1. THE ENVIRONMENT
• In previous centuries environmental issues typically affected local areas and went untreated until they reached crisis proportions.
• The industrial revolution has provided us the new ability to overload the environment at a much faster rate and with greater damage. And, the results of the pollution are no longer contained in a local area.
• Most of the environmental problems arise because the products that are delivered back into nature are not in the forms they were in when originally extracted.
• The main sources of problems are,
1. extracting raw materials often results in damage to the environment.
2. purifying raw materials produces by-products, requires energy and other materials.
3. shaping materials into useful form also produces by-products, requires energy and other materials.
4. during the life of a product there is upkeep, maintenance and consumption.
5. at the end of a products life it must be discarded.
• There are three good strategies when dealing with the environment,
- use less (eliminates 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5)
- reuse when possible (eliminates 1, 2, 5)
- recycle (eliminates 1, 5)
• The most common sources of problems are emissions. Common types are,
- Air based exhaust
- Runoff to waterways
- Stored toxic dump
- Stored solids
• many countries and are starting or have already enacted laws aimed at reducing environmental problems.
Germany - requires manufacturers to accept back used products such as automobiles
California - a zero emissions law requires no emissions on new vehicle in future
• These issues are already being addressed as voluntary standards such as ISO 14000.
• There are a wide variety of agencies and organizations that influence environmental policies and practices.
OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration)
EPA (Environment Protection Agency)
NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health)
UL (Underwriters Laboratory)
CSA (Canadian Safety Association)