Industrial Estates

Industrial Estates

Fact Sheet: Industrial Estates – Ranked #6


Estimated Global DALYs: 1,060,000


What is the industry?


Industrial estates, also known as industrial parks, are areas where infrastructure and buildings, usually built by governments, attract and support industrial activity to the zone. On site typically there are roads, power sites, utility services, waste treatment and other services built specifically to support the industrial processes happening there, as they are often outside of major population zones. The industrial processes within these estates vary widely and the pollutants resulting from them also vary.


What are the pollutants?


The top pollutants from industrial estates are lead and chromium, lead is frequently the output of industries on industrial estates and chromium is frequently used as an input to industrial processes, or as a by-product. It should be noted that industrial estates release multiple and varied pollutants and this calculation of the burden of disease only examined known pollutants based on the Blacksmith database information. There could potentially be a much higher impact from the cumulative impact of combined pollutants, including possible pollutants not yet defined in our site investigations.


What are the exposure pathways?


The pathways for industrial estates vary widely because of the variety of industries located at industrial estates. Generally pollutants can enter into the environment at industrial estates through inappropriate disposal of waste, emissions, and dust which can enter air, water, soil and food.


What are the health risks?


When lead is inhaled or ingested it is stored in the body and accumulates over time. Lead is designated as a possible human carcinogen, and can cause neurological, gastrointestinal and cardiovascular problems. Neurological problems include mild mental retardation, decreased IQ, shortened attention spans, loss of executive function, increased dyslexia and diminished productivity. Chromium is a known carcinogen that is proven to cause lung cancer from inhalation and is suspected to cause stomach cancer through ingestion.

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