Producing leather, particularly tanning (the process wherein the protein of the raw hide or skin is converted into a stable material which will not putrefy) results in a variety of toxins that are all bad for the environment if released into it. Unfortunately, in areas where leather is a major industry, such as India, the tanneries not only expose their workers to these chemicals at a dangerous rate, but also release their toxic runoff into nearby rivers and drinking water sources. So yes, if regulated as poorly as it currently is, leather production is quite bad for the environment.
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