Until recently, pollution has been an unfortunate, but accepted, by-product of industrial development. Wherever factories?
Until recently, pollution has been an unfortunate, but accepted, by-product of industrial development. Wherever factories and industries have been established, the environment has suffered. Most of the environmentalists' concern has been focused on the major industrial nations in Western Europe and North America, but the problems are the same in smaller countries.
Yugoslavia is one small country that has, in the past ten years, begun to suffer from the effects of industrial pollution. In some areas the problem is as great as in any major industrial nation.
Trbovlje is a mining and industrial centre in northern Yugoslavia. Fore decades, dust from the town's cement works has discoloured neighbouring land and made it unfit to live in. The Save river, that runs through the town, is black from coal dust from a nearby plant and chlorinated because of effluence discharged into it from a chemicals factory.
While these make life less than enjoyable in Trbovlje, the overshadowing problems is the discharge of sulphur dioxide fumes from the town's power station. The sulphur dioxide permeates everything, and at times its concentration in the atmosphere is 16 times the amount allowed by Yugoslav Public Health officials. While residents often have to cover their faces to breath outside, the polluted atmosphere has literally forced farmers to abandon their farms because the sulphur dioxide has killed nearly anything they have tried to grow. Anything the farmers have been able to grow, has had a strong flavour of sulphur dioxide.
However, there is some good news from Trbovlje. There are plans to construct a 1,300-foot (400 metre) high chimney stack. The stack, which will be the tallest in Europe, will put the sulphur dioxide fumes high enough up in the atmosphere, so they will be evenly dispersed and will lessen the pollution in Trbovlje.
SYNOPSIS: The town of Trbovlje in northern Yugoslavia is paying the price for industrialisation.
The heavy air that hangs over the town contains dust from the local cement factory, and, worst of all, sulphur dioxide fumes from the thermo-electric power station.
The river Sava is black from coal dust, and full of chlorine, discharged from a local chemicals factory. But while an effort is being made to reduce this source of pollution, the sulphur fumes continue to pervade the community.
Sometimes the sulphur dioxide in the air is six times greater than allowed by Public Health authorities. Citizens have to walk around with handkerchieves over their faces, to breath without inhaling the gas.
Trees and crops have been destroyed by the sulphur fumes, and farmers forced to leave the area. But a solution is in sight. A four hundred metre high chimney, the tallest in Europe, is planned. Then the sulphur dioxide will be released high in the atmosphere, away from the town.