Pollution During the Industrial Revolution


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America and Europe introduced advanced manufacturing processes during the Industrial Revolution period. Most of the technological innovations originated in Britain. They included machine tools, chemical manufacturing processes and mechanized factory systems. The textile industry created many employment opportunities. But, many people don’t know the adverse effects the revolution had on the environment. In this post, we discuss different forms of pollution that the Industrial Revolution caused.

Air Pollution

Atmospheric pollution has caused many health hazards in Britain over the years. It was known for its satanic mill during the Industrial Revolution era. Coal was the main source of fuel for most factories. Households in Britain used it in their fireplaces. Britain emitted dark clouds of smoke that were more than 50 times higher than before the revolution. For instance, smog covered the entire city of London in 1952 and killed more than 4,000 people in a week. The country didn’t have any regulations that controlled the use of coal.

The government didn’t assess the negative effects of air pollution in the country. Economic historians combined the amount of coal each industry consumed with that of the workforce. It helped them determine the quantity of coal each district burnt. The Midlands and South Wales had the highest coal consumption rates. The number of people suffering from respiratory diseases soared in the 1850s.

Most of the patients were children and the elderly. A one percent increase in coal intensity caused a one percent increase in the number of infant mortalities. The government had to create a safe environment necessary to establish online casinos around the world for people to play casino games.

Water Pollution

Before and during the industrial revolution period, many people consumed contaminated water. Some of them contracted typhoid and cholera. A CNN report indicates that one gram of human waste has 100 parasite eggs, 1,000 parasite cysts, 1 million bacteria, and 10-million viruses. Water pollution was common during the revolution.

Many factories discharged their waste in rivers. For example, the amount of chemical waste in the Cuyahoga River rose and caused the river to burst into furious flames. It showed how industrial pollution destroyed natural resources in the U.S. CNN reported in 2007 that factories discharge large amounts of heavy metals, toxic sludge and solvents in water sources each year. Industries in developing countries discharge 70 percent of their waste into lakes and rivers, according to UNESCO.

A study by Greenspace reveals that about 70 percent of rivers and lakes in China are contaminated by industrial waste. They pose a health hazard to 300 million people who solely rely on those water supplies.

Research from The Groundwater Foundation shows that more than 50 percent of Americans drink groundwater. Most of the people use it for crop irrigation. Congress formed the Clean Water Act in 1972 to control water pollution. Technological innovations boosted the economy of Europe and the U.S. during the Industrial Revolution. Even so, they caused air and water pollution. Home fireplaces and factories produced different pollutants that killed more than 4,000 London residents. King Edward I introduced harsh penalties for people who often burnt sea-coal.

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