Pollution, Contamination, Environmental Impact From Textile Industrial Effluents
The textile industry’s contamination has a significant influence on the environment, and the causes are simple to comprehend. Outfits are arguably the most widespread components that people purchase in modern environment. Moreover, the average amount of garments which an ordinary person buys each year has increased significantly in recent years. According to a McKinsey & Company study, the percentage of clothing annual production has doubled since 2000, and for the first time in 2014, it surpassed 100 billion items. In 2015, the world’s textile utilisation was 95.6 million tonnes, as per the Lenzing group. The clothing industry’s environmental impact can indeed be profound and harmful due to the sheer volume of products it produces.
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS DUE TO TEXTILE EFFLUENTS
The major environmental impact due to textile effluents is environmental pollution. Water, air and solid waste is increasing by passing day which eventually effects climate and living.
Water pollution is a major environmental threat nowadays. The industrial effluents released from textile industry contain detrimental contaminants like dyes that have complex chemical composition. On the other hand, it also contains organic and inorganic compounds and large number of harmful pollutants like salts, surfactant and chlorinated compounds. All of them collectively contaminate our water bodies and cause water pollution
Fresh Water Contamination
Each day, the textile sector consumes millions of gallons of water. That’s because it takes 200 liters of water to make 1 kg of cloth, including washing the bleaching, fibre, dyeing, and finally cleaning the completed product. The issue isn’t so much with the increased usage as it is with the notion that waste waters are frequently not processed to eliminate pollutants before being released into the environment. Resultantly, according to some research, textile treatments and dyeing are responsible for 20% among all freshwater water contamination. The toxicity of marine life is caused by the excess water and waste discharged in the textile manufacturing process. Formaldehyde, heavy metals and chlorine are dumped into water bodies and absorbed by a lot of individuals in their regular activities.
Role of Dyes
The dye we use in textile industries are generally divided into the major types:
- Ionic dyes
- Anionic dyes
- Non-ionic dyes
The ionic dyes are mostly acidic. While anionic dyes are azobasic. Anthraquinone are made from benzidine. The dissolve salts like Glauber salts, and suspended solids that formed when clay, oil, slit, and gritty materials combine with water and heavy metals like chromium, copper, manganese, mercury and zinc present in textile industrial waste effluents are major cause of water pollution which have serious health effects and are mutagenic or carcinogenic and also cause nausea, ulceration to skin and also effects our food chain or environment because this waste water destroy aquatic life and that have negative effects on our food chain.
Based on several statistics, the textile sector is the second largest industrial polluter. They produce large amount textile industry effluents. They also contribute in 10% of world’s carbon dioxide emissions. Boilers, diesel generators, and thermos pack release contaminants directly into the air. The garment sector produces a variety of air contaminants, like nitrous oxides and sulphur dioxide during the energy production. They also generate volatile organic compounds during the process of coating, bleaching and chemical storage and released aniline vapours as industrial waste effluents, carries chlorine, hydrogen sulphides, and chlorine dioxide.
SOLID WASTE CONTAMINATION
The textile industry also has a major role is solid waste production. Every year, around 90 million clothing items end up in landfills throughout the world. Furthermore, the garbage generated ends up in bodies of water, producing environmental problems. The following are some of the toxins that go to landfill:
- Fiber lint, trimmings, fibre scraps, as well as wrapping litters generated in the preparatory work of fibres.
- In treating wastewater, there is sludge that is both wasted and preserved.
- Containers for flock, chemicals, and dyes used in the dyeing process and finishing of materials.
In Haridwar, India, a research was conducted to assess the amounts of heavy metals found in soil and groundwater surrounding the textile industries. All elements, including iron, chromium, manganese, lead, cadmium, and copper were found in concentrations greater than those recommended by the World Health Organization as safe. They have the potential to cause a broad variety of problems in environment and eventually living things.
EFFECTS ON LIVING BEINGS
Around 40% of the world’s dyes and pigments contain organically linked chlorine, which is a recognized carcinogen. Chemicals vaporize in air we breathe and are absorbed via our skin. This causes severe allergies and perhaps harms kids and pregnant women and eventually children before they are born. The regular functioning of cells is disrupted as a result of chemical contaminants, which can lead to changes in the physiology and biochemical systems of animals, impairing critical functions such as respiration, osmoregulation, reproduction, and even mortality. Heavy metals are just not biodegradable; therefore they build up in the body’s key organs and corrode over time, causing a variety of disease indications. As a result, unprocessed or imperfectly handled textile effluent can damage marine and terrestrial organisms by disrupting natural ecosystems and inflicting long-term health impacts.
The cloth used to make a garment has a significant impact on its carbon footprint. While synthetic fibers such as polyester have a lower environmental impact than natural fibres such as cotton, they release more greenhouse gases per kilogram. The carbon footprint of a polyester shirt (5.5 kg or 12.1 pounds) is higher than that of a cotton shirt (4.3 kg or 9.5 pounds). Polyester production for textiles emitted around 706 billion kg of greenhouse gas emissions in 2015, equal to the yearly emissions of 185 coal-fired power stations.
CONSUMPTION OF NATURAL RESOURCES
The middle-class population will number 5.4 billion individuals by 2030, increasing over 3 billion since 2015. We can anticipate a rise in demand for clothing and other items associated with middle-class lifestyles. If current consumption trends continue, we will require three times the amount of natural resources in 2050 as we did in 2000.