Governments, instead of establishing measures designed only to control pollution, should promote regulations to prevent it. It is common to implement treatment systems, which often create new environmental problems, applied at the end of industrial processes once waste has been generated. Governments should develop policies that favor long-life products, clean and renewable energy sources, the use of non-toxic and recyclable materials, and cleaner production technologies.
With the problems that we are currently facing, political, economic, social and even sports problems, we put aside one with which we have closest contact, the problem of pollution, a problem that we create and gradually increase. everyday.
Environmental pollution is the presence in the environment of any physical, chemical or biological agent or a combination of various agents in places, forms and concentrations such that they are or may be harmful to the health, safety or well-being of the population, or that may be detrimental to plant or animal life, or prevent the normal use of properties and places of recreation and enjoyment of them. Environmental pollution is also the incorporation into receiving bodies of solid, liquid or gaseous substances, or mixtures of them, provided that they adversely alter the natural conditions of the same, or that they may affect the health, hygiene or well-being of the public.
At present, the result of technological development and progress has originated various forms of pollution, which alter the physical and mental balance of the human being. Due to this, the current contamination becomes a more critical problem than in the past.
Most of us citizens perceive that global nature of the pollution problem; That is why we refer to it as one of the main problems on the planet. However, an effort should be made to specify and address in a more precise way the different forms of pollution and their consequences. That is why I am not going to talk only about the pollution that occurs on the planet, but I will talk about a very specific case of pollution, such as industrial pollution.
We all know that in the Province of Buenos Aires there are serious problems due to pollution caused by industrial waste.
There are a number of industries that need a large amount of water to function, such as refrigerators and dairy, among others. As a result of manufacturing, many waters carry waste from the factory itself, which should be previously treated and purified, according to environmental regulations. Unfortunately, not all of them meet these requirements, constituting one of the most serious causes of contamination and deterioration of waterways and the environment.
Currently there is no complete information on the pollutants that are discharged into waterways, air, or soils. This reflects a secret contamination problem, sometimes of unknown dimensions.
The only existing information refers to a few pollutants and is in the hands of official bodies, which often do not want to make it known because there are many officials who assume that pollution and habitat deterioration are the inevitable price of progress. On the other hand, there are thousands of people who live with industries that harm their health, directly or indirectly and do not enjoy their right to know the toxins to which they are exposed, in order to take preventive measures or assert their right to a healthy environment. .
Some organizations, such as Greenpeace and the Fundación Vida Silvestre Argentina, are working on a campaign to achieve a commitment to zero pollutant discharges into waterways, proposing a law that establishes an annual, mandatory and absolutely public use and emission of pollutants, by industries. In this way, not only is the community recognized one of its rights and it is provided with tools that allow it to protect its health and that of the environment in which it lives, but also makes the authorities significantly improve their monitoring, regulation and control capacity , on toxic and dangerous substances.
With this law, any neighbor of a polluting industry could simply go to the headquarters of an official body or consult the Internet to find out what toxins a certain company spills or emits.
This is important because, when analyzing the data on the use of toxic substances, opportunities may appear for the substitution of these compounds by others that are less toxic or safer, for the identification of processes that can be replaced by other less dangerous ones and for the development of new ones. reduction methods that not only protect the community and the environment, but also save money and stimulate the development of new technologies.
Governments, instead of establishing measures designed only to control pollution, should promote regulations to prevent it. Governments should develop policies that favor long-life products, clean and renewable energy sources, the use of non-toxic and recyclable materials, and cleaner production technologies.
The different municipal and provincial governments, and even the national government, should implement the following measures:
1) To enact pollution prevention laws, which oblige industries to implement a plan to reduce the generation of waste and the use of toxic raw materials.
2) Guarantee and stimulate public access to information.
3) Implement policies to extend the responsibility of the manufacturer of a product.
4) Prohibit or phase out toxic products. These measures are basic to avoid contamination.
5) Create cleaner production centers that provide technical support and provide funds for research in cleaner technologies.
6) Influence the market, favoring the consumption of clean products and buying cleaner products for use in government agencies.
7) Establish lines of soft loans that facilitate the reconversion of industries.
The current industrial model is not ecologically sustainable over time and has not been able to satisfy the basic needs of all humanity. Proof of this is the depredation of non-renewable natural resources to satisfy the overconsumption of disposable and unnecessary products; the production of goods generating exorbitant volumes of toxic waste and the consequent pollution of rivers, air and soil; the irreversible extinction of species; the increase in the incidence of diseases due to environmental causes and the disappearance of fertile and productive soils, giving rise to huge deserts and greater poverty. The industrial model as we know it has served to satisfy some human needs but it has also left a huge debt with future generations and has not shown itself capable of satisfying the needs of all.
By Cristian Frers - Senior Technician in Environmental Management and Senior Technician in Social Communication