Leather Industries and Wastewater Pollution



Environmental pollution is one of the world's significant issues, and it is worsening every day because of urbanization and industrialization. The current industrial activity pattern disrupts natural material flow and introduces novel chemicals into the environment, which includes water bodies, soil, plants, vegetables, humans, and other living organisms. Water pollution is now one of the most important problems confronting the contemporary world, because of a growth in the number of companies, and this is a source of other environmental pollutants. Soil and air, after water, are the most crucial components of the ecosystem, yet they are also the most underestimated, misunderstood, and overused earth and atmospheric resources. The tannery business is a major polluter of the environment, with the ability to pollute soil and water. Tanning is a chemical process that turns animal hides and skin into leather, which is a stable and putrescible product. Tanning agents are often used to turn hides into leather, and the process produces a very turbid, colorful, and foul-smelling effluent. Various pollutants, such as air pollutant, water pollutant, and solid pollutant, are discharged throughout the tanning process at various stages, including beam house operations, tan yard activities, post tanning operations, and finishing operations.


Every day, a considerable amount of chemicals is utilized and drained from tanneries, damaging water resources such as streams, ponds, rivers, and even subterranean water. According to studies, the destructive impacts of a typical tannery can have a negative influence on humans, animals, birds, and aquatic life within a 7-8 km radius. Stomach difficulties, respiratory problems, ulcers, hypertension, kidney stones, genetic mutations, cardiac arrest, heart, kidney, and liver illnesses are just a few of the ailments that may be caused by polluted ground water. In the chemical process of microbial breakdown, organic matter dissolved in tannery effluent absorbs a large amount of oxygen from water bodies. The tanneries' effluent reduces the amount of oxygen in the water in this way. Because fish, plants, and other aquatic species cannot exist without oxygen in such water, it fails to meet the needs of aquatic life.

Because the tanning affluent contains large amounts of dyes and chemical extracts, the water's clarity is harmed because the pollution serves as a barrier to sunlight travelling through the water. The infrared rays of sunlight are absorbed by dyes and other chemical extracts at the water's surface. Because light cannot flow through water, the aquatic life cycle is disrupted, causing additional disruption to other living species.

To reduce the hazardous effects of industrial effluent, it should be treated before being discharged.

Even in industrialized countries, however, the effluent treatment process for discharged wastewater necessitates large expenditures and operational costs to meet the standards of environmental protection agencies. The situation is quite different in underdeveloped nations like Pakistan, where there is no suitable infrastructure in place for disposing of industrial effluent, therefore it is released into the public sewer system and other local water resources. Many leather processing units in Pakistan operate in this manner. Despite their damaging impacts and poisonous chemicals, leather tanneries play an important role in the regional and national economy. In this circumstance, its negative impacts should be reduced to improve its efficacy by lowering industrial wastewater's destructive environmental effects. To prevent negative consequences, leather tanneries and other companies that emit harmful chemicals should be classified separately by law and located in a distinct industrial zone away from people. To mitigate the negative environmental consequences of wastewater, Effluent Treatment Plants (ETP) should be developed in such industrial zones. The infrastructure for adequate and separate drainage and disposal of industrial waste should also be created.

About the Author: Mubeen Ahmad is a student  of Environmental Sciences . He wants to aware to people about environmental pollution and other environmental problems.



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