Pollution Caused by Factories - Pollution Essay Example

Factory related pollution is the number one source of pollution in the United States - Pollution Caused by Factories introduction. Factory pollution accounts for more than half the volume of all water pollution, as well as for the most deadly of pollutants. More than 365,000 manufacturing factories consume vast quantities of fresh water to carry away wastes of several different types. This waste water from industrial factories is discharged into lakes, oceans and streams, which eventually disperse the polluting effluent substances.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency stated in 1996 to Congress that about 40% of the country’s surveyed rivers, estuaries and lakes were too polluted for such elementary uses as swimming, fishing and drinking water supply. Common factory-emitted water pollutants include phosphates, asbestos, mercury, nitrates, grit, caustic soda and other sodium compounds, sulfuric acid, sulfur, oils and petrochemicals. Additionally, many manufacturing factories discharge undiluted poisons, corrosives and other completely noxious substances.

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Construction related factory discharge includes gypsum, metals, cement, abrasives and poisonous solvents. One dangerous type of contaminant that has been entering the food chains are the polychlorinated biphenyl compounds, which are components in adhesives, plastic wrap and various lubricants. In other findings, power plants cause thermal pollution when they increase water temperatures. These increases of temperature affect the amounts of oxygen that are suspended in a volume of water. Changing the oxygen levels of water disrupts the ecological balance of a body of water.

This can kill of animal and plant species, at the same time it encourages the overgrowth of other plant and animal species. Contaminants of the air are classified as gases and particulates. Particulates are tiny particles which are further grouped by their sizes. Generally speaking, the smaller the particulates are of a noxious substance, the more dangerous it is because it will be able to travel more deeply into the airways of those that breath it in. Factory pollution includes carbon monoxide, which is mainly produced in combustion processes.

Though most carbon monoxide pollution comes from motorized vehicles, there are also many combustion driven power plants still in operation today. Factory pollution also includes chlorofluorocarbons, which have been shown to destroy the ozone layer. Hydrocarbon gases and nitrogen oxides are also frequently emitted by industrial factories. Nitrogen oxides combine with hydrocarbon gases to produce what is known as ‘smog’. Sulfur oxides cause acid rain and comes from the burning of fuel that contains sulfur.

Sulfur oxides are mostly produced at power plants or even combustion-driven power plants. There has been a 33% decrease in sulfur oxides emissions between the years of 1983 and 2002. This reduction in sulfur oxide pollution is believed to be due to state restrictions. Tropospheric ozone is another type of pollutant that is another product of two factory pollutants. This type of ozone is created when nitrogen oxides interact with hydrocarbon gases. In the stratospheric level, ozone reduces the amount of ultraviolet radiation that reaches the earth’s surface.

Yet at lower levels it is an irritating gas. Other types of pollutants that are known products of factory waste include volatile organic compounds like solvents, gasoline, petroleum products and cleaning solutions. Over time, the typical industrial factory has been fitted with various types of pollution control devices that are designed to minimize the amount of contaminants that are released into the air or water. While these and other means of decreasing pollution are somewhat effective, the pollution problem continues to be an increasing area of concern. Jude Minar

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