How to control air pollution in pharmaceutical Industries?
Air pollution is one of the significant reasons for climate change today. The quality of the air we breathe is deteriorating day by day, which is a cause to worry. The crucial factors contributing to pollution caused by pharmaceutical industries are the lack of awareness and adequate regulation. Recent studies have reported that the global pharmaceutical sector emits greenhouse gases with an intensity above 55 percent more than the automotive industry. In spite of the pharmaceutical industry being smaller, it causes high rates of pollution.
The pharmaceutical industry is one of the essential industries in the world. This industry deals with making drugs for various diseases across the globe. The pollution caused due to pharmaceutical industries is called drug pollution or pharmaceutical pollution. Going through history, you can find instances where high concentrations of pollutants were released from pharmaceutical industries.
Various Pollutants released during the preparation of drugs
During the production, utilization, and disposal of medications, different Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) and other chemical contents are released into the environment. Air pollutants that are commonly found in pharmaceutical laboratories are bio-aerosols and microbes. The typical air pollutants emitted by pharmaceutical industries are carbon monoxide, particulate matter, volatile organic compounds, and carbon dioxide. Carbon monoxide is one of the most poisonous gases, and it is known as the silent killer. When concentrated levels of carbon monoxide enter the body, it can lead to death. The harmful pollutants released by these laboratories affect all forms of life.
Effects of multiple pollutants on health
Exposure to microbes can cause a myriad of diseases. These pollutants pose a threat for both industrial workers and the people coming in contact with these microbes. The microbes released by pharmaceutical industries can damage the respiratory tract. Along with causing damage to the respiratory tract, these microbes can affect your lungs, nose, throat, skin, and eyes. Exposure to a higher concentration of these microbes can exacerbate pre-existing respiratory conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, bronchial asthma, and many others. The Interior of the pharmaceutical laboratory has to be sanitized, as contamination of the lab can lead to contamination of the drugs that can directly affect a person’s health. Intake of the harmful drugs can cause severe adverse effects, which may even prove to be fatal. When pollutants like carbon monoxide enter your body, it directly gets dissolved into the bloodstream, preventing oxygen from reaching the tissues and finally leading to death.
Methods to Reduce air pollution
In pharmaceutical industries, air pollution is caused during the making of drugs. During drug engineering, various microbes can be released. Air pollution caused by pharmaceutical industries can be controlled by proper management of the air disposal system. To prevent multiple microbes from spreading through the air, we must take steps to ensure that the laboratories properly treat the air. The waste products which can be burnt are supposed to be burnt, and the ashes should be buried or else it should be treated appropriately and then let out to the environment. The different ways for proper management of air pollution are
- Filtering the air
High-quality filters should be used in pharmaceutical laboratories to ensure that the air is filtered correctly before disposing of. The filters used must offer high efficiency in filtering out harmful substances present in the air. When these substances enter your body during respiration, it can be hazardous to your body. The air filters installed must be according to the classification by IEST- RP -CC001. In most pharmaceutical laboratories, high-efficiency particulate air ( HEPA) filters are used; these filters can filter the microbes from the air. HEPA filters have an ultra-fine glass fiber medium that stops the microbes from passing by.
- Treating the air
In pharmaceutical laboratories, at temperatures above 1200 degrees Celsius, all microbes are destroyed. To ensure that air pollution is reduced, this facility should be made available to laboratories worldwide.
- Burying the waste
In cases of hazardous waste, the complex waste particles are broken down into more straightforward forms and then incinerated to ensure that it is entirely safe. Incineration can be done with solid waste, which is then converted to gaseous form and residue. It is crucial to ensure that these pollutants do not ever get release; these pollutants have to be stored in solid storage tanks.
- Disposal of drugs
Most pharmacies collect unwanted drugs and dispose of them as a part of community service. In some areas, government agencies would dispose of these drugs at a particular drug disposal facility. Some pharmaceutical laboratories practice encapsulation, which is how pharmaceuticals are put into barrels and filled with concrete, and then landfilled. Encapsulation can be done with pills when they are in the PVC packs.
- Installation of ducts
Installing proper ventilation can help to reduce the emission of pollutants significantly. HVAC ducts with fiberglass can be installed for optimum conditions inside pharmaceutical laboratories. HVAC ducts can ensure that there are optimum conditions for the preparation of drugs. These ducts can control the number of microbes and dust particles in the air. It is essential to have the right temperature and pressure inside the pharmacies. Get in touch with an HVAC duct manufacturer to get the right HVAC duct for the pharmaceutical laboratory.
Improper management of waste disposal in the pharmaceutical industry is one of the primary causes of air pollution. To ensure that the air we breathe is safe, we need to take the necessary steps to reduce air pollution. Taking proper steps to discard waste from pharmaceutical industries is the first step to reducing air pollution caused by pharmaceutical companies. Breathing in fresh and pure air is vital for a healthy lifestyle. Top pharmaceutical industries will have the resources to take care of waste disposal carefully. It is small-scale industries that have to adapt proper management of waste. We have to give importance to our environment, and it is crucial to leave something for future generations. Reducing pollution does not take place overnight; everyone can take small steps to reduce pollution. It is the collective effort that brings a huge change.