For most of his adult life, Muhammad Rauf, 38, has worked at a hide-tanning factory in the Pakistani border town of Kasur. He applies large quantities of water and chemicals to raw animal skins as part of the laborious process that turns them into finished leather. But at the same time, he is increasingly worried about the acute pollution problems caused by tannery waste, which has badly polluted ground water, impacted on the health of local residents and has also affected crops grown in the area. The tanning industry is a major foreign exchange earner for Pakistan, with jackets, sports goods, handbags, footwear and other items manufactured from leather originating in the country and sold across the world.

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