The Disadvantages of Smelter

Furnaces help in the smelting process to extract metals.
••• Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images

The process of smelting is when industrial factories extract or smelter purer and more refined metals from ores. Metals like copper or lead are often extracted using this process from earth samples and deposits. Although smelting helps with metal productions, there are many disadvantages to smelting that impact the environment.

Toxic Air Pollutants

The smelting process breaks down the ore that contains not only metals, but other chemicals as well. As a result, many of the chemicals from the ore end up in the atmosphere. Some chemicals include sulfur dioxide and hydrogen fluoride, which are nauseous and pollute the atmosphere.

Water Pollution

Waste products from smelting include liquid waste into water supplies. Water used to cool remnants of ore are usually disposed of in environmental ways. However; accidental drainage may occur, allowing this toxic water to enter back into the environment. This water contains a number of hazardous chemicals such as lead and chromium, which are extremely hazardous to plant and animal life.

Acid Rain

As a result of the pollution from a smelting plant, acid rain may be produced. Sulfuric acid mist is emitted from these plants that enter and become trapped in the atmosphere. The acid may travel a few miles before the weight of gravity, and weather activities causes the acid to fall with rain, creating acid rain. Acid rain hastens erosion on land and physically harms plants and animals when touched.

Worker Health

Workers at smelting plants are exposed to toxic chemicals every day. Although the environmental damage done can be costly to the public, workers tend to be exposed to higher levels of toxins from direct exposure in smelting factories. Inhalation is the common way many workers end up exposing themselves to the toxic chemicals of smelting, which can harm worker health and productivity in smelting plants.

Related Articles

Environmental Problems Caused by Minerals
Types of Industrial Pollutants
Types of Pollution Found in Brownfields
Environmental Problems & Solutions
How Do Factories Cause Air Pollution?
How Does Land Pollution Affect the Environment?
Types of Pollution Generated by Gold Mining
Can the Effects of Pollution Be Reversed?
Technological Advancement and the Effect on the Ecosystem
Geological and Geographical Characteristics of Gold...
Is Rain Water Safe to Drink?
Characteristics of Wastewater in a Distillery
Gold Smelting Process
Types of Oil Pollution
The Effects of Landfills on the Environment
Environmental Pollution Caused by Factories
Air Pollution Characteristics
The Effects of Water Pollution on Plant Growth
Soil Pollution Remedies
Landfill Pollution & Water Pollution

Dont Go!

We Have More Great Sciencing Articles!