Management of industrial air pollution in industrial area

Introduction

Concerns on air pollution caused by industries have been rising over time due to increased industrialization and the effects on the environment. Data from “Air pollution in Europe” (EEA, 1997) shows figures describing the respective production of pollutants by each sector of manufacturing. The EEA study indicated that air pollution is the presence of substances in the air in sufficient concentration and for sufficient time, so as to be, or threaten to be injurious to human, plant or animal life, or property, or which reasonably interferes with the comfortable enjoyment of life and property. According to Shakeel (2011) in the Journal of Public Administration and Policy Research, air pollution kills 15000 Bangladeshis each year. He also states that Young children are mostly exposed to cadmium (Cd) through inhalation of smokes and contaminated soils and dust from industrial emissions. Available data shows that the air quality in most major cities of the World has deteriorated to levels that make air quality management strategies necessary.

Challenges of air pollution in Africa led to the development of Air Pollution Information Network for Africa (APINA), which is a network of African policy makers, scientists, Non-governmental organizations (NGOs), industries and other stakeholders interested in air pollution issues. Its main role is to fill gaps in knowledge on air pollution issues in Africa and ensure that currently available information and concerns are articulated to policy makers and the regional policy process is promoted. They found out that air pollution is becoming a policy driver in the region, its effects particularly seen on health getting worse. They know that although Africa has low GHG emissions, it’s susceptible to some of the worst effects of climate change.

Increasing number of industries in urban environments has led to an increase in the rates of air pollution. Air pollution introduces chemicals, particulates or biological materials which cause discomfort, disease or death to humans and damage to both the living organisms (such as food crops) and the built environment. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), asbestosis, lung cancer and Peritonial Mesothelioma are sicknesses associated with exposure to materials such as asbestos in the air emitted by industries. About 2.4 million people die each year from causes directly attributed to air pollution. The worst short term civilian pollution crisis in India was the 1984 Bhopal Disaster. Leaked industrial vapours from the Union Carbide, Inc., U.S.A., killed more than 25,000 people outright and injured 150,000 to 600,000 people.  Concerns on air pollution caused by industries have been rising over time due to increased industrialization and the effects on the environment. Data from “Air pollution in Europe” (EEA, 1997) shows figures describing the respective production of pollutants by each sector of manufacturing.

By a means of definition, air pollution is the presence of substances in the air in sufficient concentration and for sufficient time, so as to be, or threaten to be injurious to human, plant or animal life, or property, or which reasonably interferes with the comfortable enjoyment of life and property. Shakeel (2011) in his Journal of Public Administration and Policy Research Vol.3 (4), states that Air pollution kills 15000 Bangladeshis each year. He also states that Young children are mostly exposed to cadmium (Cd) through inhalation of smokes and contaminated soils and dust from industrial emissions.

R Edwards, T Pless‐Mulloli, D Howel, T Chadwick, R Bhopal, R Harrison, and H Gribbin in their article, “Does living near heavy industry cause lung cancer in women? A casecontrol study using life grid interviews” found out that; the incidence of lung cancer among women is high in the highly industrialized area of Teesside in north‐east England. Previous research has implicated industrial pollution as a possible cause. A study was undertaken to investigate whether prolonged residence close to heavy industry is associated with lung cancer among women in Teesside.

As a method; two hundred and four women aged <80 years with incident primary lung cancer and 339 age matched community controls were recruited to a population based case‐control study. Life course residential, occupational, and active and passive smoking histories were obtained using an interviewer administered questionnaire.

The results showed that; the age adjusted odds ratio (OR) for lung cancer among people living >25 years v 0 years near (within 0–5 km) heavy industry in Teesside was 2.13 (95% CI 1.34 to 3.38). After adjustment for confounding factors the OR was 1.83 (95% CI 0.82 to 4.08) for >25 years or 1.10 (95% CI 0.96 to 1.26) for an additional 10 years living near industry. ORs were similar after residence near heavy industry outside Teesside was also included, and when latency was allowed for by disregarding residential exposures within the last 20 years. Adjustment for active smoking had the greatest effect on the OR.

It was concluded that this population based study using life grid interviews for life course exposure assessment had addressed many deficiencies in the design of previous studies. The findings support those in most of the international literature of a modestly raised risk of lung cancer with prolonged residence close to heavy industry, although the confidence intervals were wide. The effect of air pollution on the incidence of lung cancer merits continued study.

Previous studies have shown that in general, where there is air pollution, TSP represent the most serious immediate threat to human health amongst air pollutants as shown in the table below.

Table: Urban air pollution in megacities of the World

City Sulphur dioxide TSP Airbone Lead
Bangkok Low High Low
Beijing High High Low
Bombay Low High Low
Calcutta Low High Low
Cairo No data High High
London Low Low Low
Los Angeles Low Medium Low
Mexico City High High Medium
Rio De Jeneiro Medium Medium Low
Sao Paulo Low Medium Low

LOW-conforms to WHO guidelines

MEDIUM-WHO guideline exceeded by up to a factor of 2

HIGH – WHO guideline exceeded by more than a factor of 2

Industrial areas are characterized by a high density of industries, sharing common infrastructures, such as transport networks, waste water treatment plants, and waste incineration plants. These areas cluster at-risk activities and pollution sources. They have historically attracted, and may still attract, hundreds of employees who have settled in the vicinity of the industrial plants. With extensive urbanization, industrial areas have been embedded in the urban landscape, increasing the nuisances and the exposure of the population. For instance, in the South of France, the industrial area of l’etang de Berre hosts 430 industries classified for the protection of the environment and more than 60% of the Seveso II (referring to the European directive 96/82/CE) plants of the region. About 16 towns representing more than 300,000 inhabitants are exposed to the plumes produced by these plants.

On man, air pollution is now associated with respiratory and eye diseases such as asthma, lung cancer and conjunctivitis, especially in the young and elderly. Lead as a pollutant is particularly serious for children, since relatively low concentrations of lead in the blood may have a damaging and permanent effect on their mental development. On the environment, air pollution is a major contributor to effects such as acid rain, which has been responsible for much damage to soil, fish resources and vegetation, often very far away from the source of the pollutant. Air pollution is also responsible for the effect of smog, which is a reduction in visibility due to scattering of light by airborne particles. It may also cause offensive odours in addition to soiling buildings and monuments. Kamau (2010) in his case study says that Pan Paper has been accused of polluting activities since it was founded. Back in the year 2000, the area councillors took an initiative to urge the company management to check pollution caused by effluent from the factory. The chairman of the Webuye Environment Commission and the legislators claimed that the factory was producing corrosive emissions and dumping liquid and solid waste in the open environment as a result of which iron sheet roofing on houses in the town were rusting and animals and crops were dying. Recently, a number of health symptoms in humans attributed to pollution from the industry were confirmed, including irritation of the eyes and nose, cough, breathlessness, nausea, headaches and mental illness and depression. A medical technician confirmed this report while lamenting, “(…) Babies are being born with chest and breathing problems. Our children will have no future if they are born sick into this world.” Apart from these tangible effects, there had been no measurements to show the level of pollution until a team of local environmental and human rights investigators from Resource Conflict Institute (RECONCILE) and their local community partners, Centre for Development and Education Program (CDEP), received assistance from Global Community Monitor (GCM). The latter trained and equipped them with special buckets for taking samples.

“Since 1974, a pulp mill in Western Kenya has been polluting the air and water in the town of Webuye. Visitors report that the air smells like rotten cabbage and “snowstorms” of foam droplets from the mill’s waste ponds cloud the sky and burn the skin and nose.”

However, by far, the most serious long-term environmental effect of air pollution is global warming, which, it is now recognized, may soon threaten the very existence of human life, especially in the coastal and highland regions. Concern about global warming led to the famous Kyoto Protocol of 1997, through which over 100 countries undertook to reduce their emissions of certain pollutant gases significantly (Brasseur and Pszenny, 2001).  Considering its effects and potential effects on man and his environment, air pollution is clearly one of the greatest threats to sustainable development today.

Related Topic  Implications of the ever-increasing population of water hyacinth on the fishing industry

Causes of Air Pollution

Some air pollutants may be introduced through natural occurrences such as volcanic eruptions, wind soil erosion, forest fires, sand storms, dispersion of plant pollen, etc.; however, pollutants are mainly introduced through man-made activities, particularly industrial manufacturing plants engaged in the manufacture of chemicals or allied products whose processes depend on the chemical reaction of two (2) or more elements or compounds and includes plants producing acids, fertilizer materials, dyestuff, synthetic fibers and industrial gases and motor vehicle operation. These activities are mainly concentrated in cities and other urban areas, which today are expected to be holding nearly half the World’s population. Cities and urban areas therefore contain the bulk of people that are most vulnerable to the immediate effects of air pollution. This fact received international recognition when in 1992, the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCTED) made specific recommendations in its Agenda 21 with regards to addressing air pollution in cities. One key recommendation was, “… the establishment of appropriate air quality management capabilities in large cities and the establishment of adequate environmental monitoring capabilities or surveillance of environmental quality and the health status of populations”.

Policies and legislation on industrial air pollution

This section looks at the international, regional and national, protocols, conventions, agreements, policies and legislation on industrial air pollution.

International

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change entered into force on 21st March 1994, after being ratified by 50 states. The Convention’s general objective is the “stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system” (Article 3). To achieve this the Convention elaborates legally binding commitments in three categories: (1) those to be undertaken by all Parties; (2) those that apply to OECD countries, except Mexico, the EEC and eleven countries that are undergoing transition to a market economy; and (3) those to be undertaken by OECD countries except Mexico and the EEC. One commitment that applies to all parties is; preparation and communication to the Conference of Parties (COP) of national inventories of greenhouse gas emissions caused by human activity using comparable methodologies.

The Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change

The Conference of the Parties (COP) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change held a conference in Kyoto, Japan on December 1-11, 1997 and agreed on a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions which was resultant of this protocol. The developed countries are required to reduce these emissions by five per cent in the 2008-2012 periods relative to 1990 which is used as the base year. The Protocol offers the Annex I parties three market-based mechanisms for achieving these targets: emissions trading; clean development mechanism (CDM) and joint implementation. Increasingly, other programs such as REDD+ (which are rooted in Articles 2 and 3 of the Protocol), and wetland conservation and restoration are seeking to reduce GHG emissions.

The Convention on the Transboundary Effects of Industrial Accidents

Is a United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) convention signed in Helsinki, Finland, on 17 March 1992 that entered into force on 19 April 2000. The Convention is designed to protect people and the environment against industrial accidents. The Convention aims to prevent accidents from occurring, or reducing their frequency and severity and mitigating their effects if required. The Convention promotes active international cooperation between countries, before, during and after an industrial accident.

The Convention helps its Parties (that is States or certain regional organizations that have agreed to be bound by the Convention) to prevent industrial accidents that can have transboundary effects and to prepare for, and respond to accidents if they occur. The Convention also encourages its parties to help each other in the event of an accident, to cooperate on research and development, and to share information and technology.

Regional Level

East African Community

The East African treaty of 1999 established the East African Community to focus on various areas of cooperation including environment and natural resources management. One of the key objectives of the treaty is the commitment to promote sustainable utilization of natural resources. Sustainable utilization of natural resources aims at minimizing industrial air pollution for safer air quality.

National Level

The Constitution of Kenya 2010

The Constitution is the supreme law of the land that lays the fundamental principles for the governance of the country. All the provisions dealing with the conservation of the environment and natural resources are to be found in the laws enacted under the Constitution. The constitution provides that every citizen is entitled to a clean and healthy environment and therefore is against any form of pollution in this case industrial air pollution that will pollute the environment and cause discomfort to the public either health wise or otherwise.

Physical Planning Act

This Act provides for the preparation and implementation of physical development plans and establishes the responsibility for the physical planning at various levels of Government in order to remove uncertainty regarding the responsibility of urban planning. It provides hierarchy of plans in which guidelines are laid down for future physical development of areas referred to in the specific plan. The Physical Planning Act also promotes public participation in the preparation of plans and requires that in preparation of plans proper consideration be given to the potential for economic and social development. In planning for industries according to the Act, strong controls must be exercised in establishing industries if surrounding areas are not to suffer or deteriorate. It is suggested that a public authority retains the title to the land and leases it to private firms. In this way there would be stronger controls than town planning regulations alone.

Buffers could be created between these estates and homes such as major internal roads, shopping and commercial centres, community buildings and school etc. this grouping of facilities would be mutually beneficial.

The Environmental Management and Coordination Act, 1999 (EMCA)

It‟s a promising attempt to create a stable and efficient system of regulation. It was established in Kenya in 1999, and entered into force in January 14, 2000. It aimed at establishing an appropriate legal and institutional framework for the management of the environment and other matters connected therewith and incidental thereto (Preamble). It asserts the paramount right of every individual to a clean and healthy environment and gives every Kenyan a right to bring an action to stop environmental damage. It is mandated to supervise and coordinate all matters relating to the environment and implement all policies relating thereto and to make an assessment of changes in the environment and other possible impacts, and, the operation of any industry, project or activity, to determine its immediate and long term effects on the environment.

Measures on industrial air pollution

Only spatially and temporally concentrated pollution can be retracted effectively by anthropogenic efforts, and such methods are already in use in such projects as the U.S. Superfund, a program implemented by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to contain hazardous pollution and restore polluted sites. Any dissolute pollution (pollution present in low concentrations in aquatic systems) cannot be removed efficiently by human efforts since such large areas are affected and must therefore be removed through natural biodegradation. The only way to restore biodiversity to areas affected by dissolute pollution is to remove the sources of pollution, make sure that toxic buildups can be naturally removed through chemical, physical and biological processes (Alexander, 2000) and ensure that pollution-intolerant organisms have access to recolonize the area. The process, especially of the last two steps, is very time-consuming; it may take 10 to 50 years to increase biodiversity in the system and rebuild ecosystem services, as evidenced from cleanup efforts in the U.S. and the U.K. To evaluate solutions to pollution, it may be helpful to distinguish between different kinds of industrial pollution. A first and common distinction is between sources of pollution: point sources, which are spatially and temporally defined such as a factory, and non-point sources, which are impossible to locate or confine such as household emissions (Auty, 1997). Only point sources can be effectively reduced by treatment of waste due to the possibility of regulation, whereas lessening the overall consumption will affect both point and non-point sources. Another distinction may be chosen between the uses of the pollutant: agrochemicals, industrial organic and inorganic waste, and household emissions of chemicals.

Related Topic  Improving Solid Waste Management Strategies in urban centres, a call for urgent concern

Organic and inorganic wastes are releases of large amounts of the most Eco toxic materials such as heavy metals, ammonia, cyanide, volatile organic compounds, halogenated organic compounds and arenes. Release of these chemicals into the environment is not intentional; that is, the release of these chemicals is not required in order for any process to work.

Because agrochemicals are intentionally released into the environment, prohibiting their usage would probably not be politically or economically feasible. This kind of regulation would significantly raise food prices and incur food shortages and famines because pests would destroy a significant amount of the crop yield. A feasible solution should include both reduction of use and shifts to less chronically toxic products. As such a solution may lead to a reduction of crop yield and will definitely require farmers in industrialized countries to change their habits; it can only be implemented through enforced government regulations. To make decisions about how to regulate agrochemicals, governments will need objective data on the damage pollutants pose to environments.

Theoretical Framework

From the review of literature, major factors contributing to industrial air pollution include; unchecked/uncontrolled emissions by industries, insufficient technology to come up with ways to mitigate industrial air pollution, poor implementation of policies governing industrial pollution. Inadequate involvement of the local communities in the planning process has also been a major challenge.

Conceptual Framework

Continuous industrial air pollution comes about as a result of various factors which are either directly or indirectly linked to the issue of study. It can lead impairment of water quality in interest areas, health complications by individuals within the local areas, and affecting soils fertility and acidity in an area. When these occur, there‟s an outcry action to be taken thus calling for an appropriate management plan. To achieve sustainability in this area of study, it calls for more attention from government officials and other relevant stakeholders to restore the quality of air. For results to be achieved, the interest community must be involved fully.

According to the figure below, air pollution is caused by: natural occurrences including volcanic eruptions, forest fires; industries engaged in manufacture of chemicals/allied productions whose processes depend on the chemical reaction of two or more chemicals; motor vehicle operations. The main focus of this study is however on air pollution from industrial processes. This has consequent harmful impacts on livelihood, soil fertility, biodiversity, and global warming. This therefore calls for the need of an appropriate management strategy/plan.

Conceptual Model for Management of Industrial Air Pollution

Mitigation measures to minimize air pollution

Due to increased air pollution by industries, the following are the suggested mitigation measures:

  • Enforcement of bylaws that regulate industrial air pollution e.g. testing of chemical content in fumes before being released to ensure they meet the international threshold allowed.
  • Application of self-regulation mechanisms by industries
  • Setting up of monitoring and evaluation units at the county level to ensure consistent check on the industries involved
  • Cleaner production dealing with air pollution at the source
  • Use of electric /solar powered generators/safer energy in production
  • Industries being located in their own designated areas away from residential areas
  • Emitted smoke/gases should be screened before being let out in the air
  • Giving a green light to industry owners around without harassing them
  • Community/stakeholder partnerships to ensure comprehensive management and implementation of laws put in place.
  • New technology/innovation that limits release of fumes/chemicals in the air
  • Closure of industries that release excessive fumes into the atmosphere
  • Protective gear including gloves, aprons, masks and goggles to workers in such industries to reduce health implications
  • Provision of milk to workers mostly in the wood processing industries that produce much dust

Strategies to minimize effects of industrial air pollution

  • Use of dust collectors/vapour recovery systems for industries that release much dust and contaminated vapour to reduce its effect to humans
  • Carrying out of frequent air pollution checks by the industries involved
  • Use of scrubbers that remove some particulates/gases from industrial exhaust streams e.g. carbon dioxide, hydrochloric acid and ammonia
  • Use of electrostatic precipitators/air cleaners by industries that release contaminated fumes into the air
  • Use of shades in parking lots to minimize corrosion of vehicle rooftops

 

Diseases and physical injuries from industrial air pollution

  • Lung cancer
  • Whooping cough
  • Nausea
  • Colds, wheezing and asthma attacks mostly in children
  • Heart complications and breathing difficulties
  • Irritation of the eyes and nose
  • Burning of the skin due to contact with the chemical fumes from the industries

Recommendations:

  1. Setting of industries away from residential areas
  2. Providing protective working gear for factory workers to avoid direct contact with chemicals
  3. Screening of emissions before being released into the air
  4. Proper equipping of hospitals to handle such complication in case of their occurrence
  5. Neighbouring residents to carryout proper basic health and safety measures 

Policies and legislative framework

The challenges faced in the implementation of policies and legislative frameworks in the management of air pollution by industries include:

  1. Conflicting policies and legislation
  2. Non-compliance by developers
  3. Lack of quantitative and qualitative capacity
  4. Poor coordination amongst the stakeholders involved
  5. Corruption among policy enforcers
  6. Inadequate funds
  7. Lack of adequate air quality standards
  8. Lack of political good will
  9. Lack of infrastructure/adequate technology
  10. Conflict of interest between stakeholders

Recommendations:

  1. Harmonization of the policies and mandate of various institutions
  2. Proper and strict enforcement of relevant laws and policies with stern penalties for non-compliance
  3. Setting up of monitoring and evaluation units/watchdogs at the county level
  4. Prioritize active multi stakeholder participation by sensitization on the need for stakeholder participation.
  5. Budgetary re-allocation should prioritize on environmental management through enhancing systems that promote better financial management within policy enforcing organizations.
  6. Improved infrastructure and technology for implementing bodies to easily follow up on industries
  7. Formation of relevant policies, regulations and air quality standards
  8. Involvement of politicians in the implementation of policies
  9. Clear definition of roles of various institutions

Impacts of industrial air pollution on the environment

Impacts of industrial air pollution can be grouped into the following:

Human health impacts

  1. Fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and ground-level ozone (O3) can affect human respiratory and cardiovascular systems. The young, the elderly and those with acute illnesses are at greater risk of such effects. PM2.5 and ground-level O3 have been associated with hospitalizations, increased respiratory and cardiovascular mortality, asthma exacerbation, decreased lung function, lung inflammation and changes in heart rate variability. Sulphur oxides also contribute to the incidence of respiratory diseases.
  2. Impacts range from minor breathing problems to premature death. The more common effects include changes in breathing and lung function, lung inflammation, and irritation and aggravation of existing heart and lung conditions (e.g. asthma, emphysema and heart disease). There is no safe level for PM2.5 and O3 that does not pose risks to human health.
  3. Negative health effects increase as the concentrations of pollutants in the air increases. Even modest increases in concentration (e.g. PM2.5 and O3) can cause small but measurable increases in emergency room visits, hospital admissions, skin cancer, cataracts and premature death.

Environmental Impacts

  1. Ground-level ozone damages vegetation, including crops, flowers, shrubs and forests, by interfering with plants‟ ability to produce and store food. This damage makes them more susceptible to disease, pests and environmental stresses.
  2. Nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sulphur dioxide (SO2) can become acidic gases or particulates, and cause or accelerate the corrosion and soiling of materials. Together with ammonia, they are also the main precursors of acid rain. Acid rain affects soils and water bodies, and stresses both vegetation and animals. Acidic rain can also contaminate drinking water and vegetation, damage aquatic life, and erode buildings.
  3. It also causes natural rhythms and patterns to fail, meaning that the wildlife is affected in a severe manner. Habitats are being lost, species are becoming extinct and it is harder for the environment to recover from each natural disaster.
  4. With the rise in industrial pollution, global warming has been increasing at a steady pace. Smoke and greenhouse gases are released by the factories into the air, which causes an increase in the greenhouse effect and increase in global warming. Melting of glaciers, extinction of polar bears, floods, tsunamis, hurricanes are few of the effects of global warming.

Economic impacts

  1. The health effects from PM2.5 and ground-level ozone can reduce work attendance and overall participation in the labour force. In terms of increased health care costs, missed days of work, and reduced worker productivity.
  2. Increased ozone levels also reduce the growth of crops, plants and trees, leading to economic losses in agriculture and forestry.

Recommendations:

Controlling Airborne Particulate Matters

Airborne particulate matters (PM) emissions can be minimized by pollution prevention and emission control measures. Prevention, which is frequently more cost-effective than control, should be emphasized. Special attention should be given to mitigate the effects, where toxics associated with particulate emissions may pose a significant environmental risk. Measures such as improved process design, operation, maintenance, housekeeping, and other management practices can reduce emissions. By improving combustion efficiency in Diesel engines, generation of particulate matters can be significantly reduced. Proper fuel-firing practices and combustion zone configuration, along with an adequate amount of excess air, can achieve lower products of incomplete combustion (PIC). Few following steps should be adhered to control PM:

  1. Choosing cleaner fuels – Natural gas used as fuel emits negligible amounts of particulate matter.
  2. Low-ash fossil fuels contain less noncombustible, ash-forming mineral matter and thus generate lower levels of particulate emissions.
  3. Reduction of ash by coal cleaning reduces the generation of ash and Particulate Matter (PM) emissions.
  4. The use of more efficient technologies or process changes can reduce products of incomplete combustion (PIC) emissions.
  5. Advanced coal combustion technologies such as coal gasification and fluidized-bed combustion are examples of cleaner processes that may lower PICs.
  6. A variety of particulate removal technologies, are available – these are: Inertial or impingement separators, Electrostatic precipitators (ESPs), Filters and dust collectors (bag houses), Wet scrubbers that rely on a liquid spray to remove dust particles from a gas stream.
Related Topic  Occupational Safety and Health Practices in Construction Projects: A Prerequisite for a Safe and Healthy Workplace

Use of air pollution control devices / equipment for industries, in general

The commonly used equipment / process for control of dust in various industries are: Mechanical dust collectors in the form of dust cyclones; Electrostatic precipitators – both dry and wet system; particulate scrubbers; Water sprayer at dust generation points; proper ventilation system and various monitoring devices to know the concentration of dust in general body of air.

The common equipment / process used for control of toxic / flue gases are: the process of desulphurization; process of denitrification; Gas conditioning and various monitoring devices to know the efficacy of the systems used.

Health and Safety Preventive Measures

The most successful tool of prevention of respiratory diseases from industrial dust/fumes is to minimize exposure. However, this is not an efficient practical approach from the perspective of industries such as mining, construction/demolition, refining/manufacturing/processing, where industrial dust/fumes are an unavoidable byproduct. In such cases, industries must implement a stringent safety protocol that effectively curtails exposure to potentially hazardous dust/fume sources. The following precautionary measures are recommended to reduce exposure to a variety of industrial dust types:

a) Recognize when industrial dust/fumes may be generated and plan ahead to eliminate or control the emission at the source. Awareness and planning are keys to prevention of silicosis.

b) Avoiding use of silica sand or other substances containing a high percentage of crystalline silica as abrasive blasting materials, sulphur oxides and ammonia. These should be substituted with less hazardous materials.

c) Use of engineering controls and containment methods such as blast-cleaning machines and cabinets, wet drilling, or wet sawing of silica-containing materials to control the hazard and protect adjacent workers from exposure.

d) Routinely maintain emission control systems to keep them in good working order.

e) Practice good personal hygiene to avoid unnecessary exposure to other worksite contaminants such as lead.

f) Wear disposable or washable protective clothes at the worksite.

g) Shower (if possible) and change into clean clothes before leaving the worksite to prevent contamination of cars, homes, and other work areas.

h) Conduct air monitoring to measure worker exposures and ensure that controls are providing adequate protection for workers.

i) Use adequate respiratory protection when source controls cannot keep chemical exposures below the designated limit.

j) Provide periodic medical examinations for all workers who may be exposed to respirable chemicals.

k) Post warning signs to mark the boundaries of work areas contaminated with respirable harmful chemicals.

l) Provide workers and the neighboring residents with training that includes information about health effects, work practices, and protective equipment for harmful effects from exposure to such emissions.

m) Report all cases of illnesses or injury due to exposure to such emissions to any private / State health departments.

Role of government

The government plays a very important role in prevention of air pollution. It is through government regulations that industries are forced to reduce their air pollution and new developments in technology are created to help everyone do their part in the prevention of air pollution. The government should continuously make regulations stricter and enforce new regulations that help to combat any new found source of air pollution and develop more comprehensive emissions permit systems. The government should invest in scientific studies on the damaging effects on plants, animals and human life. The legislative body should write laws to control emissions. It should also invest more in education in schools and universities where trainers teach students, beginning at very young ages, about the effects of air pollution.

It should also introduce Emission Charges (are prices established for the right to emit a unit of a pollutant) to ensure polluters pay for emissions released thus discourage illegal emissions from industries. Its advantage is that it directly internalizes a negative externality by pricing the use of the environment to emit fumes. The first step to solving air pollution is assessment. Government researchers should investigate industrial air pollution and develop standards for measuring the type and amount of some serious air pollutants. It can also use incentives to encourage compliance. they should also determine how much exposure to such pollutants is harmful. Once exposure levels have been set, steps can be undertaken to reduce exposure to industrial air pollution. These can be accomplished by regulation of industrial air pollution through legislation.

Planting of trees

Trees reduce air pollution, and planting them is one of the most concrete, satisfying actions that can be taken to help the air quality in our regions. Trees produce oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide, which they turn into food. Researchers can find out what types of trees are best to plant in certain areas and take action.

Summary and Conclusion

The knowledge base for industrial air pollution is expanding fast but still with significant gaps in the management process. Industrial air pollution prevention efforts of companies have generally focused on both source and waste reduction, and on reuse and recycling. Preventing air pollution within a company’s manufacturing processes remains the key approach. Cleaning and processing, switch to non-polluting technologies and materials, reduced generation of emissions, converting hazardous by-products to non-threatening forms, etc. have been attempted in this regard. The fragmentation of responsibilities for industrial air pollution is proving to be a great impediment to promoting sustainable management of the environment. This has brought about conflict of interest among various stakeholders. A proper management plan is therefore an important alternative for management of air pollution by industries not only in Kenya but other countries characterized with similar management problems. The success of such a management strategy is however cosseted in the basic principle of guaranteeing informed decision-making fastened with accountability which is pulled off using an open, participatory approach of public and specialist input during all stages of the management process, with due consideration of alternative and a genuine attempt to mitigate negative impacts and enhance positive aspects.

It should be noted that, only through the efforts of scientists, business leaders, legislators, and individuals can we reduce the amount of air pollution by industries on the planet. This challenge must be met by all of us in order to assure that a healthy environment exist for ourselves and our children.

For an effective management strategy, implementation and coordination mechanisms are to be put in place. Existing management strategies are capable of achieving management of industrial air pollution, but need has arisen for new institutions based on the perspective of regional and local development committees. It should further be noted that although industrial air pollution is managed at various levels in the political and socio-economic systems, sustainable environmental management requires the development of relevant institutions in appropriate levels of management to govern air pollution by industries. Proper integration with other pollution related management systems should be put into account. Capacity building in the relevant institutions is an important constituent in the implementation of a management strategy. In conclusion it is noted that a proper management plan/strategy for industrial pollution may result in sustainable management of the air quality.

References

Brasseur, G.P., Prinn, R.G., Pszenny, A.A.P. (ed.): Atmospheric Chemistry in a Changing World. An Integration and Synthesis of a Decade of Tropospheric Chemistry Research. The International Global Atmospheric Chemistry Project of the International Geosphere- Biosphere Programme. – Springer-Verlag, Berlin – Heidelberg – New York 2001.

European Environment agency (EEA), Air Pollution in Europe, 1997.

Richard M. Auty, Journal of International Development, Volume 9, Issue 4, pages 651–663, June 1997

Shakeel Ahmed Ibne Mahmood (2011) Journal of Public Administration and Policy Research Vol.3 (4).Thesis, University of Nairobi, Kenya.

 

Leave a Comment Here