The textile manufacturing industry is a significant contributor to India’s economy, employing millions of people and accounting for a substantial share of the country’s exports. India is the world’s second-largest textile manufacturer and exporter after China. The industry contributes around 7% to India’s GDP and employs over 45 million people, making it one of the largest employers in the country.
The Indian textile industry produces a wide range of products, including cotton and synthetic fabrics, apparel, home textiles, technical textiles, and accessories. The industry caters to both domestic and international markets. The major textile manufacturing hubs in India are located in states such as Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Punjab. These regions have well-established supply chains and infrastructure, which support the industry’s growth.
Textile manufacturing is a significant industry in India, but it is also a major contributor to pollution. Some examples of pollution caused by textile manufacturing in India include:
- Water pollution: Textile manufacturing requires large amounts of water for dyeing, printing, and finishing processes. However, the wastewater generated by these processes contains harmful chemicals and heavy metals, which can contaminate water bodies. The discharge of untreated effluents from textile mills is a major cause of water pollution in India.
Tirupur Dyeing Industry releasing chemical in Water Bodies:
The Tirupur dyeing industry in Tamil Nadu is one of the major textile manufacturing hubs in India. However, the untreated effluents from dyeing units have severely contaminated the Noyyal river and other water bodies in the region. The pollution has led to the death of aquatic life and affected the health of local communities that rely on the river for their livelihoods.
- Air pollution: Textile manufacturing also generates air pollution, particularly during the spinning and weaving processes. The use of coal and other fossil fuels to power the machinery produces emissions such as sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, which contribute to air pollution.
Ludhiana Textile Units Using Coal & Fossil Fuels:
The textile manufacturing units in Ludhiana, Punjab, are known to generate high levels of air pollution due to the use of coal and other fossil fuels. The air quality in Ludhiana is classified as “severely polluted” due to the emissions from textile mills and other industries.
- Soil pollution: The disposal of hazardous wastes generated by textile manufacturing can contaminate the soil and pose a risk to public health and the environment. For example, the dumping of textile wastes in landfills can leach chemicals and heavy metals into the soil, polluting groundwater and affecting the health of nearby communities.
Dumping of textile waste in landfills in Delhi:
The dumping of textile waste in landfills is a significant source of soil pollution in India. For example, the Mandoli landfill site in Delhi, which receives large amounts of textile waste from the city’s factories, has been found to contain high levels of lead, cadmium, and other heavy metals. The contamination has led to the closure of nearby farms and affected the health of local residents.
- Noise Pollution: Textile mills and factories are often noisy, with machinery producing high levels of noise that can affect the health and well-being of workers and nearby residents.
Textiles Mills of Solapur causing hearing loss:
The textile mills in Solapur, Maharashtra, are known to produce high levels of noise pollution, which has affected the health and well-being of workers and nearby residents. The mills operate for long hours, and the noise levels can reach up to 90 decibels, causing hearing loss and other health problems.
- Occupational health hazards: Textile workers are often exposed to hazardous chemicals and substances, which can cause respiratory problems, skin diseases, and other health issues. The use of dyes, solvents, and other chemicals in textile manufacturing poses a significant risk to worker health and safety.
Textile Workers in Tirupur exposed to high levels of toxic chemicals:
Workers in the textile industry are often exposed to hazardous chemicals and substances. For instance, a study by the Center for Science and Environment found that textile workers in Tirupur, Tamil Nadu, were exposed to high levels of toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde and nonylphenol ethoxylates, which can cause respiratory problems, skin diseases, and other health issues.
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