Leather industry in toxic pollution report25 November 2011
The tanning industry has been ranked as the fifth worse polluting industry by the New York based NGO, Blacksmith Institute and the Green Cross. The report titled 'The Worlds Worst Toxic Pollution Problems' claims that chromium pollution from tanning puts an estimated 1.8 million people worldwide at pollution risk.
The NGO 2011 report says that they have identified 95 sites covering South East Asia, Central and South America and Africa as not having sufficient pollution measures to protect workers or the surrounding population. The full report which can be found at http://www.blacksmithinstitute.org/ says that Blacksmith Institute are working with the Central Pollution Control Board in Kanpur, India to reduce water contamination from the 300 tanneries in the area. Hexavalent chromium levels had become 'undetectable in some wells' following the program they say.
An additional programme in the area was also able to remove 60,000 tons of waste chrome sludge.
The report links chrome VI contamination to leather making.