Industrial Pollution

By Lauren Costa

Alongside the groundbreaking discoveries of the Industrial Revolution in the mid-19th century, came new sources of water and air pollution. For centuries humans unknowingly contaminated sources of water which lead to widespread diseases. According to a CNN report, one gram of human excrement contains approximately “10 million viruses, 1 million bacteria, 1,000 parasite cysts and 100 parasite eggs.” Today over 1 billion people worldwide lack access to safe water and, according to WaterPartners International, a child dies from a water-related disease every 15 seconds somewhere on the planet. Today we are still faced with massive amounts of pollution even after learning from our past.


With the arrival of the Industrial Revolution, many factories did not have knowledge of the damage they would leave on future generation or simply did not care. Many factories would release their waste directly into streams and rivers.Sewage, waste, and polluted water often flowed directly from such pipes into surface waters. This type of pollution is known as “source point” pollution, because of the fact that the origin is localized and identifiable. Industrial pollution has many effects. It contaminates many sources of drinking water, releases unwanted toxins into the air and reduces the quality of soil all over the world.

There are many reasons for why industrial pollution happened in our past and still continues today. First being, there were little to no policies to control the pollution. There was lack of effective policies and weak enforcement which allowed many industries to avoid laws made by pollution control that lead to massive amounts of pollution affecting millions of people. Secondly, unplanned industrial growth came in places and to companies that often dismissed the rules and norms, polluting the environment. Also causing industrial pollution was the use of outdated technologies. Many old factories rely on older technologies to produce products that induce large amounts of waste. Many companies want to be cost efficient and reduce high cost of production so they use traditional technologies that often produce large amounts of pollution. There is a large amount of small scale industries and factories that don’t have enough capital and rely on government grants to run day-to-day business, they often release large amounts of toxins into the atmosphere and hide from environmental degradation. Lastly, many factories drain resources from the natural world. Most industries don’t need large amounts for raw materials to manufacture them into finished products. Extracting minerals from the earth causes soil pollution when spilled on the earth. There are many causes for industrial pollution but new technologies have helped these numbers go down.

Since the Industrial Revolution, America has achieved a lot of growth; our manufacturing processes have become more efficient and productive, science has become much more advanced, and our life has transformed a great deal. But nothing comes without a price. The effects of industrial pollution are still experienced today. These effects are far reaching and liable to affect the ecosystem for many years to come. Water pollution is one effect of industrial manufacturing that is having many negative impacts to our environment. Many industries demand massive amounts of water to produce their product. When involved in a series of processes, the water comes into contact with heavy metals, harmful chemicals, radioactive waste and even organic sludge. These pollutants are then dumped into our oceans, rivers, and streams. Over 1.2 trillion gallons of untreated sewage, groundwater, and industrial waste are discharged into U.S. waters annually. These results show us many of our water sources have giant amounts of industrial waste which affects the health of our ecosystem. Most often, this water is cycled and used for irrigation by farmers which then affects the quality of food that is produced. Industrial pollution has many more effects including soil pollution, air pollution, wildlife extinction, and global warming.


Work Cited:


“Causes and Effects of Industrial Water Pollution You Never Noticed.” HelpSaveNature, Staff. “Water and Air Pollution.”, A&E Television Networks, 2009,

Municipal & Industrial Water & Pollution Control. Environmental Studies and Policy,|0MIP. Accessed 30 Oct. 2017.

Water, Air, & Soil Pollution. Environmental Studies and Policy,|5KIB. Accessed 30 Oct. 2017.

Water, Air, & Soil Pollution. Environmental Studies and Policy,|5KIB. Accessed 30 Oct. 2017.


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