Hazardous waste is defined simply as contained gas, liquid, solid, or sludge waste that poses substantial properties that are a threat or potentially dangerous to public health and the environment.
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Characteristics of Hazardous waste
Wastes that are Capable of causing a fire or burning easily, a very reactive substance that is able to explode or produce toxic gas, corrosive waste that is able to corrode other substances like steel, and finally toxic substance that contains poisonous materials.
Sources of hazardous wastes
Hazardous wastes are usually the by-products of human activities that are substantial to cause harm to human health and the environment if not properly managed and disposed of (Ashley, pg 89).
Industries generate Hazardous wastes or use products from hazardous waste generating industries. Many industries produce crude waste and dump hazardous waste chemicals into nearby water bodies. Chemicals used for the industrial production processes frequently generate dangerous forms of hazardous wastes.
Agricultural activities generate hazardous wastes such as herbicides and pesticides and the materials used in their use. Fluoride wastes are generated in the phosphate fertilizer production process. Soluble nitrates from manure dissolve into groundwater and pollute drinking water.
Household hazardous wastes are generated from the use of caustic cleaners, drugs, toxic paints, toxic batteries, flammable solvents, and pesticides. Renovations of the older building may cause poisonous lead paint to chip off from the walls. Insulation objects on furnace pipes may contain toxic asbestos particles, which when inhaled cause cancer and lung disease.
Health impacts of hazardous wastes
Expose to hazardous wastes cause respiratory system complication such as chest discomfort, wheezing, shortness of breath, coughs and persistent colds, in addition, constitutional complaints about example fatigued and bowel dysfunction. Furthermore, hazardous wastes can lead to irregular heartbeat in the exposed group. Hazardous wastes are known also to cause several forms of cancerous complications (Brinkley, pg 55).
General public health concerns of hazardous wastes
Every year, main public health problems result from hazardous waste generation. Increasing volumes of hazardous waste generated have to lead to increasing public health problems.
Insufficient research on hazardous wastes has been done to provide data on the public health effects of every hazardous chemical. Hazardous waste chemicals often mix up together, it is also necessary to find out how combinations of these hazardous chemicals affect human health and the environment.
Every day humans produce hazardous waste that is discarded in the environment. These hazardous wastes are dangerous to both environment and human beings.
The levels of detrimental effects of hazardous wastes keep on growing up. The Industries and general public continue to be largely unaware of these major human health and environmental problems.
As a result, many citizens and industries are failing to control and prevent the generation and creation of hazardous waste or to limit the harmful effects it produces.
People often throw out hazardous wastes without realizing that they are heading into a landfill where they find their way into the groundwater, and in the end into our bodies, and hence could be risky for the general public and the environment.
It is very difficult to decrease the production of hazardous waste in the future. Unlike many other major environmental health problems, waste generation is something the public does not often think about. In the future, the public may have to lessen not only their creation of hazardous waste but also their utilization of many hazardous products that are dumped in landfills. (Dwain, 107).
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Alleviation measures to manage the production of dangerous wastes
Air pollution and several other environmental health problems caused by hazardous wastes can be restricted by input and output controls measures.
The government can augment regulations on the discarding of hazardous waste to ensure that environmental health problems are controlled. The amounts of waste generated by industries should be restricted and the government should provide incentives to create less waste.
After hazardous wastes have been generated. Hazardous wastes generators should break down hazardous chemical compounds into less hazardous forms, or stock up hazardous waste in ways that protect the general public and the environment from being exposed to hazardous waste materials (Tsongas, pg 69).
The public also is part of the solution by not buying those goods which require the generation of hazardous waste, they must be part of the policymakers and generate a lesser amount of hazardous waste.
Hazardous wastes materials pose a greater threat to public health and the environment and hence require stricter control measures. Hazardous wastes need to be controlled starting from the waste production, to the final dumping or recovery process. In addition, high attention is necessary when different types of hazardous wastes are mixed with other hazardous wastes or with nontoxic wastes hence preventing risks for human health and the environment. Furthermore permit exemption granted to installations dealing with hazardous wastes should be regulated (Burse, pg 87).
All over the world, hundreds of billions of tons of harmful waste are generated annually. Rather than cleaning up or storing hazardous waste more carefully, one technique of lessening the hazardous waste production is to simply stop generating so much of it.
Reif Burse, Public health aspects of hazardous wastes. New York: pocket, 1989.
Ashley W., Toxic volatile organic compounds. Boston: McGraw-Hill, 1996.
Tsongas Stern, Human exposure to hazardous wastes biomarkers. Washington: Environmental Health publishers. 1993.
Dwain, Zet. Treatment procedures of hazardous wastes And Public Health concerns. Miami: American Welding Publishers 1999.
Brinkley, Yan. Environmental Health: Impact of Hazardous Wastes. USA: Knopf, 1999.