The Disadvantages of Smelter

Furnaces help in the smelting process to extract metals.
••• 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

Is Rain Water Safe to Drink?
Environmental Problems Caused by Minerals
Types of Pollution Found in Brownfields
Environmental Problems & Solutions
Can the Effects of Pollution Be Reversed?
Air Pollution Characteristics
Is Rain Water Safe to Drink?
Types of Pollution Generated by Gold Mining
The Effects of Water Pollution on Plant Growth
Types of Industrial Pollutants
The Effects of Soil Pollution on Plants & Flora
How Do Humans Cause Erosion?
Landfill Pollution & Water Pollution
The Effects of Improper Garbage Disposal
How Do Factories Cause Air Pollution?
Characteristics of Wastewater in a Distillery
How is the Forest Affected by Acid Rain?
How Do Air Scrubbers Work?
Pollution of the Mojave Desert
Technological Advancement and the Effect on the Ecosystem
What Are the Environmental Impacts From Mining & Drilling?