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Hazards from Metropolis Current Industries

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Metropolis’ current industries are tourism, pulp/paper, and computer products, manufacturers. There is also the airport industry and all of them pose certain risks to the surrounding land, air and water. The paper industry uses trees as the main raw material and as such, uncontrolled logging by the industries can lead to devastating environmental consequences. Chlorine and chlorine compounds are normally used for wood pulp bleaching purposed during paper production (Sconce, 1962). The utilization of chlorine results in production of dioxins which are persistent pollutants generally classified as among the highly toxic manmade pollutants.

The pulping process utilizes large water volumes that absorb numerous organic substances from the pulp mill including lignin. The effluent also contains transition metal compounds, chlorates chelating agents and some alcohols. The sulfite and Kraft pulp processes involve a lot of use of sulfur resulting in sulfur dioxide that is water-soluble and can result in acidic effluent and acidic rain when the gas is released into the atmosphere (Swarup & Jauhari, 1992). The other chemicals contained in the effluents include ammonia, mercury, nitrates, benzene, and chloroform.   This mixture of chemicals is a potential environmental hazard.

Most of the pollutants result from the pulp mills as opposed to paper mils which mostly release paper fibers suspension as the main effluent. There were some efforts around the 1990s to get rid of chlorine use in the paper industry but due to the economic advantages of chlorine, it is still the most widely utilized bleach in the paper industry. Enforcement of stringent governmental legislation can, however, help reduce the use of chlorine. The utilization of mechanical pulp mills instead of sulfide or Kraft processes can help in cutting down the number of chemicals needed in paper production.   A good proportion of lignin present in wood is retained when bleaching using mechanical pulps using hydrogen peroxide as the main bleaching agent (Ek, Gellerstedt & Henriksson, 2009).

Hydrogen peroxide is less toxic than the chemicals used in the sulfide and Kraft processes.

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