With the advancements in technology and science came the development of the industrial era or the manufacturing age. Although the factories and industries that came into play during this era did a lot of good for the advancements of our society as a whole into a more futuristic world view, they also did a lot of harm to the environment and humans in the long run.
Ill Effects of Factories
Industries and factories around the globe have had a significant impact on the environment in several different ways. The main ill effect of factories is global warming that has been piling on over the years. The materials and gases burnt within the factory release toxic gases and particles into the Earth’s atmosphere, damaging the ozone layer. The ozone layer is the layer of the atmosphere that protects the Earth’s surface from heating up by allowing some of the UV radiation to bounce back into space instead of being absorbed by the Earth’s surface. The excess heat that the Earth is constantly absorbing due to the hole in the ozone layer has led to global warming. This has, in turn, led to rising sea levels, endangerment of a variety of animal species, rise in the temperature worldwide, melting of ice caps, and an enormous increase in the number of natural calamity occurrences globally.
Another downfall of the increase in the number of factories operating worldwide is air pollution. The toxic gases released into the air by these factories have made the air denser and polluted, increasing the number of respiratory disease cases globally. It has also impacted the environment so that many more plants, birds, and animals have become endangered. The diseases that follow the increase in air pollution include asthma, strokes, lung cancer, and more. Aside from air pollution, factories have also increased water pollution as most of their wastes are illegally dumped into different water bodies. Although not all industries add to this form of corruption, enough do such that the gases, chemicals, heavy metals, and radioactive particles dumped in streams, rivers, and other water bodies are enough to contaminate drinking water and kill marine life. Most do this due to the money saved in the process of dumping these toxic wastes in the water instead of properly disposing of them.
Noise pollution and soil pollution are other ill effects caused by factories worldwide. Noise pollution caused by factories can affect the hearing of workers and residents living around the factory. It can additionally cause stress, fatigue, memory and concentration loss, and sleep or behavioral disorders. Soil pollution because of the chemicals and toxic wastes dumped in landfills reduces the overall fertility of the soil over time which in turn reduces the productivity of crops aside from contaminating foods that animals or humans could accidentally consume.
Ways to Reduce Factory Effects
With the continuation of global damage due to the pollution caused by factories worldwide, steps need to be taken to reduce our carbon footprint and possibly salvage what is left of the Earth for the future generation. One of the most researched ways of reducing industrial pollution is by attacking corruption at its source. For example, for factory noise control, the factory can have acoustic enclosures constructed or noise-cancelling gear for the workers at extremely loud factories. Another example could be using more advanced technology to dispose of toxic factory waste instead of directly releasing it into the air, dumping it in landfills or water bodies nearby to wreak havoc on the environment eventually. Like acoustic enclosures for factory noise control, proper treatment of industrial wastes for soil and water pollution control ensures that humans and animals do not accidentally consume radioactive or other harmful toxic wastes.
The second method for reducing industrial pollution is the increase of recycling processes such as recycling polluted water whenever possible to pollute the environment less and make sure to put the Earth’s limited resources to wise use. Before the construction of any factory, if some thought is put into the factory’s location, a lot of the pollution can be redirected to places where it won’t harm humans, plants or animals to large extents. Aside from changing things about the processes of the factories, a company can also invest some of their profits towards afforestation and the rebuilding of habitats to undo at least some of the damage they have caused to the environment. Stricter laws have to be put into place and practised to maintain a lifestyle that promotes factories and companies taking responsibility and caring for the environment because it is way past high time to do so.