Textile Factories Cause River Pollution

August 17, 2011

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. contaminate (v.) [kuhn-tam-uh-neyt] – to pollute or make something impure or unclean
Example: Rivers are being contaminated by chemical waste produced by factories.

2. lax (adj.) [laks] – not strict
Example: A lax attitude towards discipline leads to failure.
3. hormonal (adj.) [hawr-mohn-uhl] – refers to processes related to bodily chemicals which have a specific effect on the body
Example: Hormonal imbalance leads to abnormal bodily functions.

4. tip of the iceberg (idiom) [tip] [uhv] [thuh] [ahys-burg] – the first clue of something that is much larger or complex
Example: The new evidence in the unsolved case is just the tip of the iceberg.

5. multinational (adj.) [muhl-tee-nash-uh-nl] – describes large companies that operate in several countries
Example: Multinational companies are well-established.

Read the text below.

Textile factories that are supplying fabric to big companies like Nike, Adidas and Lacoste pollute China's two main rivers with toxic chemicals, reports Greenpeace.

Laboratory tests reveal that chemical wastes from Youngor Textile Complex and Well Dyeing Factory contaminate the Pearl River and the Yangtze River.

According to the international environmental organization, clothing companies take advantage of China’s lax environmental rules. They buy fabric from factories that make use of harmful chemicals causing hormonal abnormalities to both animals and humans. These chemicals have been banned by the European Union but are still used in many developing countries.

Other companies that Greenpeace links to the problem include Puma, Calvin Klein, Converse, H&M and Abercrombie and Fitch. In response to the issue, some of the clothing companies claim that their business partnership with the textile suppliers do not involve processes that make use of harmful chemicals.

According to Gloria Chang, Greenpeace campaign manager, findings of the report were just the tip of the iceberg. Other textile manufacturing companies that disregard environmental safety still exists. Greenpeace calls for the multinational clothing brands to make use of their power to phase out the use of hazardous substances. They must make sure that their products do not harm the environment and the public health.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.   

Discussion A 

·         What can manufacturing industries do to make sure that they are not harming the environment?
·         If factories are located in different areas, do you think it will lessen the problems in the environment?

Discussion B 

·         How can environmental problems affect people's health?
·         Is it possible to prevent all environmental problems? Explain your answer.

August 17, 2011