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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

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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.

Pollution in Cotton Cultivation

In the cultivation of cotton, huge quantities of pesticides, fertilizer and water are used. About 18% of the world production of pesticides is used for cotton cultivation. It prevents the growth of undesirable organisms and thereby improves the crop yield. Most of the pesticides are harmful and cause environmental degradation.

Organic Cotton

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Organic cultivation of natural fibres is now practised in different parts of the globe with a view to reducing the adverse impact on the environment due to the indiscriminate use of fertilizers and pesticides. For cultivation of organic cotton, chemical fertilizers and pesticides cannot be used at all. Further, in order to remove the residual fertilizers and pesticides that may be present in the soil, crops are to be cultivated for three seasons without the use of chemical fertilizers or pesticides [5].

Bt Cotton

Bt cotton, genetically engineered (transgenic) cotton, was heralded for its environmental and human health benefits and as a step towards sustainable agriculture since farmers could significantly reduce insecticide use. To create cotton with built-in protection against insects, genetic engineers spliced a Bt toxin gene into cotton. The new gene that enabled the transgenic cotton to produce insecticidal toxin throughout the plant was obtained from a soil bacterium, Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), an organism well known to many organic and sustainable growers who have used Bt in sprays to control insects.

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