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Environmental Aspects in Textile Industry: Ecological Hazards and Remedial Measures

A study on environmental impact of textile industry and its remedies

Among many pollution-creating industries, textile has a larger share in terms of its impact with regard to noise, air, and effluent. It is, therefore, felt worthwhile to study the environmental hazards associated with various operations of textiles. In this paper, pollution arising out of noise and air is discussed. Areas of concern and their appropriate rectifying procedures are also taken into account.

Ecological degradation happens in natural fiber right from cultivation to finishing of the ultimate product. Prominent parameters and the possible package of corrective measures are highlighted. Synthetic fiber industry is not an exception to environmental pollution and therefore various pollution-creating activities are pointed out. Management of various textile wastes is also mentioned in this paper.

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Air Pollution

All textile-manufacturing processes generate environmental pollution. Workers are exposed to the risk of breathing air polluted with dust and fly and contracting respiratory ailments, byssinosis (lung disease), chronic bronchitis etc.

Air Pollution Created By Textile Machinery

Air Pollution in Textile Machinery

Air Pollution in Spinning Plants

In the spinning mill, the extent of cotton dust contamination varies from section to section, as it is worst in the blow room and minimum at the cone winding section. The workers are exposed to such a working environment and inhale fibrous particles and dust the whole day. Generally, air suction system exists nearly in all departments to maintain certain humidity and to remove air contaminants, however, at some places it works effectively but at certain areas air exchange is not proper resulting into suffocation and inconvenience for the workers.

Air Pollution in Weaving Sheds

In weaving mill, fibrous particles are present in the working environment though not much still these are generally inhaled by most of the workers. These small fibrous particles are generated during weaving activities and dispersed in occupational air.

Air Pollution Remedial Measures

To minimize the effect of these floating fibres or impurities, the humidified air which is circulated in the spinning and weaving department is filtered so as to separate these floating impurities from the air.

ProcessLimit (mg/m3)
Blowroom to Speed frame0.5
Spinning0.2
Twisting0.2
Winding0.2
Warping0.2
Sizing0.75
Weaving0.75
Nonwoven0.5
Table II: Concentration limits of dust in the air stream
ProcessFrequency of air changes/hour
Blowroom15
Carding20
Combing15
Drawing15
Roving15
Spinning45
Winding30
Twisting20
Warping20
Sizing20
Weaving20
Table III: Frequency of re-circulation of air in a typical textile mill

In order to minimize the risk of industrial diseases among the workers, Occupational Safety and Health Authority (OSHA) of U.S.A has specified concentration limits of dust in the air streams of production rooms for compliance by the concerned industries is given in Table II.

Air circulation per hour is optimized to keep the air streams clean and hygienic to prevent any risk to the health of the workers and depicted in Table III.

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