Thermal power projects all over the world have been a cause of great concern over the past few years. Although these power plants give the world’s economy a huge boost, the effect it is having on the environment is not that positive. With all the harmful chemicals that are pumped into the atmosphere by power plants each year, air and water surrounding these areas become polluted and harmful to plants, animals, and humans. But how exactly does a thermal power plant affect the water and air?
When thermal power plants begin generating their end products such as electricity, chemicals are used in the process. These chemicals are broken up into the elements needed to produce the product. Thus, waste chemicals need to be dumped. Some of these elements such as lead and mercury don’t disintegrate over a period of time, thus finding its way into various types of water supplies. These include dams, rivers, and municipal water reservoirs. The entire process of water pollution starts with plant and wildlife. When the chemicals and elements are pumped into water supplies, it impacts to fish, plant life and any other animal that might drink the water. Humans that drink the water are also affected as it increases the chance of lung cancer and other deadly health risks. If we consume vegetables, fruit, animal or poultry products that have come in contact with these elements, over time, harmful element build up in our bodies and become a breeding ground for all sorts of health issues.
If thermal power plants produce their product, they need to make use of large burners, gas fires and other heated elements. The gas and chemicals coming from these heated elements need to be pumped out somewhere. The gas, smoke and waste chemicals are pumped out into the atmosphere where it is forgotten. That, however, is where the problem is just starting. Compounds such as ash, Carbon Dioxide, Sulphur Dioxide and Nitrogen Oxide are pumped out through vents of the power plant into the air, thus polluting it. These gasses are highly dangerous and can cause fatalities in humans when inhaled. As it is released into the atmosphere, it harms the ozone layer and has the extreme potency to completely destroy it. With the ozone layer of the earth slowly being destroyed, we face yet another type of catastrophe. Without the ozone layer to protect us from harmful UV rays, we face the chance of getting skin cancer as well as the huge concern of global warming.
Although steps are taken to eliminate the impact of thermal power plants on air and water pollution, a lot still needs to be done to make our planet clean once again. Unfortunately, the damage is already done and is irreversible. All we can do now is ensure the amount of air and water pollution is kept at a bare minimum and, if at all possible, completely eliminated.