4 Major Industries That Contribute to Environmental Damage

Extractives are the by-products resulting from the refining, processing and manufacturing of raw materials. They include oil shale, coal tar, limestone and sandstone, bitumen and coal. They are used for a variety of applications in industries such as construction, automotive and chemical. These industries require a range of extractives to meet their requirements.

Environmental and social impacts are the by-products that are generated during the refining, processing and production process. The wide-range applications and uses of extractives and the wide variety of chemicals used in the process contribute to the adverse effects on the environment. The chemicals used in the process contribute to air pollution, acid rain, depletion of natural resources and contribute to global warming. Therefore, extractives make a significant contribution to the green building process and green living.

A major environmental impact is the leakage or spills of petroleum products and fluids during the transportation. This will cause severe damage to the environment. Moreover, petroleum products and fluids are highly flammable and can easily leak out in cases of accidents. Therefore, major contributions have to be made by industries in minimizing their exposure to the environmental hazards caused due to their activities.

It is impossible to predict or eliminate all the possible effects of petroleum and other fossil fuel on the environment. However, there are some measures that can be taken by industries and the government to minimize or control the environmental impact. By using the right kind of extractives, industries can contribute to the efforts of the government and the environment to conserve natural resources.

Ethical and responsible behavior are the two main principles of extractives. Companies should behave with respect and avoid causing damage to the environment. In addition, they should respect human rights. They should take responsibility for their activities. They should adhere to the conventions on land use, including the right of access for groundwater.

Moreover, the use of environmentally safe technologies in the extraction process of petroleum will increase the efficiency of the process and thereby, contribute to the sustainable development of the economy. There are a number of technologies available in the market that can minimize the dangers and damages. There are new laws and guidelines issued by the government and the pertinent authorities. These are being strictly followed by the industry.

Today, petroleum is used for almost everything including transportation, cosmetics, food, medicine, energy, construction materials, petrochemicals, textiles and even biodegradable wastes. It plays an important role in almost every sphere of the economy. Therefore, it is not surprising that there has been a rapid growth of this industry. The competition in the extractives sector is very intense. As a result, companies are coming up with revolutionary new products and cutting-edge technology.

There are a number of environmental groups who are working hard towards protecting the environment. They have adopted different strategies to reduce the damage caused to the environment by petroleum. Besides, they are working towards bringing in regulations, rules and safety precautions that will contribute to the harmonious use of natural resources.

Apart from the direct environmental impact, the petroleum has other side-effects. The chemical agents used in the extraction process release toxic gases during processing. Also, the emissions created during the refining process pollute the air. Apart from these side-effects, the waste produced during the processing and marketing of petroleum products has another side-effect; it causes a major health hazard. The petroleum fumes cause irritation to the respiratory tract and may lead to respiratory related diseases.

Oil spills and leakage also contribute to environmental hazards and dangers. When petroleum products are not handled properly, they leak out into the environment. Therefore, the industry is focusing on spill response plan in order to prevent such leaks and spills from happening.

In addition, petroleum products emit greenhouse gases during the refining process. This has been indicated in the past but the problem is getting worse. They also contribute to ozone layer depletion. Moreover, petroleum products emit high levels of carbon dioxide which leads to global warming. Hence, they are major contributors to air pollution.

To protect natural resources, the industry is focusing on various measures. The measures include implementation of a waste management plan, regular monitoring of chemicals, and use of specialized equipment. The above mentioned are just a few of the measures taken by the industry. It requires collective effort to save the environment from further deterioration.