The Effect of the Industrial Revolution on Pollution

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The Industrial Revolution of the nineteenth and the eighteenth centuries brought about much of the base of today’s pollutants. A series of technological advances in machinery, such as the steam engine, along with a preponderance of other goods shifting from homes and small factories to large industrial settings brought about more and more pollution. The creation of more productive processing used to manufacture cotton textiles increased the number of mills located in England and eventually moved to the northeastern United States. The steam engine allowed businesses to transfer manufacturing plants was for rivers and other waterways to areas with densely populated urban zones. Pollution increased due to the concentration of these industrialized city centers, which now used coal, which replaced the natural power of fast-running rivers.

For example, evidence of pollution during the early Industrial Revolution in England and the European continent is widespread. South Wales, located in southwestern England, was described by Adam Markham in A Brief History of Pollution (1994) as a "veritable witch’s cauldron of industrial pollution." Samples of hair from historical figures such as Isaac Newton and Napoleon Bonaparte show the presence of antimony and mercury at toxic levels not normally found in human hair.

Pollution really became a major issue as a result of the Industrial Revolution. Hand labor was replaced by machine labor, which dramatically increased productivity. Coal power was heavily used to replace all kinds’ manual type work. The railroads were also used to bring materials where ever they were needed replacing river boats and other more manual ways of moving large amounts of material. This all helped to accelerate t...

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... growth and a lot of pollution as the world transformed into an Industrial driven economy. People re-located to the cities which was followed by heavier demands for city life and city products and more and more manufacturing took on the heavy toll of this huge demand.

Like all times of huge change problems happened and the world reacted to the problems and challenges of the time. Now most industrial pollution is slowly being addressed by local governments and nations but newer and more harmful pollution is still a worldwide problem that must not be forgotten.

Works Cited

Webster, B. (2011, Jul 07). Kicking up a great stink. The Times, pp. 13. Retrieved from

Ross, J. (2010). Auld reekie, reeks no more. Retrieved from
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