Is the Textile Dyeing Industry an Environmental Hazard?
Color is the first thing we see when buying a fabric. But do you know how this color is dyed onto the fabric. It is usually takes several gallons of water for one pound of fabric. What effect does this have on the environment? Read along to get interesting insights!
Textile Chemicals are used in almost every part of textile processing. These chemicals are used in various commercial and industrial sectors. In order to impart required properties to the fabric fabrics are treated with different chemicals. These chemicals provide the fabrics with properties such as from flame retardant, water repellent, crease free, etc.
What are different types of textile chemicals?
Chemicals in the textile industry are used for a variety of different processes such as;
– Textile Colorants such as dyes are usually used to color the fabric.
– Textile Auxiliaries are chemicals which are used to treat fabrics for purposes such as bleaching, defoaming, etc.
– Textile Finishing Chemicals such as emulsifiers and waxes are used to treat fibers in their final stage.
– Textile Polymers are fibers that are made up of polymers. Some of the examples are acrylic polymers, styrene polymers, etc.
A report by a market research firm estimates a growth rate of 4.2% for global textile chemicals market.
Water consumption in the textile industry!
The textile dyeing and finishing industry is one of the most polluting industries. The industry uses more than 8000 chemicals in its various processing methods such as dyeing and printing. Most of these chemicals are harmful to the environment. Another major concern is the amount of water consumed for the production of textiles. Water is used to wash dyed and printed textile. It is also needed for cleaning the equipment and also to remove color from printing screens and dyeing vessels. An average textile mill consumes up to 1.6million liters of water in a day for producing 8000kg of fabric. Around 500 gallons of water is used up to make a fabric that can cover one sofa. The textile industry is responsible for 17 to 20 percent of industrial water pollution.
Pollution caused by the textile industry!
Textile industries directly discharge toxic waste from the industry into the nearby water bodies. These hazardous waste contain many chemicals which are extremely harmful to the environment. In fact, the wastewater is so toxic that it even corrodes the sewerage pipes. If allowed to flow into drains and rivers the wastewater can have a harmful effect on the nearby population.
The wastewater is so polluted that the colloidal matter in it doesn’t let sunlight pass through it this interferes with the equilibrium of oxygen between air and water and hence depletes the oxygen level in the water body which in turn kills all the aquatic life.
The main hurdles for the textile chemicals market are; rising environmental concerns in developing countries and the growing demand for natural and organic textiles.