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CHAPTER ONE

ENVIRONMENT AND ENVIRONMENT DEGRADATION


CHAPTER ONE

ENVIRONMENT AND ENVIRONMENT DEGRADATION

1.1 Introduction but rather due to lack of appropriate


infrastructure. Statistics on indoor
Environment can be defined as the physical environment may be regarded as a subset of
surrounding of man/woman of which he/she statistics on human settlements and the urban
is a part and on which he/she is dependent for environment.
his/her activities like physiological
functioning, production and consumption. His 1.2 Development versus Environment
physical environment stretches from air, Degradation
water and land to natural resources like
energy carriers, soil and plants, animals and Development activities are measured in terms
ecosystems. The relationship between of national products, which in turn are defined
physical environment and the well being of as production of goods and services during
individuals and societies is multi-fold and accounting period. However, certain
multi-faceted with a qualitative a well as a environmental functions, which are crucial for
quantitative aspect to it. The availability and economic performance and generation of
use of natural resources have a bearing on the human welfare such as provision of natural
outcome and the pace of development resources to production and consumption
process. For an urbanized society, a large part activities, waste absorption by environmental
of environment is man made. But, even then, media and environmental services of life
the artificial environments (building, roads) support and other human amenities, are taken
and implements (clothes, automobiles) are into account only partly in conventional
based on an input of both labour and natural accounts. The scarcities of natural resources
resources. Commonly, the term now threaten the sustained productivity of the
‘Environment’ is restricted to ambient economy and economic production and
environment. In that view, the indoor consumption activities. These activities
environment (home, work place) is regarded impair environmental quality by over loading
as isolated piece of environment to be treated natural sinks with wastes and pollutants. The
on its own terms. environmental consequence of development
tends to offset many benefits that may be
The indoor environment usually is under the accruing to individuals and societies on
jurisdiction of the Public Health authorities. account of rising incomes. There are direct
Health risks are mainly linked to space costs on the health of individuals, their
heating, cooking and lighting: low grade longevity and on quality of life on account of
fuels, insufficient ventilation, and low or non- deterioration in environmental quality to
existing chimneys are often the main mention a few. More importantly, the
problems. Additionally, there may be environmental damage can also undermine
problems connected with moist, light, future attainments and productivity, if the
incidence, hazardous substances from factors of production are adversely affected.
building materials, lacquers and paints. Therefore, the private and social costs of the
Problems with drinking water, sewage and use of the natural resources and the
waste are not linked to the dwelling as such, degradation of the environment may be taken

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into account for the sustainable development fourth meeting of the Working Group
in the conventional accounts. (Stockholm, 6 - 10 February 1995) agreed on
the List of environmental and related
1.3 Environmental Indicators socioeconomic indicators given below. The
Statistical Commission, at its twenty-eighth
List of environmental and related socio- session (New York, 27 February - 3 March
economic indicators 1995), approved this list for international
The United Nations Statistical Division compilation by UNSD. The indicators that are
(UNSD) developed a list of environmental bolded in the list were intended for short-term
indicators in collaboration with the Inter- compilation directly from national statistical
governmental Working Group on the services or from other international
Advancement of Environment Statistics. The organizations or specialized agencies.

Framework for Development of Environment Statistics (FDES)


Information categories

A. B. C. D.
Socioeconomic Impacts and Responses to Inventories,
Agenda 21 activities, effects impacts stocks,
Issues events background
(clusters) conditions

ECONOMIC Real GDP per EDP/EVA per Environmental Produced


ISSUES capita growth capita protection capital stock
rate expenditure as
Capital % of GDP
Production and accumulation
consumption (environmentally Environmental
patterns adjusted) taxes and
subsidies as %
Investment of government
share in GDP revenue

SOCIAL/DEMO- Population % of urban Population


GRAPHIC growth rate population living in
ISSUES exposed to absolute
Population concentrations poverty
density of SO2,
particulates, Adult literacy
Urban/rural ozone, CO and rate
migration rate Pb
Combined
Calorie supply Infant mortality primary and
per capita rate secondary
school

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Incidence of enrollment
environmentally ratio
related diseases
Life expectancy
at birth

Females per
100 males in
secondary
school

AIR/CLIMATE Emissions of Ambient Expenditure on Weather and


CO2, SO2 and concentrations air pollution climate
NOx of CO, SO2, NOx abatement conditions
O3 and TSP in
Consumption urban areas Reduction in
of ozone consumption
depleting Air quality index of substances
substances and emissions

LAND/SOIL Land use Area affected Protected Arable land


change by soil erosion area as % of per capita
total land
Livestock per Land affected by area
km2 of arid and desertification
semi-arid lands
Area affected by
Use of salinization and
fertilizers water logging

Use of
agricultural
pesticides

WATER
Fresh water Industrial, Concentration Waste water Groundwater
resources agricultural and of lead, treatment, reserves
municipal cadmium, total and by
discharges mercury and type of
directly into pesticides in treatment
freshwater fresh water (% of
bodies bodies population
served)
Annual Concentration
withdrawals of of fecal Access to
ground and coliform in safe drinking
surface water fresh water water (% of
population

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Domestic bodies served)
consumption
of water per Acidification of
capita fresh water
bodies
Industrial,
agricultural BOD and COD
water use per in fresh water
GDP bodies

Water quality
index by fresh
water bodies
Marine water
resources
Deviation in
stock from
Industrial, maximum
agricultural and sustainable yield
municipal of marine
discharges species
directly into
marine water
Loading of N and
bodies
P in coastal
waters
Discharges of oil
into coastal
waters

OTHER
NATURAL
RESOURCES

Biological Annual Deforestation Reforestation Forest


resources roundwood rate rate inventory
production
Threatened, Protected Ecosystems
Fuelwood extinct species forest area inventory
consumption as % of total
per capita land area Fauna and flora
inventory
Catches of
marine Fish stocks
species Depletion of
Mineral (incl. mineral
energy) resources Annual energy resources (% Proven
consumption of proven mineral
per capita reserves) reserves

Extraction of Lifetime of

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other mineral proven reserves Proven
resources energy
reserves

WASTE Municipal Area of land Expenditure on


waste disposal contaminated by waste
toxic waste collection and
Generation of treatment
hazardous
waste Waste
recycling
Imports and
exports of
hazardous
wastes

HUMAN Rate of Area and Expenditure on Stock of


SETTLEMENTS growth of population in low-cost shelter and
urban marginal housing infrastructure
population settlements

% of Shelter index
population in
urban areas % of
population
Motor vehicles with sanitary
in use per services
1000
habitants

NATURAL Frequency of Cost and Expenditure on Human


DISASTERS natural number of disaster settlements
disasters injuries and prevention and vulnerable to
fatalities mitigation natural
related to disasters
natural
disasters

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TABLE 1.1: SOME IMPACTS OF DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITIES
ON ENVIRONMENT

Development Major Impacts on Environment


Activities

Forest clearing and land Extinction of rare species of flora and fauna, creation of condition
resettlements for mosquito breeding leading to infectious diseases such as
malaria, dengue etc.

Shifting cultivation in Soil erosion in upland areas, soil fertility declines due to shorter
upland agriculture cultivation cycle, which is practiced due to population pressure,
flooding of low land areas. The problems could be resolved by
terraced cultivation.

Agro industries Air pollution due to burning of bagasse as fuel in sugar mills, large
amount of highly polluting organic wastes, surface water pollution
.
Introduction of new Reduction of genetic diversity of traditional monoculture resulting
varieties of cereals in instability, danger of multiplication of local strains of fungus,
bacteria or virus on new variety

Use of pesticides Organism develops resistance and new control methods are needed
(e.g. in malaria, widespread use of dieldrin as a prophylactic agent
against pests of oil palms made the problem worse), creation of
complex and widespread environment problems. The pesticides
used in agriculture sometimes go into food chain or in water bodies
which may result in harmful health hazards.

Timber extraction Degrades land, destroys surface soil, reduces production potential
of future forests.

Urbanisation and Concentration of population in urban centers make huge demands


industrialization on production in rural areas and put pressures on land, air and water
pollution.

Water resource projects, Human settlement & resettlement, spread of waterborne diseases,
e.g. Dam, extensive reduction of fisheries, siltation, physical changes e.g. temperature,
irrigation humidity.

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1.4 Emissions, Discharges and their from emissions and discharges of various
Sources substances into air, water and soil. These
emissions and discharges have not only
1.4.1. The environmental stress caused local effects but regional and global
by developmental activities emanating effects too.

TABLE 1.2: LOCAL, REGIONAL AND GLOBAL EFFECTS OF POLLUTION

Local effects Regional Over Marine Global


Water and
Continents
Heavy metals in air, soil, Eutrophication, Eutrophication, Changes the climate
water and plants, e.g. Contaminants in Acidification, due to ozone
From industrial the soil & water, Environment depletion and the
emissions and Landscape changes Contamination due greenhouse effect.
Discharges Noise, Smell, due to mining or to Radioactivity
Air pollution. agriculture.

1.4.2 Acidifying emissions


Sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides 1.4.4 Gases affecting the climate
emitted into the air are converted into The greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide,
acids. At their deposition, they have an methane etc.) prevent some of the heat
acidifying effect on soil and water. The radiation from the earth into space. The
emission of ammonia also contributes to concentration of green house gases is
the acidification. Main sources of responsible for raising the temperature of
emission of sulphur dioxide in the air are the earth in a long term. Eighty percent of
due to burning of Sulphur containing fuel the effect of the greenhouse gases is
like coal mine, power plants, oil by caused by carbon dioxide itself.
vehicles, and also due to refining of oils in
refineries. 1.4.5 Eutrophicating discharges into
water
1.4.3 Emissions of volatile organic Nutrients, mainly nitrogen and
substances phosphorus, contribute to the
Volatile organic substances may also eutrophication of lakes, rivers and marine
effect health. Many of such substances are waters. Approximately, half of the
carcinogenic. In combination with nitrogen discharges are estimated to
nitrogen oxides and in sunlight, some of originate from agricultural land. A
them might form ozone and other considerable proportion of the
photochemical oxidants. These are phosphorous discharge derives from waste
harmful to plants. water not passing through sewage
treatment plants. In addition to discharges

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from human activities, there is a natural heavy metals into air originates from the
leaching from various types of soil. The iron and steel industry. Vehicular traffic is
quantities are estimated to be of about the the main source of lead emissions. Mines
same magnitude as those originating from and mining wastes account for the major
human activities. part of the discharges of heavy metals into
water. Besides, Cadmium depositions
1.4.6 Emissions of heavy metals originate from commercial fertilizers
Discharges and emissions of heavy metals containing phosphorus.
are difficult to estimate. A large
proportion of emissions/discharges of

TABLE 1.3: SOME MAJOR POLLUTANTS AND THEIR SOURCES

Pollutant Source
Carbon monoxide Incomplete fuel combustion (e.g. two/four stroke engines)

Sulphur dioxide Burning of sulphur containing fuel like coal in Power Plants
and emission by vehicles

Suspended particulate matter Smoke from domestic, industrial and vehicular sources.

Oxides of nitrogen Fuel combustion of motor vehicles, emission from power


stations and industrial furnaces

Volatile hydrocarbons Partial combustion of carbonaceous fuels (two stroke


engines, industrial processes, disposal of solid wastes).

Oxidants and ozone Emissions from motor vehicles, photochemical reactions of


nitrogen oxides and reactive hydrocarbons

Lead Emissions from motor vehicles

TABLE 1.4: POLLUTANTS AND THEIR RELATED HEALTH HAZARDS

Pollutants Health Effects


Carbon Monoxide (from gasoline cars, 2- Fatal in case of large dose: aggravates heart
wheelers, 3-wheelers) disorders; effects central nervous system;
impairs oxygen carrying capacity of blood

Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) Irritation of respiratory tract


(from diesel vehicles)

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Ozone Eye, nose and throat irritation; risk
asthmatics, children and those involved in
heavy exercise

Lead (from petrol vehicles) Extremely toxic: effects nervous system and
blood; can impair mental development of
children, causes hypertension

Hydrocarbons (mainly from 2-wheelers and Drowsiness, eye irritation, coughing


3-wheelers)

Benzene Carcinogenic

Aldehydes Irritation of eyes, nose and throat, sneezing,


coughing, nausea, breathing difficulties;
carcinogenic in animals

Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons PAH Carcinogenic


(from diesel vehicles)

1.4.7 Health Aspects of Water Quality worst affected, especially in rural areas and
Water borne diseases are single most urban slums. Typical water born diseases
important factor responsible for nearly 80% and their causative factors are
of human mortality in India. Children are summarised in the Table l.5

TABLE 1.5: WATER BORN DISEASES AND THEIR CAUSATIVE


FACTORS

Name of the Disease Causative Organism

1. Water-borne diseases Bacterial


Ø Typhoid Salmonella typhi
Ø Gastroenteritis Vibrio cholerae
Ø Paratyphoid Slmondlla parayphi
Ø Cholera Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli
Ø Bacterial dysentery Variety of Escherichia coli
Viral
Ø Infectious hepatitis Hepatitis-A-virus
Ø Pliomycetis Polio-virus
Ø Diarrhea Diseases Rota-virus, Norwalk agent,
Ø Other symptoms of enteric diseases Other virus Echono-virus, Coxsackie-virus

Protozoan
Amoebic dysentery Entamoeba hystolitica

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2. Water-washed diseases
Ø Scabies Various skin fungus species
Ø Trachoma Trachoma infecting eyes
Ø Bacillary dysentery E. coli

3. Water-based diseases
Ø Schistosomiasis Schistosoma sp.
Ø Guinea worm Guinea worm

4. Infecton through water related insect


vectors
Ø Sleeping sickness Trapanosoma through tsetse fly
Ø Malaria Plasmodium through Anaphelis

5. Infection primarily due to defective


sanitation
Ø Hookworm Hook worm, Ascaris

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