My B.Sc. Footwear Engineering Thesis Report

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Chapter One



General Discussion



Until recent years “environment” was a term used mainly by scientists and “green”, apart from denoting a color, had a meaning of immaturity as in “green strength” of a rubber or an adhesive bond. Now most people have an understanding of environment as an Eco-system in which we live, comprising land, water and air. “Green” is widely used to describe concern for the environment, often from a political point of view.

The 1970s and the 1980s have seen increasing public awareness of environment as a broad topic in its own right, and most developed nations now have a government minister responsible for environmental affairs. The first international forum was probably the Stockholm Conference in 1972. This was quickly followed by the 1973-74 oil crises and the environmental topic for the 1970s became shortage of energy and non-renewable materials. The 1980s have focused on environmental pollution, climatic change, destruction of natural resources such as tropical forests, and threats to living species. All of these were subjects of attention at the World Environmental Conference in Rio de Janeiro in June 1992, which re-emphasized environmental issues in the public mind.

For the manufacturing industry the main current issue is controlling pollution and meeting growing legislation governing emissions from factory processes. Other concerns include usage of energy and packaging, scrap and waste, recycling, and production of “green” materials and products in response to discerning consumer demand.

This report book outlines the environmental issues and “green” concerns and how they relate to shoe materials and footwear manufacture. It aims to help others concerned by putting these often controversial topics into proper perspective.

|1.2 General Contamination of Environment |

|1.2.1 Contamination of Air |


Schematic drawing, causes and effects of air pollution: (1) greenhouse effect, (2) particulate contamination, (3) increased UV radiation, (4) acid rain, (5) increased ground level ozone concentration, (6) increased levels of nitrogen oxides.

Air pollution is the introduction of chemicals, particulate matter, or biological materials that cause harm or discomfort to humans or other living organisms, or cause damage to the natural environment or built environment, into the atmosphere.

The atmosphere is a complex dynamic natural gaseous system that is essential to support life on planet Earth. Stratospheric ozone depletion due to air pollution has long been recognized as a threat to human health as well as to the Earth's ecosystems.

An air pollutant is known as a substance in the air that can cause harm to humans and the environment. Pollutants can be in the form of solid particles, liquid droplets, or gases. In addition, they may be natural or man-made.

Pollutants can be classified as primary or secondary. Usually, primary pollutants are directly emitted from a process, such as ash from a volcanic eruption, the carbon monoxide gas from a motor vehicle exhaust or sulfur dioxide released from factories. Secondary pollutants are not emitted directly. Rather, they form in the air when primary pollutants react or interact. An important example of a secondary pollutant is ground level ozone — one of the many secondary pollutants that make up photochemical smog. Some pollutants may be both primary and secondary: that is, they are both emitted directly and formed from other primary pollutants.

About 4 percent of deaths in the United States can be attributed to air pollution, according to the Environmental Science Engineering Program...
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