemicals or
substances used in factories have put people
working in these places at an increased risk for
developing certain types of cancers. Health
hazards from asbestos dust have also been
recognized in many workers.

Some harmful gases combine with moisture in the earth‟s atmosphere and produce
acids which return to the earth in raindrops. This acid harms not only the fish in rivers
but plants and trees as it is drawn up from the earth. It eats away at buildings too.
These problems are particularly severe in some of the industrialized regions.

Some of the gases are thought to be making the world warmer and certain gases in
the atmosphere like carbon dioxide (which we exhale) trap the sun‟s rays and warm
the planet. These gases exist naturally but they are also produced when fossil fuels
are burnt.

The amount of oil and gas burned has steadily increased over the last few decades as
a result of rapid industrialization, giving off more and more of these harmful gases.
This means that more of the sun‟s heat is trapped in the atmosphere causing the
temperature of the planet to rise. Scientists fear that ice from the poles and from
mountains will start to melt which will cause a rise in the sea level and a flooding of
coastal areas. The climate may also change, arid regions becoming drier and tropical
regions wetter.

Land degradation is a concept in which the value of the biophysical environment is
affected by one or more combination of human-induced processes acting upon the
land. Natural hazards are excluded as a cause; however human activities can
indirectly affect phenomena such as floods and bushfires.

It is estimated that up to 40% of the world's agricultural land is seriously degraded.


Land degradation is a global problem, mainly related to agricultural. The major

causes include:

Land clearance, such as clear cutting and deforestation

Agricultural depletion of soil nutrients through poor farming practices
Livestock including overgrazing
Urban conversion
Irrigation and over drafting
Land pollution including industrial waste
Vehicle Off-roading

The main outcome of land degradation is a substantial reduction in the productivity of
the land. The major stresses on vulnerable land include:

Accelerated soil erosion by wind and water

Soil acidification or alkalinization
Destruction of soil structure including loss of organic matter
Derelict soil

Severe land degradation affects a significant portion of the earth's arable lands,
decreasing the wealth and economic development of nations. Land degradation
cancels out gains advanced by improved crop yields and reduced population growth.
As the land resource base becomes less productive, food security is compromised and
competition for dwindling resources increases, the seeds of famine and potential
conflict are sown.

We often assume that land degradation only affects soil fertility. However, the
effects of land degradation often more significantly affect receiving water courses
(rivers, wetlands and lakes) since soil, along with nutrients and contaminants
associated with soil, are delivered in large quantities to environments that respond
detrimentally to their input.

Land degradation therefore has potentially disastrous effects on lakes and reservoirs
that are designed to alleviate flooding, provide irrigation, and generate

The problem of land degradation can be overcome by land improvement. Land
improvement or land amelioration is making land more usable by humans.

In terms of agriculture amelioration includes:

 Hydrological improvement (drainage, irrigation, leaching of saline soils,

landslide and flood control)

 Soil improvement (fertilization, establishment of proper chemical balance).

 Soil stabilization/erosion control

 Road construction

 Afforestation, as a means for both water conservation and land protection

Uncontrolled land utilization expanded the above traditional categories with actions
for combating soil degradation:

 Combating desertification

 Polluted land reclamation

 Land rehabilitation after industrial or mining usage

“Industrialization is a national priority and it has to take place. In Maharashtra we
have demonstrated that industrialization would bring prosperity,” says Sharad Pawar,
former chief minister of Maharashtra who has been an important player in national
politics as well. “We have been able to concentrate on industrialization consistently
and thus there is a mad rush among the industries to set up their plant in
Maharashtra,” he says with a proud air. What he says is not untrue. But what Pawar‟s
statement hides is another story.

The state of the Maharashtra generates the highest amount of tax revenue and has
the highest GDP among all the states. A recent survey identified it as the most
investment friendly state of the country. Even before India‟s independence, it was
the most industrialized state, accounting for half of national cotton and sugar
production at the time. Its capital Mumbai — known as the business capital of India —
hosts almost half of the industrial units in the state. The Maharashtra Industrial
Development Corporation (MIDC) has created 265 industrial estates. Officials in the
state industry department say that industrialists are more powerful here than the
chief minister.

“Maharashtra‟s coast has a well developed petroleum industry, which attracts
different chemicals units. Besides, the state unofficially projected the sea as a free
dumping ground for these hazardous industrial units,” says Rashmi Patil, professor at
the Centre for Environmental Science and Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology,
Mumbai. “The state is well connected to the international market through air and
sea. Chemicals industry, which thrives on the export market, is more interested in
Maharashtra and Gujarat,” she adds. Maharashtra accounts for one-fourth of the
national annual turnover of the chemicals sector. After using virtually every inch of
space in cramped urban areas like Mumbai, the state government is now taking
industrial development to rural areas.

The Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation’s

defunct effluent treatment

Solid waste: hazardous dilemma

Mumbai, with a population of about 10 million, produces more than 5,000 tonnes of
solid waste per year. There are 40,000 small- and large-scale industrial units in the
city, 523 of them in the chemicals sector, 531 in textiles and 9 deal with pesticides.
One-fourth of the solid waste generated in Mumbai is toxic, according to the
Environmental Status of Mumbai, a publication of the Greater Mumbai Municipality
Corporation. Maharashtra generates 195,000 tonnes of hazardous waste per year
through 3,908 industrial units. This is supposed to be managed by MIDC. Though there
has been a move to identify eight dumping sites, only one is operational.

Rivers: weeping black tears
MPCB says 75 per cent of the rivers in the state are polluted by industry.

Cost of industrial prosperity: Untreated industrial effluents flow into residential

blocks at Dombivli

Since the 1970s, Pimpri, one of India‟s premier industrial estates, has taken its toll.
The river is so polluted that it is not even suitable for survival of crabs, considered
some of the toughest creatures when it comes to surviving water pollution. A 1997
study by the University of Pune observed that the water of the river just before
entered Pimpri was potable, while at the point it left Pimpri, it was highly polluted.

The fate of Patalganga River is no better. The river flows besides the industrial area
called Rasayani (which means chemicals in Hindi/Marathi) in Khapoli town of Raigad
district. The Society for Clean Environment, a Mumbai-based NGO which has
conducted a survey of the area, estimates that more than 15 million liters of highly
polluted effluents are discharged into the river every day.

The state government denied any pollution in the area and even defended the
industrial units. The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board denied that the water of the
Patalganga River had become wholly unfit for human consumption due to pollution.
The court set up an expert committee to ascertain the truth. It said that the MPCB
needs to be more vigilant in monitoring the industrial units. Though the Mehta of
MPCB says that all the industrial units in the area are pollution free now, the river
still looks „faint green‟ and villagers protest saying that there is a nexus between the
industrialists and PCB members.

What has aggravated the problem is the Tata Hydro Electric Power Station at Khopoli,
which blocks the river flow to generate electricity for Mumbai. Some five years ago
the flow in the river came to such a low that it was not even flushing away the
effluents discharged by factories, turning it to an effluent drain. The petition of the
BEAG said that “the peaking power requirement for Bombay city is not more
important than drinking water for about 100,000 people”.

From here, whence?
Maharashtra was the first state in India to have water pollution control legislation in
India in 1970. In the same year, MPCB was established. Although there are elaborate
provisions in the law, factories continue polluting.

The most industrialized state of India direly needs an overhaul of the way it perceives
environmental pollution. Otherwise its workers will continue to live a miserable life
till a more miserable death relieves them. The chances of the politicians waking up to
address this cause are quite faint, although they have the power. Now, it is up to the
civil society to become more powerful. It can make a small beginning by compiling all
the information available in the state on industrial pollution. Knowledge is the
ultimate power. It is also the only tool for the civil society.



Emergence with such devastating evolution

In the face of the ever expanding globalization

Filled with development, riches, vision

But a price to pay for what nature has become

Of a barren, dead paradise once full of fulfillment

What can we say as to what can we really do

Or what can we really do to make a move

To prevent further devastation of this kind

From such expanding deterioration from happening in time

Is what we can rest assure of this disaster

Never to happen again ever after”

Pollution, in fact, is a part of our lives today. Natural pollution occurs naturally and
won't cause excessive harm to our lives due to its regeneration ability. However, the
man-made pollution is caused by human activities, and hard to get rid of. The
backbones of this man-made pollution are human population and technology.

What can we say about this problem? If we bring this topic out to people in general,
politicians and industrialists alike, there is an immediate agreement that pollution is
wrong and it must be prevented. But we have to ask ourselves, what the degree of
global pollution is now and the efforts taken to combat it. Is pollution now
overpowering us? But we can be assured as the world goes on; zero pollution can
never be achieved. At least, we should give an effort to minimize it, regardless of
geographical boundaries.

Industrial pollution is a growing pain. It is not a problem that came suddenly from the
sky- it's our fault and has been a part of our life through many years. Can you imagine
living in a world where all the things we use are synthetics? We must be wise in
managing our resources, and take positive action towards preventing any forms of
pollution to the environment. Make the world a better place to live.


Fifty Simple Things You Can Do To Save The U.A.E.’s Environment

Published by Union National Bank

Printed by Emirates Printing Press

Year: 1998