Environmental Hazards Caused by Cement and Fertilizer Industries in the Iskandarabad Region District Mianwali

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H. MUFTI
S. SEEMAB
S. Z. ILYAS
Z. BHATTI
D.A. JAMRO
A. KEHAR
S. FATIMA

Abstract

World has undergone the rapid industrial growth in the last few decades. These industrial changes have made today’s life easier and more comfortable than ever before. No doubt, this industrial revolution created jobs opportunities for the unemployed youth. On the other side of the mirror, this industrial revolution also brought a storm of pollution that has ruined the environment of our planet. Effects of this industrial revolution are also felt in Pakistan. Unfortunately, due to severe energy crisis desirable results can’t be achieved in Pakistan. Cement industry is one of the leading industries in the Pakistan. Pakistan has inexhaustible reserves of clay and lime. There are 24 cement plants are working in Pakistan. Pakistan is the 14th largest cement producing country in the world. It is amongst the top five cement exporting countries in the world. Pakistan is an agricultural based country. Consumption of fertilizer shows country’s progress in agricultural sector. Mianwali is a district located in northwest of Punjab. It has large deposits of gypsum, silica, clay and mines of coal and salt. That’s why, in 1952 government of Pakistan has established an industrial estate naming Iskindarabad industrial estate in Mianwali. Maple Leaf Cement Factory is working since 1955 and Pak American Fertilizer Factory is working since 1958. These factories are creating some serious environmental issues in the Iskindarabad region that demand attention of the higher authorities. Samples of soil are collected from the nearest inhabited area. Water samples are collected from the drains of both factories and ground water from the nearest vicinity. Parameters of chemical oxygen demand (COD), total dissolved solids (TDS), total suspended solids (TSS), PH level and electrical conductivity are tested. It is found that PH level is showing normal character. Chemical oxygen demand (COD) and Electrical conductivity are exceeding permissible limits of WHO. Total suspended solids (TSS) are less than the permissible limits of WHO. Total dissolved solids (TDS) of cement and fertilizer factories is less than the permissible limits while Total dissolved solids (TDS) is above than the permissible limits of WHO. These results show that this water is unhealthy for drinking purposes. X- Ray Fluorescence technique is used for the analysis of soil samples. Concentrations of aluminum, silicon, calcium, zinc, strontium, titanium etc. and their oxides are found. By comparing these concentrations with standard concentration of metals and their oxides in soil, excess of metals make this soil contaminated. Contaminations in water and soil samples are creating some serious environmental hazards in the area.

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