In many countries, pollution is a major concern for government agencies, environmental organizations, individuals, and businesses. In the US alone, an online report published in 2008 by Environmental Science and Technology revealed that freshwater pollution of phosphorus and nitrogen set back government agencies, drinking water facilities, and US citizens at least $4.3 billion annually.
Meanwhile, despite decades of combined effort, the World Bank has said that the global economy is still losing around $5 trillion annually due to air pollution. The effects are said to be worst in developing cities, where as much as 1% of their GDP is lost due to air pollution. On top of everything, citizens are left with harmful effects than can lead to various kinds of nasty health conditions, including asthma, and lung cancer.
For businesses, it’s critical to lead the change in commercial areas and embrace their social and environmental responsibilities. They should also actively integrate HAZWOPER Safety Training Online to their risk management plan and health protocols to help spread awareness among their ranks as well as keep themselves updated with their own compliance requirements.
Meanwhile, for the rest of us, it’s important to first identify where pollution hazards are mostly coming from:
Transport. In recent years, road traffic exhaust emissions have been one of the most active pollutant of urban air quality. In addition, the emissions coming from road, water, rail, and air transport have been active contributors to acid deposition, stratospheric ozone depletion, and the frequently debated climate change. Over the years, there have been many environmental and engineering solutions that were tested to mitigate the pollution brought by transport vehicles. However, most ended up losing momentum because of lack of support, while others were simply not cut to make a lasting impact.
Electricity generation. The variety of fuels that are needed to generate electricity all have some impact on the environment. Fossil fuel power plants increase air pollution, consume a massive amount of cooling water, and can even ruin the land during the mining process. Nuclear power plants can generate and gather copious quantities of radioactive waste that currently don’t even have repository. Renewable energy facilities are no exemptions since they can affect wildlife (fish and birds), involve hazardous wastes, and also require a large volume of cooling water.
Technology and globalization. Perhaps the most challenging part of modernization is minimizing the environmental impact that comes with the process as well as balancing the good and bad that are associated with some development. While modern technology improves our lives in many tangible ways, new technology also consumes significant amount of resources that in turn produce pollutants that harm our environment.
Population growth. Population growth also brings detrimental effects to our surroundings, which is now considered as a cause for concern in many parts of the world. Starting from 1963, when the global rate of population growth peaked, the number of inhabitants in our planet has grown by more than two-thirds, topping out at over seven and a half billion today. At the rate we’re going, it’s no surprise that experts see us exceeding the nine billion mark by 2050. With more people needing finite resources in years to come, it’s hard not to get bothered on how the environment would fare by then.