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Chapter -2

PROBLEMS
AND
CAUSES

PROBLEMS AND CAUSES


The manmade sources of air pollutions are; stationary combustion,
transportation, industrial process, and solid disposal sources. Stationary
combustion processes yield mainly particulate pollutants such as fly ash,
smoke and oxides of sulfur and nitrogen. The amount of sulfur dioxide
emitted depends upon the content of sulfur in the fuel. Coal and oil which
contain considerable amounts of sulfur release appreciable quantities of
sulfur dioxide. High temperature processes such as thermal fixation of
atmospheric nitrogen yield larger quantities of oxides of nitrogen. Carbon
monoxide, a significant contaminant, is also emitted from combustion.
However, complete combustion yields only carbon dioxide and not
carbon monoxide. The other contaminants that are produced by
combustion include acids and aldehydes. Of all the fuels used in
stationary combustion, natural gas is reported to be the best as it contains
little sulfur only and the particulate emission is much less.
Automobiles have internal combustion engines are the primary
transpiration sources. Automobile exhausts release smoke and to a certain
extent lead particles. Smoke contains the gaseous pollutants such as
carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and oxides of nitrogen.

Industries are also big air polluters. Power, cement, steel, leather,
chemical and mining industries emanate significant amounts of air
pollutants. In urban areas, even solid waste disposal causes pollution.
Backyard burning and open burning of heaps of solid wastes result in the
emission of smoke and gaseous pollutants. Above all, nuclear materials,
when released into the air, are potentially more hazardous. Nuclear
weapon testing, nuclear reactors, chemical processing plants, research
institutions and hospitals contribute many nuclides to the atmosphere. Air
Pollution mainly affects the respiratory system. Carbon monoxide is an
asphyxiant gas and when it is absorbed into the lungs, it combines with
the hemoglobin level available for carrying the oxygen to the body. Sulfur
dioxide damages the respiratory system1 and causes cough and irritation
to the membranes of the eyes. Ozone is strong irritant and damages lungs.
Likewise, nitrogen oxide is also a strong irritant. The aldehydes and acids
formed may result in eye, nose and throat irritations. As a matter of fact,
lung cancer, bronchitis, emphysema and asthma are some of the chronic
disease caused due to exposure to polluted air.
The effects of Air pollution on animals are similar to that on human
beings. Air pollution is highly detrimental to plant productivity and sets
1

Santosh Kumar and Sumit Mehta ARI and Indoor air pollution, its Garden and
correlation. Inter Jr. of Pulmonary medicine. Vol. 8,2, 2007; pp. 3-7.

in the process of deforestation. The soil loses its alkaline characteristics


due to air pollution. The alkalinity of the soil is necessary for the plant
productivity. Air pollution also damage property and materials. The
oxides of sulfur and nitrogen form sulfuric and nitric acids respectively
after combination with water vapour in the presence of sunlight. These
acids are far more corrosive and spoil the materials. Indias famous
monument, Taj Mahal,is losing its luster due to Air Pollution.2
The relationship between human being and Air Pollution has varied from
time to time. It has also been varying place to place at a given point of
time. In the very early stages of human history, human beings considered
the environment as very dominant and that was why, they worshipped
different aspects of nature like trees, forests, animals, mountains, rivers,
etc. They were very much afraid of these elements of rivers, etc., because

In 1981, the Parliament enacted the Air (Prevention and Control of


Pollution) Act in contradistinction to the water (Prevention and Control of
Pollution) Act 1974, enacted by the Parliament under article 252 States, the Air
(Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1981, has been enacted by the
Parliament under Article 253 of the Constitution. The Air (Prevention and
Control of Pollution) Act was amended in 1987. The preamble of the Act
clarifies that the Act has been enacted to implement the decisions taken at
the United Nation conference on human environment held at stockhome in
June 1972 in so far as the aforesaid decisions relating to the preservation of
the quality of the air pollution In 2010 ASI has strictly warmed to be more
careful air pollution and protect The Taj. (ISI Respect. Feh. 2010; pp. 71-74.

of the reason that they had no tools to overcome the danger posed by the
environment.
4.1

Impact of Human beings:- The impact of mans activities on the

environment has resulted in the pollution of environment. Pollution not


only affects the air, water and lands but also

the organisms in the

biosphere. The natural ecosystem has an inherent capacity to decompose


dead organisms or excreta and recycle them. When harmful substances
contaminate the environment in large quantities, the ecosystem is unable
to absorb them and they accumulate in the system resulting in the
degradation of environment.
4.2

Problems - Problems of Air Pollution in India can be classified

into two broad categories:


Those arising as negative effects of the very process of development;
(Slow process of development).
(a) Poor Planning:- The first category has to do with the impact of
efforts to achieve rapid economic growth and development and
continuing pressures of demand generated by those sections of society
who are economically more advanced and impose great strains on the

supply of natural resources. Poorly planned, development projects and


also often environment destructive.
(b)

Heath and integration:- The second category has to do with the

impact on the health and integrity of our natural resources (land, soil,
water, forests, wildlife, etc.) as a result of poverty and the inadequate
availability for a large section of our population of the means to fulfill
basic human needs (food fuel, shelter, employment etc.) Needless to say
the two problems are interrelated.
(c)

Population:- Population is an important resource for development,

yet it is a major source of environmental degradation when it exceeds the


threshold limits of the support systems. Unless the relationship between
the multiplying population and life support can be stabilized,
development programs, however, innovative are not likely to yield the
desired results. It is possible to expand the carrying capacity through
technological advances and spatial distribution. But neither of these can
support unlimited population growth. Although technological progress
will add to the capabilities for sustaining a large number of populations,
the need for a vigor our drive for population control can hardly be over

emphasized in view of the linkage between poverty, population growth


and the Air Population.3
(d)

Forest wealth:- Our forest wealth is dwindling due to over-

grazing, over-exploitation both-for commercial and house-hold needs,


encroachments, unsuitable practices including certain practices of shifting
cultivation and developmental activities4. According to the State of Forest
Report 2007, the actual forest cover in the country was 59.59 million
hectares during 2005-6. The loss of habit it leading to the extinction of
plant, animal and microbial species. The biological impoverishment of
the country is a serious threat to sustainable advances in biological
productivity. Gene erosion also erodes the prospects for deriving full
economic and ecological benefits form recent advances in molecular
biological and genetic engineering.
(e)

Coral reefs:- Coral reefs are the most productive marine eco-

systems and provide habitat for diverse flora and fauna. These
ecosystems are adversely affected by indiscriminate exploration of coral
for production of lime, recreational use and for ornamental trade.
Similarly, the fragile environs of island ecosystems have been subjected

3
4

Govt. of India, Cersion report. 2011. (Section A).


Govt. of India. State Forest report, 2007.

to pressures of various forms including migration of people from the


mainland.
(f)

Global changes:- Global atmospheric changes resulting in altered

temperature and precipitation and rising ocean levels, are no longer


within the realm of theoretical possibilities. Combination of local
subsidence, greenhouse induced sea-level rise and coastal environmental
degradation may lead to periodic floods, incursion of salt water, melting
of glaciers and river flooding. Local changes of average rainfall will
severely affect agricultural and water supply, especially in semi-arid
areas.
(g)

Lack of opportunities:- Lack of opportunities for gainful

employment in villages and the ecological stresses is leading to an everincreasing movement of resource-poor families to towns. Mega cities are
emerging and urban slums are expanding. Illiteracy and child labor are
persisting. There has been a substantial urban growth in the last four
decades. This has resulted in congestion and squatter settlements with
millions of people having no access to the basic needs of civic amenities.
The green cover in our urban centres has been largely destroys and once
beautiful garden cities have become concrete jungles. The man-made
heritage in India has been often gravely and even irrevocably damaged.

(h)

Industries:- A large number of industries and other development

projects has also resulted in the pollution, which are major constituents of
our life support systems5. Pollution of water bodies, in turn has adversely
affected the growth of aquatic fauna and flora, which is an
environmentally undesirable phenomenon for any ecosystem. The
problems of women in villages are compounded in this whole scenario of
energy, environmental and developmental imbalance. This has caused a)
Maleria

b) Liver ailments c) Gastro-intestinal disease.

It is difficult to clearly delineate the cause an consequence of Air


Pollution in terms of simple one-to-one relationships. The causes and
effects are often interwoven in complex webs of social, technological and
environmental factors. For instance, from a purely scientific and
technological standpoint soil erosion would result from the cultivation of
marginal lands.
2.1.2 Poverty:- The overriding impact of adverse demographic pressures on
pressures on our resources and ecosystems due to poverty 6 and
overpopulation of man and livestock has to be highlighted. Unless there

Chavez, Charlos A. and Satranlumes, Johan k. Controlling urban air pollution


caused by households. Jrl. Of Environ. Mugt. Vol. 92,10, 2011; pp. 2746-2753.

Kumar, Santosh and Mehra, Sumit ARI and Indoor air pollution; its garden and
correlation. Int. Jrl. Of Pulmonary medicine. Vol. 8,2, 2007; pp. 3-7.

is curb on population growth and even reduction of such populations and


a corresponding improvement in land use policies, the current trend of
over-exploitation and ecological degradation is not likely to improve.
2.2 Causes:- World Health Organization has described Air Pollution as
substances put into the air by the activity of mankind into concentration
sufficient to cause harmful effects to health, property, crop yield or to
interfere with the enjoyment of property.
(a)

Burning of fossil fuels:- The burning of fossil fuels in large

quantities during the recent decades has resulted in gradual increase in


carbon dioxide content in the atmosphere. Increase of carbon dioxide in
the atmosphere has the effect of increasing the temperature of
atmosphere. Increase in carbon dioxide content is also due t the largescale deforestation. Reduction in the number of trees, which absorbs
carbon dioxide, resulted in the accumulation of carbon dioxide in the
atmosphere.
(b)

Solar radiation:- In the normal circumstances, much of the solar

radiation that penetrates the earths atmosphere is re-radiated as heat from


the earths surface and dissipates into space. But an increase of carbon
dioxide, through it allows most solar radiation to penetrate the
atmosphere, prevents part of the heat re-radiated by the land and water

bodies from escaping into space. As carbon dioxide accumulates, enough


heat may be trapped to gradually warm the atmosphere. This is called the
Greenhouse effect.
(c)

Carbon dioxide:- If the content of carbon dioxide increases further

in the next 50 years, rise in air temperature would certainly melt the polar
ice caps and consequently sea level would rise by about 2.5 meters
causing submergence of coastal regions.
(d)

Sulfur dioxide:- Burning of coal adds sulfur dioxide to the

atmosphere. The automobile exhaust contributes to the addition of lead,


carbon monoxides and nitrogen oxides in the atmosphere. These gases
not only causes nasal irritation and respiratory diseases to the inhalers but
also causes acid rains which damages the plants, metals buildings apart
from aquatic ecosystems which support various life forms 7. Acid rain also
dames forests to a great extent. It affects the growth of the trees.
(e)

Ozone layer:- The ozone layer in the stratosphere serves as a

protective shield, which protects the earth from harmful ultraviolet


radiation. When thus ozone layer gets depleted ultra violet radiation
entres the earths surface and causes skin cancer. The ozone layer gets
7

Coffy, Christopher C. Validation of an evaxuated cinister method for


measuring Part-Per-Billion levels of chemical warfare agent stimulants. Jrl. of
Air & Waste Mugt. Asso. Vo. 61,8, 2011; pp. 826-833.

affected by exhausts from the jet aircraft and also by the use of CFC
(Chloro Fluoro Carbon) in arrosol propellants in sprayers, refrigerators
etc.
(f)

Smoke, dust, carbon particles:- Gaseous effluents from factories

pollute the atmosphere. Smoke, dust and particles of carbon, lead, etc.
gets accumulated in the atmosphere. On cool nights, when for occurs,
these particles remain suspended in the air. This condition is called Smog.
In Tamil Nadu, because of burning of used tyros of motor vehicles on
Bhogi Day, the smog over Chennai and other parts of Tamil Nadu causes
annoyance and a lot of inconvenience to the people.8
According to the report released by the UNEP in September 2008, the
following are some of the possible harmful effects of ABC:
By slashing the sunlight that reaches the ground by 10 to 15 percent
the choking smog has also altered the regions climate, cooling the
ground while heating the atmosphere;
The regions brown haze affects rainfall and farming, and puts
hundreds of thousand of people in jeopardy.
8

The Report released by UNEP (2008) states that, the haze is the result of
forest fires the burning of agricultural wastes, dramatic increases in the
burning of fossil fuels in vehicle, industries and power stations, and emissions
from millions of inefficient cookers burning wood, cow dung and other biofuels.

It has a direct effect on human health, causing more respiratory


disease.
There are also global implications, not least because a pollution parcel
like this, which stretches three kilometers (two miles) high, can travel
halfway round the globe in a week.
The reports authors say the reduction in solar energy reaching the
Earths surface also means less oceanic evaporation of the moisture,
which controls summer rainfall.
They estimate that the haze could be reducing Indias winter rice
harvest by up to 10%. And they fear several hundreds of thousand of
premature deaths from haze-related respiratory disease.
The potent haze lying over the entire Indian subcontinent-from Sri
Lanka to Afghanistan-has led to some erratic weather, sparking
flooding in Bangladesh, Nepal and north-eastern India, but drought in
Pakistan and north-western India.
They discovered not only that the smog cut sunlight, heating the
atmosphere, but also that it created acid rain, a serious threat to crops
and trees, as well as contaminating oceans and hurting agriculture.
But because the lifetime of pollutants is short and they can be rained out,
scientists are hopeful that if Asians use more efficient way of burning
fuel, such as better stoves, and cleaner source of energy, time has not run
out.

(g)

Poisonous gas:- Accidents involving escape of poisonous gases

from industries cause illness and death. The escape of MIC (Methyl Iso
Cyanide) from the pesticide plant of Union Carbide Corporation at
Bhopal in 1984 resulted in the death of thousand of people. The accident
at Chernobyl Atomic Power Plant in Russia in 1986 and leakage in 2005
caused extensive damage to the environment due to the leakage of
radioactive materials. Fourteen years after the Chernobyl nuclear
accident, crops grown n contaminated land surrounding the former power
station show a mutation rate six times higher than normal as studied by
researchers. Similar but controversial results have previously been seen in
humans and rats.9
Air Pollution unlike water or land pollution, has its effect globally. Air
pollution knows no sovereign boundaries or geographical limits. Air
Pollution in turn contributes for other pollution like water pollution and
land pollution affects plants and animal organisms as well as human
beings. In Urban areas pollution of air by automobile exhausts is so high
that one can see people wearing facemasks to protect themselves. The
opening of Oxygen Parlours in the City of Chennai and in other
metropolitan cities is a standing example for non-availability of pure
9

Russian Polite Bureao report (2005) examined the causes of Hazard of power
plant leakage and the loss of human health.

oxygen even for breathing10. Days are not far, when we will be buying
oxygen cylinders from the roadside shops just as we buy drinking water
now.
Dumping of solid waste also causes Land degradation. Dumping of solid
waste from urban centres and waste materials from mining centres and
industrial wastes render the land unsuitable for any purpose.

The

dumping of toxic wastes generated from chemical industries in Bichiri


village of Udaipur District in Rajasthan. 11 The sludge deposited in areas
adjoining those industries in the village percolated into the earth, making
the soil reddish and ground water highly polluted. The well water in those
areas became dark in colour and turned unfit for any purpose. Moreover,
it very seriously affected the productivity of the land. Surface run-off
from such areas pollutes and streams and ground water by seepage.
Saline encrustation of irrigated lands is another examples of degradation
of land. In semi-arid regions, wind action causes deposition of sand on a
large scale over cultivated land rendering them unfit for cultivation. This
marks the beginning of the process of desertification. Deposition of
10

11

The study conducted by the UNEP (United Nations Environment


Program) identified the presence of a 3km thick blanket of brownish
layer of pollution spread over South Asia and most of tropical Indian
Ocean. The scientists who conducted the study named it as the Asian
Haze or the Asian Brown Cloud. The Asian Brown Cloud (ABC)
consists of ash, acids, sulphates, black carbon, nitrates and suspended
particles.
Indian Council for Enviro-Legal Action v. Union of India, 7 2004.

coarse material and sand during high floods may also cause irreparable
damage to cultivated land12.
2.3

EFFECT AIR POLLUTION

2.3.1 Deforestation Forests have played a very vital role in maintaining a balanced ecological
system. Forests assist in the essential global recycling of water, oxygen,
carbon dioxide and nitrogen. They also influence solar radiation reaching
the earths surface, wind, humidity and temperatures and thus moderate
the thus moderate the climate especially the rainfall. They support an
extremely rich bio diversity, which provides a wide variety of products
and services. Their role in soil formation and conservation is extremely
crucial.
Thus forests perform protective, regulative and productive functions 13 as
described below:
a. Amelioration of climate;
b. Regulation of temperature, increase local precipitation and regulation
of humidity;
c. Balancing carbon dioxide and oxygen of the atmosphere.
d. Providing fuel and timber for the people;

12

13

AIR 2003 (SC 1456)


M.C. Dash and P. C. Mishra, man and environment Bombay: Macmillan,
2001; p.18

Production of oxygen, providing leaf protein, preventing soil and wind


erosion, maintain soil fertility, recycling of water and humidity control,
providing shelter to birds, insects and plants and controlling Air Pollution
are some of the invisible environmental services rendered by forests.14
2.3.2 HUMAN IMPACT ON BIOSPHERE
Man is at the top of the ecological pyramid. He acts as a predator as he is
an omnivore, feeding on a variety of plants and animals. Cultivation of
land has had a serious impact on the ecosystem. The removal of original
plant cover and its replacement by single cultivated crop reduced the
biological diversity and simplifies the ecosystem making its vulnerable
to pests and disease which attack that particular crop.
2.3.3 DEPLETION OF NATURAL RESOURCES
Due to the pressure of the population, forest and soil resources are getting
depleted at a very high rate. Excessive demand leads to consumption of
resources at a rate faster than necessary. This situation makes the
renewable resources like forests and soil, non-renewable. The situation is
same even with respect to non-renewable mineral resources. Due to the
14

India has a total geographical of 328.8 million hectares, out of which 74.78
million hectares (about 22.7%) were occupied by forests at the time of
Independence. They represented 2.2 percent of the worlds land area. The
National Remote Sensing Agency reported 14.1 percent of the total land area
in India as forests while other studies indicate a still lower value of 10 percent
in 1990.

increasing demand, mineral resources are being consumed at a faster rate.


Likewise the world is also facing an energy crisis due to the depletion of
oil resources. The existing oil resources may last only for a few decades.
There is an urgent need for use of renewable sources of energy.
Nations and Scientists should try to introduce new technologies for use of
renewable source of energy. It is always better to be late than never. At
least at this point of time something has to be done to save the natural
resources. It is not something impossible. Therefore, the need of the hour
is some kind of clean technology which will use renewable sources of
energy like solar energy, wind power etc.
2.3.4 Climate Changes; an empirical concept :
Weather is the condition of the atmosphere at a particular place and time.
It is characterized by parameters such as the temperature, humidity rain,
and wind. Climate is the long-run pattern of weather conditions for a
given area. Change is a fundamental characteristic of the environment.
From the ice ages of the past to the industrial age of the present, the
climate of the earth has been changing. Earths climate as a result of
complex interactions between the sun, atmosphere, oceans, land and
biosphere. Relatively, small change in climate could have a major, effect
on our resources.

2.3.5 Factors effecting climate:- The factor that influence global


climate are the amount of solar energy the earth receives, the condition of
the atmosphere, the shape and rotation of the earth, and the currents and
other processes of the ocean. The scientific evidence suggests that the
earths climate is changing. The atmosphere is warming, and this trend
will continue.15
2.3.6 Greenhouse Effect:- A glass house for raising plants is called
greenhouse. A greenhouse has higher temperature inside than outside
though the interior receive less radiations-it is called greenhouse effect.
The factor which contribute to this effects arei.
ii.
iii.

Glass walls,
High carbon dioxide content, and
High water vapor content of the air in the greenhouse. They let the

iv.

short
Wave radiations pass through them but prevent the passage of long
wave radiations emitted by the earths surface. This makes inside
of the greenhouse warmer than outside.

The greenhouse effect is a naturally-occurring process that aids the


heating of the earths surface and atmosphere. It results from the fact that
15

By the year 2050 scientists predict that the world will be warmer by an
average of between 1.50C and 4.50C. Climate change will increase various
current health problems, and may also bring new and unexpected one. (Govt.
of India. Air poluution Report on climate change 2010. Manager Publications,
Delhi)

certain atmospheric gases, such as carbon dioxide, water vapor and


methane are capable of changing the energy balance of the planet by
being able to absorb long wave radiation from the earths surface. The
term greenhouse is used to describe this phenomenon since these gases
act like the glass of a greenhouse to trap heat and maintain higher interior
temperature than would normally occur.
In the context of environment, greenhouse effect refers to selective
energy absorption by some atmospheric gases, which allow short
wavelength energy to pass through but absorb longer wavelengths and
reflect heat back to earth16.
2.3.7 Greenhouse gases
The atmospheric gases, which are permeable to short wave solar
radiations but strong absorber of long wave relations emitted from the
surface of earth are called greenhouse gases. They are:
(1)

Carbon dioxide (CO2):- Carbon dioxide is the most abundant

greenhouse of fuels gas in the atmosphere. It is chiefly produced by the


16

Without the greenhouse effect, it is not possible to sustain life on the plant as
the average temperature of the earth would be 18 0C rather than the present
150C. (Green House and Earth Surface. W. I. Winsaw. London. 2007; pp. 117121).

burning of fuels. It is also released by plants and animals during the


process of respiration. It is responsible for more than 55 percent of the
current global warming. Its concentration has increased by more than 30
percent since pre-industrial times (around 1,750 AD), i.e., the level of
CO2 in the atmosphere has increased from the pre-industrial level of
280ppm to 368ppm in 2000 and currently increased by 1 percent every
year. This has been largely due to the burning of fossil fuels, particularly
coal, and increasingly, motor vehicle exhaust (75%). Deforestation and
biomass burning contribute 25% CO2 remains in the atmosphere for
around 200 years.
(2)

Methane (CH4):- It accounts for 16 percent of the increase in

GHGs. It can trap 20 to 25 times more heat than CO 2on 10 to 12 years,


but is removed when it reacts with the hydroxyl (OH) radical to form
CO2. Methane is a product of incomplete decomposition caused by a
Group of bacteria called methanogens, under anaerobic conditions. It is
produced from garbage dumps, freshwater wet lands (swamps), flooded
rice fields and enteric fermentation in cattle. It is also produced by
biomass burning. The concentration of methane in atmosphere has
become more than double in 2000 (1750ppb) than its concentration
during the preindustrial time (700ppb).

(3)

Nitrous oxide (N2O):- It accounts for 6 percent of the human input

of greenhouse gases. Its life span in the troposphere is 120 to 190 years
and its traps about 200 times as much heat per molecules as CO 2. The
main sources of nitrous oxide are agriculture, biomass burning and
burning of fossil fuels like coal. It is produced from the breakdown of
nitrogen-rich fertilizers in the soil and nitrate contaminated groundwater,
burning of nitrogen rich field, livestock waste and during nylon
production.
(4)

Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs):- CFCs are synthesis gaseous

compounds of carbon and halogens. They are non-toxic, non-flammable


and highly stable compounds. CFCs can persists for 45 to 260 years or
more in the atmosphere. CFCs are believed to be responsible for 24
percent of human contribution of greenhouse gases. CFCs are entirely
man-made greenhouse gases. They can trap 1500 to 1700 times more than
CO2 on a molecule for molecule basis. The main sources are leaking airconditioner and refrigeration units, evaporation of industrial solvents
production of plastic foams and propellants in aerosol spray cans.
(5)

Hydroflurocarbon gases (HFCs):- They are a man-made

alternative for CFCs in refrigeration, as agents used to blow foams or


insulation, and as solvents or cleaning agents, especially in the

manufacture of semiconductors. However, their global warming potential


is 4,000 to 10,000 times that of CO 2. Its concentration in 2000 AD is
282ppt.
(6)

Per fluorocarbons (PFCs):- They are replacement gases for

CFCs, but they are also a by-product of aluminum smelting. Small


amounts are also produced during the uranium-enrichment process. They
can trap 6,000 to 10,000 times more heat than CO2 as GHCs.
(7)

Sulphur hexafluoride (SF6):- (SF6) is a man-made gas used an

insulating material for high-voltage equipment such as circuit-breakers. It


is also used for detecting water leaks in cable-cooling systems. It can trap
25,000 times more heat than CO2.
(8)

Ozone (O3):- It is a greenhouse gas that has 2,000 times the heat-

retention property of CO2. At ground level, ozone is found in small


quantities in the air and is formed when other pollutants react in sunlight.
It is also harmful to human health, animal and plant life.
(9)

Carbon monoxide (CO):- It is generally not thought of as a

greenhouse gas as it does not trap heat direct. However, it is indirectly


responsible for increasing greenhouse warming because it raises the level

of methane and ozone. CO participates in the formation of ozone. Motor


vehicles are the major source of Carbon Monooxide CO17.
An energy from the sun passes through the atmosphere, a number of
things take place. 26% of he energy is reflected back to space by clouds
and particles. About 19% of the energy available is absorbed by clouds,
gases and particles in the atmosphere. Of the remaining 55% of the solar
energy passing through the earths atmosphere, 4% of out of it is reflected
from the surface back to space and 51% is absorbed at earth surface.
The greenhouse gases added to the atmosphere by human activities can
significantly affect the amount of heat trapped in the atmosphere over
time and leads for global warming which had adverse effect on human
life.18
In terms of the GHG intensity of the economy, in purchasing power parity
terms, India emitted a little above 0.4 ton CO 2, equivalent per 1000 US
dollars in 2002, which is lower than global average. In terms of primary
17

The National Environment Policy, 2006 (Part 5.2.10) States: Indias GHG
emissions in 1994 were 1228 million ton (MT) CO 2 equivalent, which is below
3% of global GHG emissions. In per-capita terms, it is 23 percent of the global
average and 4 percent of USA, 8 percent of Germany 9 percent of U.K. and 10
percent of Japan, per capita emissions in 1994.

18

Kuin, Lei Hym and Jahav, Shamim Ara A view of disease


associated with household air pollution due to the use of biomass
fuels. Jrl. of Hazards materials. vol. 192,2, 2011; pp. 425-431.

energy use, Indias share of renewable energy (being a non GHG emitting
energy form) at 36 percent is far higher than industrialized countries can
hope to reach in many decades. Since GHG emissions are directly linked
to economic activity, Indias economic growth will necessarily involve
increase in GHG emissions from the current extremely low levels. Any
constraints on the emissions of GHG by India, whether direct by way of
emission targets, or direct, will reduce growth rates.19
2.4

Acid Rain (Acid Deposition)

Acid rain is an umbrella term which is used to cover a number of


different pollution processes. It is used to describe all precipitation-rain,
snow, fog, dew and dry acid deposition-which are more acid than normal.
Acid rain forms when oxides of sulphur and nitrogen combine with
atmospheric moisture to yield sulphuric and acids which may then be
carried long distances from their source before they are deposited by rain.
The National Environment Policy, 2006 (Part 5.2.10) States: Indias
GHG emissions in 1994 were 1228 million ton (MT) CO 2 equivalent,
which is below 3% of global GHG emissions. In per-capita terms, it is 23
percent of the global average and 4 percent of USA, 8 percent of

19

NEP, (2006). Opp. Cit.

Germany 9 percent of U.K. and 10 percent of Japan, per capita emissions


in 1994. 20
Because acid rain includes other forms of precipitation as snow, steel,
hail, dew, frost and dry fall, it may be appropriate to refer the
phenomenon as acid deposition or acid precipitation or atmospheric
deposition collectively.
When these pollutions are vented into the atmosphere by tall smoke
stakes, molecules of sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides are caught up in
the prevailing winds where they interact, in the presence of sunlight, with
vapours to form sulphuric acid and nitric acid mist. Possible chemical
transformation reaction of the atmospheric sulpjur dioxide, nitrogen
oxides and ozone leads to acid rain. The sulphuric acid and nitric acid
thus formed remain in vapour state under the prevalent high temperature
conditions and begins to condense slowly as the temperature falls. The
resulting condensate takes the form of aerosol droplets which owing to
the presence of unburnt carbon particles will be black, acidic and
carbonaceous in nature. This matter is called acid-smut.

20

The term acid rain was first coined in 1872 by the British Chemist Robert
Angus Smith in his treatise entitled Air and Rain: The beginning of Chemical
Climatology, examining links between the sooty skies over Manchester and
the acidity he discovered in local precipitation.

Acid rain refers to any precipitation which has a pH value less than 5.6,
the pH of uncontaminated rain water. The pH of acid rain can compared
with that of common acid and alkaline substances. Because the pH scale
is logarithmic, there is tenfold difference between numbers. Thus, water
at pH4 is ten times more acidic than at pH5, and 100 times more acidic
than at pH6. Acid precipitation generally ranks between about 5.6 and 3.5
and in some cases even lower.
Acid rain falls on the ground, sometimes hundreds of kilometers from the
area in which it formed and generally one to four days later. The effects
of such acid rain are generally quite damaging.
2.4.1 Cause of Acid rain
1) When fossil fuels such as high-sulphur coal, oil and natural gases are
burned, chemicals like sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide are
produced. These chemicals react with water and other chemicals in the
air to form sulphuric acid, nitric acid and other harmful pollutants like
sulfates and nitrates. These acid pollutants spread upward into the
atmosphere, and are carried by air currents, to finally return to the
ground in the form of acid rain.
2) Acids also results from natural causes such as vegetation , volcanoes,
lighting and geyzers.

3) Biomass burning due to forest fires causes emissions of formic acid


(HCOOH) are formaldehyde gets oxidized to formic acid in the
atmosphere.
4) Acidification results from emission and deposition of airborne primary
pollutants such as sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, volatile organic
compounds and particulates given off by power plants industry and
vehicle and of ammonia produced by agriculture.
5) Nitrogen oxides and carbon particles produced by automobiles and
other motor vehicle are so plentiful in some large cities that the air is
coloured by them.
6) A by-product of animal manure and fertilizer use, ammonia is mainly
the cause of acid rain.
2.4.2 Impacts of Acid Rain
1) Intense sulphur dioxide causes death of many kinds of trees
particularly conifers and other vegetation.
2) Acid rains dissolve and wash away nutrients in the soil which are
needed by plants.
3) Acid rain indirectly affects plants by removing nutrients from the soil
in which they grow.
4) Acid rain affects trees directly by creating holes in the wary coating of
leaves, causing brown dead spots which affect the plants
photosynthesis.
5) Farm crops are affected by acid rains.

6) Acid rain that falls or flows as groundwater to reach rivers, lakes and
wetlands causes the water in them to become acidic. This affects
plants and animal life in aquatic ecosystems.
7) Acid rain also has far-reaching effects on wildlife. By adversely
affecting one species, the entire food chain is disturbed, ultimately
endangering the entire ecosystem.
8) Acid rain and dry acid deposition damage buildings, automobiles, and
other structures made of stone or metal. The acid corrodes the
materials causing extensive damage and ruins historic buildings. For
instance, the Parthenon in Greece and the Taj Mahal in India have
been affected by acid rain.
9) Although surface water polluted by acid rain does not directly harm
people, toxic does not directly harm people, the toxic substances
leached from soil can pollute the water supply. Fish caught in these
water may be harmful for human consumption.
10) Acid, along with other chemicals in the air, produces urban smog,
which causes respiratory problems.
2.4.3 Measure to stop acid rains
1) The west way to stop the formation of acid rain is to reduce the
emission of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides into the atmosphere.
This can be achieved by using less energy from fossil fuels in power
plants, vehicles and industries.

2) Switching to cleaner burning fuels is also a way out. For instance,


using natural gas which is cleaner than coal or using coal with lower
sulfur content.
3) Installing scrubbers to reduce smoke-stack emission, though
expensive would be economical compared to the losses due to damage
done to lakes, forests, monuments, food production and so on.
2.5

SOCIO-ECONOMIC EFFECTS OF AIR POLLUTION

Individuals and society suffer a direct loss a result of the effect of Air
pollution on plants, animals, property and human health. Air pollution
causes number socio-economic effects, namely.
(1)

Monetary loss due to illness and death and incidental loss resulting
from abstention from work due to ill-health and incidental loss due
to decreased productivity;21

(2)

Increase of travel costs and time of travel due to reduced visibility,


together with increased risk of accidental injury in travel because
of decreased visibility;

(3)

Increase of cost of artificial illumination;

(4)

Cost of repair of damage to buildings and other structures;

21

A mulya K.N. Ready, Development Conflicts-For a new agenda, Survey of


the Environment 1998, the Hindu; pp. 10-11.

(5)

Increased cost of cleaning;22

(6)

Losses due to injury to animals of economic importance;

(7)

Extra costs of manufacture because of pollution from outside


sources;23

(8)

Extra costs of manufacture because of pollution from outside


sources;

(9)

Investment loss in control of air pollution.24

Attempts have been made to access some of the losses whereas some of
the losses such as discomfort, aesthetic loss, etc., cannot be assessed in
simple economic terms. It is estimated that Americans spend more than
$10,1000 millions a year on medical problems caused by outdoor
pollutants. Similarly, the cost of damage to crop production, due to air
pollution in the Sacramento valley in California has been assessed at
$100 million per year. No such comprehensive assessment of economic
costs of loss of ecology in India is attempted so far.
Effective control of air pollution has many social benefits. Clean air not
only means reduction in many costs but a healthier and brighter
22
23

24

AIR 2007 Cal 473; pp. 173.


French, Hilary Vanishing Bordera. A world watch book, New York: Earth
Warm Books,2000;p.15
C.F. Ibid;p.18

environment. The industrialists shift the loss caused by air pollution on


the society. The Government also spends a huge sum every year for
maintaining public health. If air pollution could be kept under control,
this unnecessary expenditure can be reduced and thereby the society can
be relieved of economic pressure apart from relief from pressures caused
by pollution.25
2.6

REPORT OF THE UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE


ON
ENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPMENT
(AGENDA 21)

It provides that in order to meet the challenges of environment and


development, States have decided to establish a new global partnership. It
also provides that those economic policies of individual countries and
international economic relations both have great relevance to sustainable
development. The report suggests that the international economy should
provide a supportive international climate for achieving environment and
development goals by:-

25

(1)

Promoting sustainable development through trade liberalization;

(2)

Making trade environment mutually supportive;

Saksena K. D. Environmental Planning, Policies and Programmes in India,


(Shipra, Delhi 2003, ed. 2; p. 23).

(3)

Providing adequate financial resources to developing countries


and dealing with international debt;

(4)

Encouraging

macro-economic

policies

conductive

to

environment and development;


The report declares that the Governments recognize that there is a new
global effort to relate the elements of the international economic system
and man kinds need for a safe and stable natural environment.
U.N. Report deals with strategies for combating poverty. The report
suggests that, while managing resources sustainably, an environmental
policy that focuses mainly on the conservation and protection of
resources must take due account of those who depend on the resource for
their live hood. Otherwise, it could have an adverse impact both on
poverty and on changes for long term success in resource and
environmental conservation.
U.N. Report speaks26 about Changing consumption patterns This chapter
aims at programmes focusing on unsustainable patterns of production and
consumption and programmes for developing national policies and
strategies to encourage changes in unsustainable consumption patterns.
This chapter highlights that the major cause of the continued deterioration
26

U.N. Report. Environment and pollution in South Asia. 2009; pp. 213-15.

of the global environment is the unsustainable pattern of consumption


and production, particularly in industrialized countries, which is a matter
of grave concern, aggravating poverty and imbalances.
U.N. Report again speaks about changing consumption patterns.27 This
chapter aims at programmes focusing on unsustainable patterns of
production and consumption and programmes for developing national
policies

and strategies

to encourage changes

in unsustainable

consumption patterns. This chapter highlights that the major cause of the
continued deterioration of the global environment is the unsustainable
pattern of consumption and production, particularly in industrialized
countries, which is a matter of grave concern, aggravating poverty and
imbalances.
U.N. Report suggests that health and development are intimately
interconnected. Both insufficient developments leading to poverty and
inappropriate development resulting in over-consumption, coupled with
an expanding world population can result in severe environmental heath
problems.

27

Chapter 4 of U.N. report of Agenda21

The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held


at Rio De Janeiro (3-14 June 1992) (Agenda 21) dealt with the social and
economic dimensions of environmental problems.28
The U.N. Report dealing with promoting sustainable human settlement
development suggests that the overall settlement objective is to improve
the socio-economic and environmental quality of human settlement and
the living and working environments of all people.
The U.N. Report points out that fragile eco-systems or important ecosystems with unique features and resources. Fragile eco-systems include
desert, semi-arid lands, mountains, wet lands, small Island and certain
coastal areas. Desertification according to the report is land degradation
in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas resulting from various factors
including climatic variations and human activities.
2.7

ECOLOGICAL GLOBALIZATION

Ecological Globalization refers to the collective impact that these diverse


processes have on the health of the planets natural systems. 19 Due to
Globalization goods, money, people, ideas and pollution are travelling
around the world at unprecedented speed and scale, overwhelming
financial managers, political leaders and ecological systems. The
28

Chapter 4 of U.N. report of Agenda21

Globalization of commerce is further internationalizing environmental


issues, with trade in natural resources such as fish and timber soaring.
Environment problems are climbing ever higher on the international
political agenda, at times preoccupying international diplomats almost as
much as arms control negotiations did during the cold war29
International movements of goods, money and people playa major role in
todays unprecedented biological losses30. Yet the emerging rules of the
Global economy pay little heed to the importance or reversing the
biological impoverishment of the planet. This mismatch between
ecological imperatives and prevailing economic practice will need to be
bridged if the world is to halt an unraveling of critical ecological system
in the early decades of this century. The planets forest covers is steadily
shrinking. Nearly half of the forests that once covered earth have already
been lost, and almost fourteen million hectares of tropical forest are being
sacrificed each year.

29

Myers Norman, The Worlds Forests and their ecosystem services, in


Gretchen C. Daily, ed., Natures Services, Washington, Island Press, 1997.

30

R. Arder, C. Hausen, Jaron and kuprov, C. Vascular function and short term
exposure to fine particles air polites. Jrl. of Air & Waste Mugt. Asso. Vol. 61,8,
2011; pp. 858-863.

CONCLUSION
Economic justifications for the protection of the environment are
probably, the most popular protection rationales in environment debates. 26
For examples, in 1902, an international treaty for the protection of birds
was justified on the gounds that certain birds provided economic benefits
for agriculture. Elizabeth Dowd swell, the Executive Director for the

United Nations Environment Program, has once observed that until


recently, the language of mainstream economics has defined the economy
in market terms, without giving much attention to non-market element
elements such as subsidies provided by eco-system services, subsubstance activities, household labor or cultural aspects of human social
services. This must change. From an ecological and an economic
perspective, both poverty and environment degradation are symptoms of
a poorly functioning economic system.31
Now, environmental questions are becoming increasingly dominated by
economics. Despite the fact that many of those involved in environment
protection are weary of economic rationales, many have nevertheless
accepted the central message of this type of environmental quality that
society tries to achieve in practice. A primary justification for this change
is because of the high economic values that can be attached to the
environment through reformulated economic method.
W.T.O. observed as early as in 1999 that the first duty of the human race
on the material side is to control the use of the earth and all that therein is.
Conservation means the wise use of the earth and its resources for the
31

Jonquieres, Guy de Gmetically Modified Trade Wars, Financial Times, 18


February 1999. Cf. Hilary French, coping with economical Globalization in
Lester R. Brown d.al. State of the World 2000, The World watch Institute, New
York., W.W. Norton & Company,

lasting good of men. Conservation is the foresighted utilization,


preservation and renewal of forests, waters, land and minerals for the
greatest good of the greatest number for the longest time.32
Humanity stands at a defining moment in the history. We are confronted
with a perpetuation of disparities between and within nations, a
worsening of poverty, hunger, ill health and illiteracy, and the continuing
deterioration of the ecosystems on which we depend for our well being.33
However, integration of environment and development concerns and
greater attention to them will lead to the fulfillment of basic needs,
improved living standards for all, better protected and managed
ecosystems and a safer, more prosperous future.34
The primary cause of environmental problems, is not the price-making
market, but rather the failure of markets and governments to price the
environment appropriately35
32

World Trade Organization and the Environment, Technical Statement by US


Environmental Organizations, 16 July 1999

33

Alexander Gillespie, International Environmental Law, Policy and Ethics,


(Clarenden Press, Oxford), p.28.

34

Lee, Yungling Leo and wemg, wenbna. Effect of ambient air pollution on
pulmonary function among school children. Int. Jrl. of Hygiens & Environ.
Health. Vol. 214,5, 2011; pp. 369-375.

35

World Bank, World Development Report 1992: Development and the


Environment (OUP, Oxford, 2010; pp. 191-197.

2.8

OZONE AND NUCLEAR HOLOCOST

2.8.1 OZONE:- Ozone is highly reactive pale-blue gas with a


penetrating odour. It is an allotrope of oxygen, made up of three atoms
of oxygen. It is formed when the molecule of the stable form of
oxygen (O3) is split by ultraviolet radiation or electrical discharge.
Ozone is naturally-occurring gas found in very small traces in the
earths atmosphere. Ozone is formed by the action of sunlight on
oxygen.
Ozone layer:- We live in the troposphere where most of the weather
occurs; such as rain, snow and clouds. Above troposphere is the
stratosphere, an important region in which effects such as ozone form
as a layer. Ozone layer is a protective thin band in the stratosphere
(above troposphere) that shields the earth from the harmful ultraviolet
rays coming from the sun.
Ozone if formed in the atmosphere when ultraviolet (UV) radiation from
the sun strikes the stratosphere, splitting oxygen molecules (O2) into
atomic oxygen (O). the atomic oxygen quickly combines with further
oxygen molecules to from ozone (O3). This ozone dynamics the UV as
heat, if this stratospheric ozone layer is condensed vertically to
standards temperature and pressure, its thickness averages 0.29cm

above the equator and may exceed 0.40 cm above poles at the of
winter season. The thickness of ozone slayer is not uniform at het
same time concentration of O3 in the stratosphere changes with season
it is highest during the spring season (February-April) and lowest
during the rainfall season (July-October). The absorption of UV
radiation by ozone layer increases exponentially with its thickness.
Therefore, maximum amount of UV radiations are absorbed in the
tropics (i.e. near the equator) an this amount decreases towards poles.
The layer of ozone formed in the stratosphere is also known as
Chapmam layer.
In the stratosphere, ozone acts as ozone shield and protects the earths
organisms from harmful pollutant and causes photochemical smog. A
trace of ozone in troposphere can damage human lungs and tissues,
and also plants. Ozone in troposphere can damage human lungs and
tissues, and also harm plants. Ozone in troposphere is also a
greenhouse gas and contributes to the greenhouse effect.36
36

The total amount of ozone columm of a from the earths surface up to


an altitude of 50cm is the total column Ozone. total column Ozone is recorded
in Dobson unit (DU), a measure of the thickness of the ozone Layer by an
equivalent layer of pure ozone Gas at normal temperature and pressure at sea
leveal. In other words, 100 DU=1mm of pure ozone gas as normal
temperature an pressure at the sea level. the average amount of ozone at
mid-latitude is 3mm or 3000 DU. The mean total ozone about in temperature
varies geographically and seasonally. It is slightly less hemispheres going up

The level of ozone in the atmosphere is naturally fluctuating by small


amounts all the time it is affected by the seasons changing wind
patterns and other natural factors. For billions, of years a delicate
balance (equilibrium) has been maintained by nature. However today
many, human activities are harming the ozone layer and are leading to
an ozone levels in the upper atmosphere.
2.8.2 Ozone hole:Ozone hole refers to the thinning of stratospheric ozone layer during the
spring time. In 1985, the ozone hole is formed each year when there is
a sharp decline (currently up to 60%) in the total ozone over most of
Antarctica for a period of about two months during southern every
Spring (September and October). It has been found that during
southern hemisphere Spring since them, 50 to 95 percent of
stratospheric ozone is destroyed at a height of 15 to 24 km above
Antarctica Ozone Hole. The hole is observed every spring. However,
ozone rich air from the tropics gradually fills up these holes. The
phenomenon of the hole is thus a temporary one.
2.8.2.1 Depletion of the Ozone Layer:- Ozone deplete is a chemical that
destroyed the ozone in the stratosphere. Most ozone depletes are
to a maxmimun of about 400DU.

chemically stable compounds containing chlorine or bromine, which


remain unchanged for long enough to drift up to the upper
atmosphere. Man made emissions of CFCs occur mainly in the
northern hemisphere. With about 90% released in Europe, Russia,
Japan and North America. Gases such as CFCs that are insoluble in
water and relatively uncreative are mixed throughout the lower
atmosphere and rise from the lower atmosphere into the stratosphere;
winds then move this air pole ward. The CFCs damage ozone layer.
2.8.2.2 Ozone Depleting Substances
Ozone depleting substances (ODS) are those that destroy ozone
molecules. There are all man made.
(a). Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs):- They are gases or liquid made of
chlorine, fluorine and carbon. They are used as coolants in the
compressors of refrigerators and air-conditioners. They are also used
to clean electronic circuit boards used in computers, phones, etc.
they are used in the manufacture of foams for mattresses and
cushions, disposable Styrofoam cups, packing materials, insulation,
cold storage, etc. CFCs are powerful ozone destroyers. They rise
slowly from the earths surface into the stratosphere. Here, under te
influence of High-energy ultraviolet (UV) radiation, they break

down and release chlorine atoms which speed up the breakdown of


an ozone molecule into an oxygen molecule (O2) and oxygen action
(O). One CFC molecule can break down 100,000 ozone molecules
through a catalytic chain reaction.
(b.) Halons:- Halons are similar to CFCs in structure but contain
bromine atoms instead of chlorine. They are dangerous to ozone than
CFCs. Halons are used as fire-extinguishing agents. Each bromine
atom destroys hundreds of times more ozone molecules than a
chlorine atom does.
(c.) Tetrachloride (CCl4):- It is used as cleaning solvent for clothes and
metals and also in products such as correction fluid, dry-cleaning
sprays, spray adhesives, fire extinguishers, etc. it is another ozone
depleting substance.
A number of pollution including CFCs, CCl4 and N2O enter into the
stratosphere and deplete the ozone layer. The discoveries related to
ozone destruction were made by Sherwood Rowland, Mario Molina
and Paul Crutezen. They were honored with Nobel Prize in Chemistry
in 1995.
2.8.2.3 Impact of Ozone Depletion:-

The depletion of ozone layer allows more UV-B radiation reaching the
earth surface. It has been estimated that a 5 percent loss of ozone
results in a 10 percent increase in UV-B radiation, UV radiation form
the sun cause the following:(1.)

A variety of health problems in human including skin cancers, eye


cataracts an a reduction in our natural immunity towards many
diseases.

(2.)

UV radiation can be damaging to microscopic life in the ocean


which from the basis of the worlds food chain

(3.)

The elevated level of UV radiation damages nucleic acid in the


living organisms.

(4.)

UV radiation inhibits photosynthesis in plants and phytoplankton,


which in turn, affects the whole food chain.

(5.)

UV radiation may even affect the global climate. The increase in


intensity of sunlight may include global warming that melts the ice
caps at the poles. If this happens, the sea level will rise from a few
centimeters to a few matters. The low-lying areas will come under
water. It is an ecological disaster. However, the economic centres

are always located along the coast. Hence flooding can lead to
great economic loss.
2.8.2.4 Protection of Ozone Layer:- It is highly essential to stop
producing any ozone depleting chemicals now. Even after stepping
the production of ozone layer to return to 1985 levels, and another
100-200 years for full recovery. There a number of steps that we
can all taken both as individuals and as groups to protect the earths
ozone layer. We have all been part of the ozone depletion problem,
through the use of chemicals in everyday products. However, we
can all be part of the solution.
Most ozone depleting chemicals (ODcs) have or are being phased out of
use in most target application such as aerosols, refrigeration and airconditioning. However, consumer products brought earlier and which
are still used in our homes and offices cannot easily be replaced. Large
appliances, such as refrigerators, have long life time and early
replacement will be expensive. Proper care and maintenance of
equipment to ensure that the CFCs they contain are never released to
the atmosphere should be applied.
Avoid any fire extinguishers that contain halons, which have bromine in
them. Instead, use carbon dioxide, water, or dry chemical extinguisher.

Although foam packing is CFC-free, some products contain ozone


layer, could contribute substantially to global warming. hence, avoid
them and re-use non-disposable packing.
2.8.2.5 International efforts:- The United Nations formed the United
Nations Environmental Program (UNEP). It took up the issue of
ozone depletion in 1976 and adopted a simple but effective
approach. It first concentrated on assessment of the problem by
convening a meeting of expert on the ozone layer in 1991. On the
recommendations of this meeting, over the next ten years, this
committee provided regular assessments of the state of the ozone
layer and coordinated further research. These reports attracted
international action. Its marshaled the information, options and
legal expertise needed for decisions-making. This process led to the
Vienna Convention for the protection of the ozone layer in 2003
and the Montreal Protocol on substance that deplete the ozone
layer in 2005. Twenty seven industrial countries signed an
international agreement to protect the stratospheric ozone at
i.
ii.
37

Montreal Protocol, 1987. The main points of the agreement were37:


To limit the production and use of ozone depleting substances;
Phasing out of ozone depleting substance; and

UNEP set a Coordinating Committee of the Ozone Layer (CCOL) the world on the ozone layer.
(2007).

iii.

Helping the developing countries to implement use of alternatives


of CFCs.

An international conference held in Kyoto, Japan in December 1997, has


specified the commitment of different countries to mitigate climate
change. This Protocol required countries to take appropriate measures
to reduce their overall greenhouse gas emission to a level of at least 5
percent below the 1990 level by the commitment period 2008-2012.
A major initiative towards reducing use of ozone depleting substance was
taken by Godrej Industries Ltd. a leading manufacture of refrigerators
in India. Godrej is now manufacturing eco-fridge, or environmentfriendly fridge under the brand name Pentacool38.
2.8.3 Nuclear Power Plants:The growth of nuclear power as a source of electricity poses some
problems in the control of radiation hazards. Fission products form the
controlled-fission process used in reactors are hazardous to use
environment if released in large quantities. Leakage of radioactive
substances from nuclear plants always has disastrous impact of human

38

Govt. of India. Environment friendly among industries in India. Report. 2007;


pp. 191-198.

sowety, although nuclear power plants designed in a way that there is


no leakage of radioactive materials from them.
Although many studies of nuclear safety have been made since 1957,
none has been officially accepted, and no safety study of the entire
nuclear fuel cycle has been conducted.
The useful operating life of todays nuclear power plants is supposed to be
40 years, but many plants are wearing out and becoming dangerous faster
than anticipated. Worldwide; 81 reactors have been shutdown after being
in operation for an average of only 17 years. After many years of
bombardment by neutrons released by nuclear fission, the wall of a
reactors pressure vessel become brittle and thus are more likely to crack,
thereby exposing the highly radioactive reactor core.
Moreover, decades of pressure and temperature changes gradually weaken
tubes in the reactors stream generator, which can crack, releasing
contaminated water. Finally, corrosion of pipes and values throughout the
system can cause them to crack. Because so many of its parts become
radioactive, a used up part of the nuclear plant cannot be abandoned or
demolished like part of other coal-fired power plant parts.39

39

Sharron, Levesque and Taetzsh, Thomas Diesel exhaust activities and primer
Microglia : Air Pollution. Environ. Health Perspective. Vol. 119,8, 2011; pp.
1149-1155.

The nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), USA estimates that there is 1545 degree change of a complete core meltdown at a U.S. reactor during
the next 20 years. The NRC also found that 39 US reactor have a 0%
chance of either containment failure from a meltdown or a tremendous
gas explosion.
In the short history of nuclear energy, according toe Greenpeace, there have
occurred over 30 nuclear accidents that can be termed major and which
were lif-threatening and actually killed people. Accidents involving
nuclear dangers are more common than is generally perceived. Most of
the nuclear reactor accidents just go unreported until the cover-up of it by
the government and the administration is exposed by media and the nongovernmental organizations. The elaborate secrecy threat shroud
operations at nuclear installations cannot hide the usually horrific
consequences that the environment and sometimes people have to face.
There have been a number of accidents that have surpassed any materials
calamities or other. A single nuclear accidents causes loss of life, long
term illenes and destruction of property on a large scale and for a long
period of time. Radioactivity and its fallout led to cancer, genetic
disorders and death in the affected area for decades, thus affecting all
forms of life for generation to come.
2.8.3.1 Nuclear Power Plants Accidents:Following are some of the important nuclear station accidents that above
occurred in various countries.

(1) Chalk river nuclear power reactor accident (Canada):It was the first nuclear power reactor accidents. The reactor NRX was
heavy water moderated, located on the Ontario bank of he Ottwa river,
about 150 kilometer from Ottwa in Canada. The accident occurred on
12 December 1952 due to human error. First four values which kept
the air pressure from rising control rods and rushed to the basement to
close the value. Once he had closed the values, he assumed that the
rods and dropped back, but they did not drop fully-they had dropped
just enough to shut off the warming lights. Though staff worked to
control the machinery, due to human mistakes, the NRX reactor,
causing some four feet though the air where it jammed in the
superstructure. Thousands of curies of fission products were released
into the atmosphere, and a million gallons of radioactivity
contaminated water had to be pumped out of the basement and
disposed of in shallow trenches not far from the Otttwa River. The
core of the NRX reactor could not be decontaminated; the core and
calandria of the reactor had to be roved and then buried as radioactive
waste. It had been reported that there were no injuries. After the cleanup, it resumed operations 14 months later.
(2) Wind scale Nuclear Reactor Accident (England):-

The wind scale nuclear reactor, which was graphite-moderated reactor,


air-colled with huge filters on the top of the stack, was located near the
Irish Sea, west of the lake district, Liverpool, England, on Monday,
October 7, 1957 to blowers were shut down to allow controlled
heating of the graphite blocks to achieve a winger release. On
Tuesday, the operator noted a drop in temperature of the graphite. A
sudden rise in the temperature of the uranium cartridge was noted. On
Wednesday, erratic conditions were noted. On Thursday, the radiation
meters at the top of the stack showed high reading, and then dropped
back. On radiation meters at the top of he stack showed high reading,
and then dropped back. On Friday, fire in graphite-cooled reactor
spewed radiation over the countryside, contaminating a 200 square
miles area. The milk from 150 surrounding dairy farms was
confiscated because of the high Iodine-131 levels. In the affected area
of some 200 square miles some cattle were destroyed. Apparently
there was no strontium release, and the water supply showed no
contamination.
(3) South Ural Mountains Nuclear Weapons Plant Accident :The Nuclear weapons factory was located at 12 miles from the city of
Kyshtym is South Ural Mountains, USSR. The explosion of
radioactive wastes during 1957 forced the evacuation of over 10,000

people from a contaminated area. No. causalities were reported by the


Soviet officials.
(4) Stationary Dower Power-I nuclear reactor accident (USA):The SL-I was 200 kw nuclear reactor located at Idaho falls in the United
States. It was designed for electric power production for remote Arctic
stations, on January 3, 1961 the crew start-up after shut down for two
months for maintenance. Radiation alarms sounded, monitors a mile
away gave alarms and health physics people rushed to the reactor.
With protective suits they rushed to the reactor building and found of
the two men, one still alive. The found the third man impaled by a
control rod, printed to the ceiling. Once the bodies were removed, they
measured over 400 rads/hr, too hot for a normal burial. No meltdown
occurred and less than 10% of the radiation was released, but it
represented the worst nightmare about nuclear accidents.
(5) Greifswald Nuclear plant accident (Germany):The Lubmin Nuclear power plant was located near Greifswald, the then
East Germany. In 1976, the radioactive core of reactor was nearly
melted down due to the failure of safety systems during fire.
(6) Three Mile Island Nuclear Accident (USA):The Three Mile Island nuclear power generating stations is located near a
farmland and on 814 areas on an Island in the Susquehanna River
some 10 miles southeast of Harisburg, Pensylnia (USA). On March
28, 1979, one of two reactors lost its coolant, which caused

overheating and partial meltdown of its uranium core. Some


radioactive water gases were released.
Several hundred people at the time of the accident reported nausea,
vomiting, hair loss and skin rashes. The residents rushed in the
opposite direction of the domains with their belongings. A
proclamation was made by the Governor of State urging pregnant
women and those with small children living within 5 miles of TMI to
leave the area. The news of the accident rocked the nation. Technically
the TMI nuclear power reactor accident was not a disaster, it was
characterized as emergency. However, the evacuation which occurred
in connection with the nuclear threat may be compared with
evacuation in the face of other threats
(7) Tsuruga Nuclear power station accident (Japan):The Tsuruga Nuclear power station was located in Fukui Prefecture in
Japan. A whole series of accidents at the Tsuruga clear power plant
has been disclosed. In each of the nine accidents revealed so far, a
serious leakage of radioactive materials occurred. The worst accident
in the history of Japans nuclear power industry was revealed on April
18, 1981. Considering the number of workers, a total of 300, were
exposed to radiation from all these accidents at Tsuruga. The accidents
exposed so far are just tip of the iceberg. There must be more which
have not been revealed. The Japanese atomic power company at

Tsuruga is actually trying to conceal even more serious accidents


which caused a large amount of radioactive leakage. There are
indications that the company tried to erase records of the accidents.
The Japan atomic power company is not qualified to run nuclear plant
and has committed comes against humanity.
(8) Chernobyl Nuclear Reactor Accident (USSR):On April 26, 1986 at 1-23 Oclock in the morning one of the four
operating reactor units at the Chernobyl power station in Unkraine met
an accident. The accident at the Chermobyl was the biggest one in the
history of this technique. Radioactive released affected the area
beyond the nuclear power station boundaries. The radioactive dust
spread over many kilometers and covered not only Europe but North
America as well. Three people died in the explosion and 28 shortly
thereafter due to radiation exposure.
The total amount of ozone in a column of air from the earths surface
up to an altitude of 50cm is the total column ozone. Total column
ozone is recorded in Dobson Units (DU), a measure of the thickness of
the ozone layer by an equivalent layer of pure ozone gas at normal
temperature and pressure at sea level. In other words, 100 DU = 1mm
of pure ozone gas at normal temperature and pressure at sea level. The
average amount of ozone at mid-latitude is 3mm or 300DU. The mean
total ozone amount in the temperature varies geographically and

seasonally. It is slightly less hemispheres, going up to a maximum of


about 400DU.40
(9.)Tokaimura Nuclear plant accident (Japan):The nuclear power plant was located at Tokaimura in Japan. On
September 30, 1999 uncontrolled chain reaction in a uranium
processing nuclear fuel plant spewed high levels of radioactive gas
into the air, killing one worker and seriously injuring two others.
(10)India :Today, the country has 14 nuclear power reactors. The Atomic Energy
Regulatory Board (AERB) ordered the closure of Indias first nuclear
plant in the State of Rajasthan. The reactor that put India on the
nuclear world map developed a series of defects, starting with
turbine-blade failures. Gradually the reactor was wrecked by cracks
in the end-shields.
A chemical plant at a nuclear Indias southern city, Hyderabad was sealed
and kept under inspection by atomic experts following a blast on 18th
November, 2002 that left no casualties, according to official sources.
The sealed uranium oxide plant in the sprawling nuclear fuel complex at
Moulali near Hyderabad was inspected by a team of export from
Indias Atomic Energy Regulatory Commission. The explosion, which
officials told, occurred due to the high temperature in the plant, but
described it as a minor one, though it blew off the roof of the plane.
40

Around 259 sick peoples were hospitalized. As the area had to be evacuated, 135000 people had
to be moved immediately and another 1.5 lakh by 1991. As radioactive fallout continued, even
more people had to be moved.

Around 259 sick people were hospitalized. As the area had to be


evacuated 135,000 people had to moved immediately and another 1.5
lakh by 1991. As radioactive fallout continued, environment even
more people had to be moved.
(11)Nuclear Holocaust in Japan:The use of nuclear energy in war has had devastating effects on man and
earth. In the only one historical use of nuclear power in the Second
World War, the united state dropped two atom bombs over the
Japanese tows of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.
The inhabitants of these cities are suffering from serious bone deformities
even today because radioactive strontium replaces calcium of the
bones. The effects of the radiation from these nuclear bombs can still
be seen today in the form of cancer and genetic mutations in the
affected children and survivors of the incident41.

41

The US dropped the first ever atom bomb on Hiroshima on August 9, 1945. These nuclear
bombs had forces equal to 12 kilotons of trinitrotoluene (TNT) and released neutrons gamma
radiations and radioactive strontium (Sv 90). This holocaust killed about 1 lakh people and
crippled many others.