We’ve all probably driven past plumes of white and black smoke billowing into the sky from industrial stacks in the distance. Some may notice it more than others, but we should all be concerned about what is being pumped into the air we breathe. As one of the largest sources of air pollution, industrial manufacturing contributes to the increase in global air contaminants on a scale that simply cannot be sustained. Innovative measures in prevention and reduction need to be put in place today — not tomorrow.
Environmental pollution has become a worldwide life-altering problem. With the effects from deforestation and industrialization, air quality has been degrading every year. This poor quality is significantly contributed from the release of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) and solid particulate matter (PM) from manufacturing and other industrial sectors. These contaminants have been shown to strongly impact human health and wildlife. The pollution is also linked to contaminated water and further environmental degradation.
What can be done to curb such disastrous effects? There are many solutions for industrial facilities throughout the vastly different sectors. The Environmental Protection Agency has issued regulations designed to limit toxic emissions from more than 174 sources — including oil refineries and chemical plants — since 1990. However, adhering to regulations is not enough. Business owners must take it upon themselves to improve their equipment efficiency, consume less energy and change their sources of energy away from fossil fuels.
Opting for natural gas or sustainable sources — such as solar and wind — is a great place to start as the consumption and transportation of energy are major factors. Upgrading to sophisticated technologies and switching to responsibly sourced materials that are less toxic and more durable are other important steps.
For further actions on reducing industrial pollution, please see the accompanying resource.
Infographic created by Tunnel Vision Pipeline Services