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Environmental Impact of Textile Industry to Our Mother Earth

The main reason for this blog is to understand the current status of the global ecological environment, and understand the environmental impact of textile industry activities on the ecological environment.

Human and Ecological Environment

1. The concept of ecological environment

The so-called ecological environment is not clearly defined in domestic and foreign literature. It is composed of various natural factors and human-centered factors.

A complex system composed of social factors is a general term for the quantity and quality of water resources, land resources, biological resources, and climate resources that affect human survival and development. It is a variety of ecosystems composed of biological communities and non-biological natural factors. The constituted whole is mainly or completely formed by natural factors, and indirectly, potentially and long-term, have an impact on the survival and development of human beings. The destruction of the ecological environment will eventually lead to the deterioration of the human living environment.

2. Current status of the ecological environment

(1) Atmospheric environment

The earth where humans live is surrounded by a gas layer about 720km thick, which contains 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, and a small amount of CO2, water vapor, NO, ozone and other gases. The existence of these gases is very important to the living things on the earth. They can absorb the energy of the sun, maintain the temperature of the earth, provide oxygen for living things on the earth, and block all kinds of rays from outer space. Without them, there can be no life on the earth.

1. The ozone layer

The ozone layer is located in the stratosphere of the atmosphere, about 24km from the ground. Ozone is a light blue gas. The ozone layer allows visible light in the sun to pass through, and absorbs harmful ultraviolet radiation with a wavelength below 306.3mm, part of UV-B and all UV-C, only long-wave Chong outer line UV-A and a small amount of UV-B can reach the ground, so People call the ozone layer the “guardian” of life on earth. At the same time, ozone absorbs ultraviolet rays in sunlight and converts it into heat to heat the atmosphere. Due to this effect, the atmospheric temperature structure has a peak at a height of about 50km. There is a warming layer at 15-50km above the earth. The atmospheric temperature structure is for the atmosphere.

Circulation has an important effect. In the upper troposphere and the bottom stratosphere, that is, at the altitude where the temperature is very low, ozone acts as a greenhouse gas. If the ozone at this height is reduced, it will generate momentum to lower the surface temperature.

In the 1980s, scientists discovered that a hole appeared in the atmosphere over Antarctica every spring, where the ozone was less than normal. By the 1990s, the ozone hole over the Antarctic and Arctic began to expand steadily. In recent years, the reduction of ozone has led to an increase in the incidence of human and animal skin cancers. Scientists believe that chlorofluorocarbon (CFCS) compounds are the main cause of the destruction of the ozone layer. HCFCs are commonly used compounds in refrigerators, air conditioners, polystyrene bags, and aerosol sprays.

2. Greenhouse effect

The greenhouse effect, also known as the “flower house effect”, is the common name for the atmospheric heat preservation effect. Both the sun and the earth are heat radiators, and the CO2, water vapor and other gases in the atmosphere allow the solar high-energy radiation with a shorter wavelength to pass through to the ground, and at the same time, it can capture the low energy with a longer wavelength emitted from the surface of the earth. Infrared radiant heat keeps the earth warm, like a thick layer of glass that turns the earth into a large greenhouse. Because its function is similar to a greenhouse for cultivating crops, it is called the greenhouse effect.

If there is no such effect in the atmosphere, the average surface temperature will drop to -23°C instead of the current 15°C, which means

The greenhouse effect has increased the surface temperature by 38°C. However, the greenhouse effect continues to strengthen, and the global temperature will also continue to rise year by year. CO2 is the most abundant greenhouse gas, accounting for about 0.03% of the total atmospheric capacity. In addition to CO2, gases that can produce the greenhouse effect include methane, ozone, chlorofluorocarbons, and moisture. For a long period of time in the past, the temperature of the earth has been relatively constant, because the content of CO in the atmosphere has remained basically constant, and it has always been in a dynamic balance of “growth and consumption”. 80% of the CO2 in the atmosphere comes from the respiration of humans, animals and plants, 20% comes from the combustion of fuels, and 75% of them can be absorbed and dissolved by surface water and rainwater such as oceans, lakes, rivers, etc., and 5% can be converted into photosynthesis by plants Store organic matter.

With the rapid increase of the population and the rapid development of industry, the CO2 produced by breathing and the CO2 produced by the combustion of coal, oil and natural gas are far higher than the previous level; and because of the massive deforestation, the urbanization process has accelerated and the vegetation has been destroyed. The CO2 that should be absorbed by forests and plants in the atmosphere has not been absorbed; coupled with the gradual shrinkage of surface waters, the amount of precipitation has been greatly reduced, and the amount of dissolved CO2 absorbed by water has also been reduced. The dynamic balance of CO2 generation and conversion has been disrupted, causing the atmosphere The content of CO2 in the medium is increasing year by year, the greenhouse effect continues to increase, and the earth’s temperature is rising. According to analysis, if the CO2 content is increased by one-fold, the global temperature will rise by 3 to 5°C, and the polar regions may rise by 10°C, and the climate will become significantly warmer. Rising temperatures will lead to increased rainfall in some areas, drought in some areas, increased hurricane power, increased frequency of extreme weather, and more natural disasters. What is more worrying is that due to rising temperatures, glaciers in the polar regions will melt and sea levels will rise. Many coastal cities and islands or low-lying areas will face the threat of rising sea water, or even be swallowed by sea water. At the end of the 1960s, there was a drought that lasted for 6 years in the pastoral area of ​​Sub-Saharan Africa. Due to lack of food and pasture, livestock were slaughtered and more than 1.5 million people died of starvation. This is a typical example of the “greenhouse effect” bringing disasters to mankind. Therefore, it is necessary to effectively control the 0. content in the atmosphere. Control population growth, scientifically use fuels, strengthen tree planting and afforestation, green the earth, and prevent the global disaster caused by the greenhouse effect.

3. Acid rain

With the rain, the SOX and NOX produced by the burning of fossil fuels combine with the water in the atmosphere and fall from the air in the form of rain, snow and fog. The coal burned in industrial production and civil life contains about 1% of impurity sulfur, and will emit acid gas SO2 during combustion. The high temperature generated by combustion can also promote some chemical changes in the combustion-supporting air. Oxygen and ammonia combine to emit acid gas NOx. , Petroleum fuel and automobile exhaust also emit nitrogen oxides. In 1872, British scientist Smith analyzed the composition of rainwater in London and found that it was acidic, and rural rainwater contained ammonium carbonate, which was not so acidic; suburban rainwater contained ammonium sulfate, which was slightly acidic; urban rainwater contained sulfuric acid or acidic sulfuric acid. Salt, acidic. So Smith first proposed the term “acid rain” in his book “Air and Rain: The Beginning of Chemical Climatology”. The natural sources of nitrogen oxides mainly include internal electricity, forest fires, volcanic activity and microbial processes in the upper soil. They are widely distributed around the world and have little effect on the concentration in a certain area. The SO2 and its oxidation product SO2 discharged into the atmosphere by human activities can be converted into sulfite, sulfuric acid, or sulfite, and sulfate when it rains; NO2 can be converted into nitric acid, nitrate; in addition to the acidity of industrial discharge such as chlorine chloride Substances constitute the main component of acid rain, in addition to carbonic acid. More than 90% of acid rain is generated by SO2 and NO3 emitted by humans.

Acid rain is very harmful, acidifying rivers, lakes, and surface water, and endangering the survival of fish and other aquatic organisms: increasing the heavy metal content of surface water, corroding pipelines, threatening drinking water, causing soil acidification, decreasing forest productivity, and destroying vegetation; and threatening In the normal life of human beings, acid rain can stimulate the eye redness and inflammation. Drinking acidified water and eating fish in acidic river water will cause harm to human health.

(2) Water environment

The surface of the earth, in the lithosphere, groundwater, soil water, atmospheric water and biological water in the atmosphere form a complete water system on the earth, which is called the hydrosphere. The total water volume in the hydrosphere is about 1.386 x 10m2′, of which ocean water is 1.338×10*m2, accounting for 96.5% of the total water volume; the water storage on land is 4.8×10*m, 3.5% of the ancient total water volume; the atmosphere and living organisms The water is only 1.4x10m, which is 0.001% of the total water volume in ancient times. Among the land water reserves, only 3.503x 10′ m2 is fresh water, accounting for 2.53% of the total water volume. Among the only 2.53% of fresh water on land, 69.6% of the water exists in the form of ice in the poles, snow and permafrost, and only 30.4%, which is 1. 065 x 10*m of fresh water. Exist in rivers, lakes, swamps, soil and water layer 600m underground for human use.

With the progress of society and the development of the world economy, especially the rapid increase of the world population and the rapid development of industry, human demand for water is growing faster and faster, leading to an ever-increasing shortage of global water resources. In the 20th century, the world’s population increased nearly three times, fresh water consumption increased six times, of which industrial water increased by 26 times, while the total amount of water resources remained basically unchanged. As a result, the per capita water consumption dropped sharply. At the end of the 20th century, the per capita water consumption increased. Reduced to 1/18 of the early 20th century. According to reports, about one-third of the world’s population is currently facing the threat of water shortages. It is estimated that by 2025, two-thirds of the population may suffer from moderate to high water shortages. The general drop in water level not only caused water shortages, but also caused seawater erosion in coastal areas. Many large cities have the problem of drinking water pollution. Nitrate pollution and increasing heavy metals affect water quality in almost all places. The global supply of fresh water will not increase, while the population is increasing and water pollution is increasing. The United Nations Conference on Human Environment in 1972 pointed out: “The next crisis after the oil crisis is water.” The United Nations Water Conference in 1977 once again warned the world: “Water will soon become a serious social crisis.” Therefore, protecting and using water resources more effectively and rationally is an urgent task faced by governments all over the world, and it is also the responsibility and obligation of any beneficiary of water resources.

(3) Soil desertification

The desert is considered “the cancer of the earth” and ranks first in the global ecological crisis. According to figures released by the United Nations, the global desertification land area has reached 3.6 x 107km2, accounting for a quarter of the earth’s total area. 110 countries are endangered and the survival of more than 1 billion people is threatened.

The main cause of desertification is the destruction of forest vegetation. Forest is an important part of maintaining the balance of natural terrestrial ecosystems. It is the “lung of life” of the earth. It has the functions of conserving water, preventing wind and sand, improving soil, preventing soil erosion, regulating the local microclimate to absorb CO2 and release O2. It is 10,000m2 wide. Yelin can absorb 1t CO2 and release 0.73t O2 every day, which can breathe one day for thousands of people. Scientists assert: If forests disappear from the earth, 90% of the land life will be extinct, 90% of the world’s fresh water will flow into the sea, and humans will not survive.

 (4) Urban waste, noise and radiation

Due to the intensification and increasing frequency of human activities, the increasing amount of industrial solid waste and urban waste, the low comprehensive utilization, and the processing capacity can not keep up with the discharge, the increasing amount of toxic and hazardous waste will become a potential hazard. According to statistics, in 2000, there were more than 4,500 garbage hills with a height of 50m between the third and fourth ring roads in Beijing alone. The national urban domestic waste is 6 million tons per year, which is double that of the previous year. However, the current harmless treatment of waste is less than 5% on average. A large amount of untreated industrial waste and urban waste are piled up in suburbs and other places. A serious source of secondary pollution.

In my country, most of the urban environmental noise is at a high sound level, of which traffic noise accounts for 32.7%, domestic noise accounts for 40.6%, and industrial and other noise accounts for 26.7%. The environmental noise in various functional areas of the city generally exceeds the standard and is on the rise.

With the large-scale use of electronic and electrical equipment, the electric waves that exist on the earth have greatly increased the impact on human production and daily life.

Have a huge impact. A certain intensity of electromagnetic radiation not only affects the normal operation of other electronic devices within a certain range, but also interferes with human daily activities and physical health. Electromagnetic wave radiation can interfere with the reception of TV and radio signals, and affect normal communication. What is more serious is that long-term exposure to electromagnetic radiation can cause memory loss, insomnia, dreams, hair loss, panic, dizziness, arrhythmia and other symptoms. Since electromagnetic radiation is colorless, tasteless, and invisible, it is a kind of pollution that cannot be sensed by the senses, and it is hailed as an “invisible killer.”

3. The interference and destruction of human activities to the environment

(1) Mass consumption of natural resources

In order to meet the needs of their own survival and development, mankind has continuously cultivated, hunted, cut down forests, and mines coal, oil, natural gas, etc., which consumes a large amount of water, land, mineral resources and biological resources on the earth. Especially after the Industrial Revolution, the rate of consumption of natural resources by human society has shown an upward trend. According to the current growth rate of world oil consumption, it is estimated that 80% of the world’s oil reserves will be consumed in 20-50 years. As of the end of 2009, calculated based on the annual rate of exploitation in 2009. The world’s oil can still be exploited for 45.7 years, coal reserves can be produced for 119 years, and natural gas reserves can meet 62.8 years, even if there are still many oil, coal and natural gas unexplored, Even if the above-mentioned years are doubled, the mining years are extremely limited. Land is the basis for human survival. In developing countries, land resources provide a livelihood for about 60% of the population. However, with the rapid increase in population, arable land is declining and per capita arable land is increasing at a faster rate. cut back. There are already 43 countries and regions in the world who are short of water (accounting for 60% of the world’s total area). About 2 billion people are under water shortage. 1 billion people drink the fun specimens for 9 years, and the inhabitants of the earth will suffer from the lack of water resources. , And 2.5% of the earth’s people will be hungry. This is a devastating consequence of human destruction of the ecosystem.

(2) Increasing environmental pollution

Human life and production activities consume a large amount of natural resources, and at the same time carry out the extraction of raw materials, product design and engineering.

The use and final disposal of art-manufactured products will also pollute the air, water and soil to varying degrees. About 160 million tons of S02, 5.7 billion tons of CO2, and about 200 million tons of CH4 are emitted into the atmosphere each year; harmful metals emitted are 2 million tons of aluminum, 7.8 tons of arsenic, 11,000 tons of mercury, and 5,500 tons of copper. However, the background value is 20-300 times. Excessive emission of SO2 leads to an increase in the frequency of acid rain, an expansion of the area, and a serious decline in air quality. 800 million people live in cities with air pollution; rivers, lakes and seas are becoming more and more polluted, and the lack of fresh water makes 1.2 billion people live in water-scarce cities, and 1.4 billion people live without wastewater treatment facilities; diseases caused by water pollution And death has constituted a major threat to human health; urban garbage, sewage and ship waste, oil and industrial pollution, radioactive waste, etc. are flooded into the ocean. Every year, 20 billion tons of pollutants enter the ocean from rivers, and about 5 million tons of garbage. Was thrown into the ocean.

(3) Interrupting the global physical circulation 

In the global ecosystem, matter passes through physical, chemical and biological processes, from the surrounding environment to the organism, and then from the organism back to the surrounding environment, just like the material stored in a warehouse flows from one warehouse to another warehouse, in constant flow. In the periodic cycle of movement, this process is called the material cycle of the global system, also known as the biogeochemical cycle. In natural ecosystems, the global circulation of materials is slow and maintains a dynamic balance through the above-mentioned processes. However, human activities can quickly cause substances to flow from a certain reservoir to another reservoir in the natural environment on a large scale, causing changes in the form of matter, increasing the circulation of substances between reservoirs, and increasing the amount of substances in a certain reservoir. The longer or shorter residence time causes serious disturbance to the dynamic balance of the material in the biogeochemical cycle. Human burning fossil fuels to produce a large amount of CO2 and SO2 destroys the dynamic balance of C and S elements in the global ecosystem, resulting in “greenhouse effect” and “acid rain”.

Moreover, with the advancement of society and technology, in order to meet various needs, humans have been able to produce various man-made chemicals that are not found in the natural ecological environment. After these chemicals enter the ecological environment, they interfere with naturally occurring physical, chemical, and biological processes, interfere with the normal biochemical processes of organisms, and even threaten the proliferation of human beings. However, people’s understanding of these chemicals is very limited. In 1996, Colborn et al. pointed out in “Our Stolen Future” that due to the abuse of chemicals by humans, their fertility and survival are facing disasters. Experiments have proved that many synthetic chemicals have the effect of disrupting the endocrine system, thereby hindering the natural growth of wild animals and humans.

(4) The environmental impact of textile industry activities on the environment

Textile production is a lengthy and complicated process. Due to the different fiber sources and the different uses of the final product, the production process and production process of textiles are very different. In the entire life cycle of textiles, from primary production of raw materials, textile production, use and recycling, to final disposal, at different stages will have an impact on the natural environment, causing disturbance and destruction to the natural environment. Figure 1-1 shows the environmental impact of textile industry, production, consumption, and abandonment on the global environment.

Environmental Impact of Textile Industry
Figure 1-1 Environmental Impact of Textile Industry

The natural resources consumed by textile industry activities include cotton, hemp, silk, wool and other natural textile fiber raw materials, as well as non-renewable mineral resources such as coal, oil, and natural gas. Natural fiber uses renewable resources in the natural world as raw materials for recycling production, which will not cause devastating damage to the natural environment. However, with the industrialization of agriculture and animal husbandry production and the wide application of pesticides, fertilizers, herbicides, etc., natural animals and plants will be polluted by pesticides, fertilizers and herbicides during their breeding and planting processes, making the textiles produced harmful and toxic residues. Substances, and cause harm to the environment and humans. Therefore, the development of ecological agriculture and animal husbandry is the key to the development of ecological textiles. Coal, oil, and natural gas are not only the raw materials for chemical fiber production but also the power source for the textile industry. They are non-renewable resources. The exploitation and use of them will cause huge damage to the natural environment and are irreversible. Therefore, at this stage, it is the common mission of all mankind to find substitutes and use them in a planned way. The textile industry has experienced many processes including spinning and weaving, dyeing, and finished products processing from raw materials to making clothing, decorations and various finished products. In this process, in addition to the consumption of fiber materials, a large amount of water and steam are consumed, slurries, dyes, various additives and chemicals are consumed, and waste water, waste gas, and waste residues are discharged to pollute the environment in this process. Harm to humans, such as fiber dust, dyeing wastewater, volatile gases generated during pigment printing, etc. Therefore, as one of the production activities of human society, weaving industry activities are bound to be restricted by the development of the earth’s natural ecosystem and its laws. We must constantly understand and follow the laws of the natural ecosystem, and use the earth’s resources in a controlled and reasonable manner to satisfy humanity. The demand for textiles, reducing the interference and damage of waste water, waste gas and slag to the environment, makes the development of the textile industry sustainable.

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