Textile dyeing and printing industry: An environmental hazard

  • Bhatt P
  • Rani A
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Abstract

Color is the main attraction of any fabric. No matter how excellent its constitution, if unsuitably colored it is bound to be a failure as a commercial fabric. Manufacture and use of synthetic dyes for fabric dyeing has therefore become a massive industry today. In fact the art of applying color to fabric has been known to mankind since 3500 BC. WH Perkins in 1856 discovered the use of synthetic dyes. Synthetic dyes have provided a wide range of colorfast, bright hues. However their toxic nature has become a cause of grave concern to environmentalists. Use of synthetic dyes has an adverse effect on all forms of life. Presence of sulphur, naphthol, vat dyes, nitrates, acetic acid, soaps, enzymes chromium compounds and heavy metals like copper, arsenic, lead, cad- mium, mercury, nickel, and cobalt and certain auxiliary chemicals all collectively make the textile effluent highly toxic. Other harmful chemicals present in the water may be formaldehyde based dye fixing agents, chlorinated stain removers, hydro carbon based softeners, non bio degradable dyeing chemicals. These organic materials react with many disinfectants especially chlorine and form by products (DBP’S) that are often carcinogenic and therefore undesirable. Many of these show allergic reactions. The colloidal matter present along with colors and oily scum increases the turbidity, gives the water a bad appearance and foul smell and prevents the penetration of sunlight necessary for the process of photosynthesis. This in turn interferes with the Oxygen transfer mechanism at air water interface which in turn interferes with marine life and self purification process of water. This effluent if allowed to flow in the fields’ clogs the pores of the soil resulting in loss of soil productivity. If allowed to flow in drains and rivers it effects the quality of drinking water in hand pumps making it unfit for human consumption. It is important to remove these pollutants from the waste waters before their final disposal.

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Authors

  • Pooja Bhatt

  • Anita Rani

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