Cost of Pollution

Modernization is a significant boost to today’s production and thus to improving our daily lives, but the cost we pay for the pollution caused by these industries and their products is unbearable. The climate change has raised the sea level due to the melting of the snow, season patterns have also changed, infant mortality rate has increased while the general immune system has reduced and all this is owing to the poisonous particles emitted into the environment in the form of air, water or land pollutants. A lot of money flows into the projects and the expenses aimed at curbing the effects of pollution are becoming larger and larger every day. The increase in the number of diseases and irritations caused by the various infections makes the environment at times unsuitable for living and thus, in one way or another, one will part with their cash either in the form of the treatment resulting from the consequences of the pollution or mitigating the effects of pollution. This essay seeks to explore the cost resulting from land degradation, water pollution, soil contamination, air pollution caused by the manufacturing industry.

From government to individuals, the cost of corruption has been inevitable in the world today. For example, according to Srivastava and Kavi Kumar, the World Bank provided the monetary cost of various environmental pollutions mainly caused by the manufacturing industry in India, and the digits are breathtaking. $5,710 million is the estimate of the water pollution regarding the cost of the resultant health effects while the soil degradation has amounted to a loss of $1,942 million of the agricultural output. As a result of the air pollution, healthcare has cost the country a whopping $1,310 million after the critical assessment. As much as $328 million has been lost due to the pasture land degradation has led to the loss of carrying capacity of the huge population of livestock. Deforestation cost the country a loss of $214 million and the tourism industry one million less. Srivastava and Kavi Kumar state that the total estimated loss per year was $9.7 billion.


Pollution has been a major cause for the high cost of health in many parts of the world and in Michigan in particular. The diseases associated with the environmental exposure are the primary premise as to why most of the children in Michigan are unhealthy. Lead is one of the main neurotoxicants in Michigan. The most affected category of population are the young children whose brains are damaged by lead. In most cases, the effect is realized when the child is older and this is the age in which brain damage can neither be reversed nor the lost intelligence restored. Therefore the child pays with the lifetime disease as a result of pollution. With the lost IQ, Michigan is evaluated to lose a total of $4.85 billion annually as a result of lost lifetime earnings that the affected would have contributed to the economy. Asthma is another malady provoked by the excessive amounts of contaminated particles floating in the air. It is a disease that causes the airways t be sore and swollen. Since the airways of children are small, asthma becomes extremely dangerous to children. This is another effect of pollution in Michigan and equally expensive at that. For instance, 4325 children aged between 0 and 17 years old were hospitalized in 2008 and due to premature death of these children, the government loses a massive lifetime earnings of approximately $ 18,284,188 that would have been of essential towards boosting the economy.

Fertilizer industries have been on the rise due to the increase in population. People seek to enlarge the food production to meet the need of the current population. However, the industry has thus proved to be a major source of air, land and soil pollution in many parts of the world. Although many of the chemical plants have bases in remote regions, even in those areas they are causing havoc to the residents. Phosphorus, potassium, and nitrogen are the most important nutrients for plants' growth. Potash and phosphate are the primary chemicals used in the manufacturing of fertilizers which is a significant input in the American cropland. These artificial nutrients, on the other hand, end up being water pollutants and can enter it in three ways. Melting ice, irrigation water, and the runoffs enhance the surface transportation of the contaminants. The flows pick them up in the fields and they find their way to the water sources via run-in and leaching. Nitrogen and phosphorus are the most problematic while in the water system. The phosphorus and nitrogen accelerate algae production, and this results into fish deaths, the reduction of recreational activities, as well as the clogging of pipelines. Nitrate is both a human health threat and an enormous threat to the ecosystem. This idea means that the loss of ecosystem will lead to deprivation of the food variety and thus the food derived from the organisms such as fish will be either scarce or unsuitable for consuming, and therefore, the population will spend more on both food and the health expenses to get treated for the deficiency diseases. Additionally, the very intake of the contaminated water will lead to poor health and thus higher medical costs.

In another case scenario, Hudson River in the state of New York was used for a very long time as a route for the waste waters from the company General Electrics. At that point, despite the activity going on for a decade, no caution was taken and little did the state population know that it would culminate into a disaster. The present day banned polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were the primary pollutant chemicals which together with other substances led to the pollution of many kilometers of the river together with wildlife living in it and the surrounding environment. In spite of the direct discharge stopping almost three decades ago, the river, along with its surrounding territories, is still much polluted. The planning and the rehabilitation implementation process is complicated and time-consuming. As the course of rehabilitating the river has already started, it is clearly visible that it will not prove to be a very highly-efficient activity that will neither address the scale of the calamity nor the pollution legacy.

The automobile is yet another industry that has produced products that have continued to pollute the environment. For instance, in the United Kingdom, tailpipe emission is considered to be the highest emitter of a conventional vehicle representing 64% and for the busses 75%. The motor vehicle pollution of air translates into a loss of between $2- and 4 billion. This shortage is a result of a decline in commercial farming due to the depletion of the ozone layer and $5-40 billion as a consequence of the reduced visibility leading to numerous accidents and loss of lives. It is recorded that even if all other causes of respiratory diseases are added together, the hospital admission due to the increased air pollution is still 19% higher. Elsewhere in California, air pollution premature deaths resulting from the vehicle are estimated to reach about 2,400 annually. Caused by excessive air contamination, missed workdays stand at 360,000, missed school days are recorded at 1,100,000 and hospital admissions 2,830, and this is an annual loss of $13 billion.

Conclusively, it is far much better to do everything possible to mitigate pollution rather than deal with its consequences. Numerous countries such as USA, China and India, for instance, have registered a huge loss as a result of the pollution mostly from the manufacturing industries. The cost of health has been the greatest hit by the corruption menace since the number of patients admitted with the impacts of pollution related diseases is rapidly increasing. Michigan has been affected since most children in that area are experiencing premature death caused by the spoiled environment and this leads to huge losses to the government regarding the earnings that would have been generated by the affected if they grew to maturity. Fertilizer plants have resulted in multiple deaths of organisms and the contamination of ground water as well as caused serious diseases among the population. Hudson River pollution by the General Electric’s company is yet another incidence that has proved that pollution is indeed expensive while automobile industry is contributing to a greater percentage of air pollution leading to a massive annual loss.

Feb 7, 2020 in Research
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