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The level of a toxic chemical in the environment started building up since the dawn of an industrial revolution in the 18th century. Since then, the industrial revolution spread throughout the world and as of today thousands and thousands of industries and factories are producing toxic by-products either in the form of gas or liquid waste leading to land, water and air pollution Among all the sources of pollution, fifty percent of world’s total pollution is accounted to manufacturing activities of industry. The liquid industrial waste is dumped into major water bodies and oceans, caring thousands of toxic chemicals, which enter the food chains and leads to bio magnification, and ultimately reaches to human. The accumulated chemicals start building up in the body and are often absorbed into the cells without metabolizing and excretion (Valipour et al., 2012). According to WHO industrial air pollution accounts for two percent of all heart and lung disease, five percent of lung cancer and one percent of chest infections occurring at a global scale. This toxic chemical starts showing up their effect in long run leading to degradation of a health condition, prolonged illness, loss of lives and finally damages the balance in the ecosystem (7 Terrible Effects of Industrial Pollution | Earth Eclipse, 2017).
Earlier scientific studies focused on measuring a number of pollutants present the in the soil, water, and air samples but now there is a shift in a study paradigm and the scientific community to test and evaluate a number of toxic chemicals present in human blood. Efforts are being put to find out the possible routes of chemical exposures and profile the chemical load of human blood. The possible route of administration of toxic chemicals is through seafood’s and is consumed throughout the world. Chemical waste dumped into oceans contains thousands of mixtures of chemicals in a more concentrated form and gets diluted several fold due to the large dilution rate in presence of water and the concentration lowers down to parts per billion. The flora and fauna surviving in those ecosystems are exposed to those chemicals and absorbs them. When humans consume that flora and fauna as foods items also ingests those chemical and this is how to chemical moves from one organism to another in a hierarchical manner in a food web and leads to bioaccumulation of toxic chemicals (Markowitz & Rosner, 2013). Many times a cohort of industries argues that the concentration of toxic chemicals is present in parts per billion and hence not able to show its adverse effects. However, this school of thoughts a is a wrong notion, actually certain toxic chemicals start showing their effect at a very small concentration. It is capable of altering the hormonal control; bring about mutation in DNA thereby increasing the chance of cancer and other neurological side effects (McGranahan, 2012).
According to the president, Ken Cook of an Environmental-working group, blood profiling of ten Americans was carried out to reveal the chemical loads present in human blood in the 21st century. The study reveals that the blood samples contain four hundred and thirteen chemicals from industrials sources. Among them, two hundred and eighty-seven chemicals were classified as toxic, twenty-eight chemicals were grouped as waste or by-products of industrial process and forty-seven were classified as ingredients of common consumer products. An interesting fact that came out after the study was the presence of several banned industrial chemicals and pesticides in the blood samples. The presence of banned chemicals dated more than thirty years back reveals the stability and degradation pattern of those harmful chemicals, which remain in the environment for a long time. The severity of toxic chemicals can be cited with the example of mercury and lead poisoning. Elemental mercury is highly poisonous to living cells and acts as a neurotoxin agent. Due to the small size of mercury atoms is it able to bypass the blood brain barrier and cause mental illness and emotional changes. It also affects the gastrointestinal, renal system and nervous system simultaneously. Mercury is absorbed into the human body in cells, is not excreted out the by the body, and hence leads to accumulation showing severe effects (Brekhman, 2013).
The developing fetus is also exposed to the chemicals circulating in the mother’s blood. Even before the birth of a child, he/she is already exposed to various toxic chemicals, which might create abnormalities after birth or bring about genetic defects. During the developmental stage, the formation of blood brain barrier is not completed and hence all the toxic chemicals pass to the brain causing damage. Due to a higher level of the toxic chemical, there is fifty-seven percent rise in childhood brain cancer and eighty-four percent rise in case of acute lymphocytic leukemia in children (Taylor, 2014). Another interesting fact accounts to lowering of sperm count in men leading to rising in the number of people becoming infertile. The current scenario predisposes one out of three women and one out of two men to the risk of cancer (Pascal et al., 2013).
Certain policies were framed to lower the environmental effects, as Toxic substances control act (TSCA) of 1976 and kid-safe chemical Act (KSCA) of 2008. These policies are not under tight regulation and have many loopholes. The TSCA act has not been updated for more than thirty years. The faulty mechanism of these policies enables the sanction of new chemical compounds within few weeks of submission without undergoing rigorous toxicology studies. To bring out a difference concerning this issue several things can be done at a personal level and community level. At a personal level, reduction of synthesized chemicals can be reduced by use of more organic chemicals. The organic chemicals decompose much faster in the environment than complex synthesized chemicals. Another thing that can do at a personal level is proper segregation of household items used before dumping them; it might reduce the effect of pollution. At the community level, chemical wastewater treatment plant can be set up. The principle behind setting up this plant is to gather the entire wastewater treat it chemically so that toxic chemical can be converted to less toxic compound and then discharge it into the ocean. This reduces the toxic load in the aquatic system and reduces contamination of toxic chemicals into the soil (Miksch et al., 2015).
7 Terrible Effects of Industrial Pollution | Earth Eclipse. (2017). Earth Eclipse. Retrieved 30 June 2017, from https://www.eartheclipse.com/pollution/terrible-effects-of-industrial-pollution.html
Brekhman, I. I. (2013). Man and biologically active substances: the effect of drugs, diet and pollution on health. Elsevier.
Markowitz, G., & Rosner, D. (2013). Deceit and denial: The deadly politics of industrial pollution. Univ of California Press.
McGranahan, G. (2012). Air pollution and health in rapidly developing countries. Earthscan.
Miksch, K., Cema, G., Corvini, P. F. X., Felis, E., Sochacki, A., Surmacz-Górska, J., ... & ?abczynski, S. (2015). R&D priorities in the field of sustainable remediation and purification of agro-industrial and municipal wastewater. New Biotechnology, 32(1), 128-132.
Pascal, M., Pascal, L., Bidondo, M. L., Cochet, A., Sarter, H., Stempfelet, M., & Wagner, V. (2013). A review of the epidemiological methods used to investigate the health impacts of air pollution around major industrial areas. Journal of environmental and public health, 2013.
Taylor, D. (2014). Toxic communities: Environmental racism, industrial pollution, and residential mobility. NYU Press.
Valipour, M., Mousavi, S. M., Valipour, R., & Rezaei, E. (2012). Air, water, and soil pollution study in industrial units using environmental flow diagram. J Basic Appl Sci Res, 2(12), 12365-12372.
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