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Environmental Hazards and Human Health Expository Essay

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Updated: Jul 8th, 2019

This paper is aimed at examining the disposal of waste and the environmental hazards that are associated with this process. In particular, it is necessary to examine the evolution of the techniques that are used by people in order to utilize unwanted materials or goods.

For instance, one can compare open dumps with modern landfills. The main issue is that currently, people take extra precautions to reduce the pollution of soil, water, and air.

An open dump can be described as an unsupervised or abandoned debris or garbage. In this case, the waste is not covered or compacted in any way. It can include various types of unwanted products or materials such as bottles, glass, plastics, light bulbs, spray cans, and so forth. The main problem is that these dumps contain hazardous materials that pose a threat to the health of people and environment.

Much attention should be paid to paints, fluorescent tubes, lithium batteries, or other materials should be utilized according to specific rules since they are very toxic (Pawlowski, 2008, p. 10). They can lead the pollution of soil, air, and water. These are the main risks that should be considered.

In turn, one should speak about early landfills. In many cases, they were just open trenches in which garbage was piled and sometimes covered. Overall, early landfills began to appear at the beginning of the twentieth century when various countries passed through a period of industrial development (Vaughn, 2009, p. 12). For instance, one can speak about the growth of automotive industry.

Early landfills are associated with several risks. First of all, one can speak about leachate or the liquid which contains contaminants (Bagchi, 2004, p. 263). As a rule, this liquid is formed as a result of leaching. Apart from that, the decomposition of organic materials leads to the generation of gases such as methane.

This is why early landfills often caught fire. Furthermore, it is important to remember that some materials cannot decompose entirely, for instance, one can mention plastics. In some cases, this process of the decomposition is very time-consuming. Finally, the places for early landfills could be poorly selected. In many cases, they could simply destroy the landscape.

Apart from, one can speak about modern landfills. They have the following characteristics:

  1. covering and compacting of wastes;
  2. safeguards that protect the groundwater;
  3. the technologies that collect lechates (Reddy, 2011). These tools were applied when early landfills were settled.

There are several improvements that can be identified. The places for modern landfills are carefully selected. For example, they cannot be located on wetlands. Moreover, they do not pose a significant threat to the environment.

In order to illustrate these improvements, one should look at a specific example of a landfill. In particular, one can discuss the Paento Hills. For instance, it contains a gas-energy facility that generates the power for approximately 70,000 homes (The Sanitation Districts, 2012). Furthermore, people, who operate this landfill, pay close attention to the separation of waste (The Sanitation Districts, 2012). T

hey focus on the identification of the materials that can be hazardous. Moreover, there are two recycling centers that are necessary for the utilization of materials that decompose very slowly. Furthermore, they carry out regular assessments of soil and water.

Overall, this discussion suggest that in the course of history, the disposal of waste has become more eco-friendly. To a great extent, people have become more aware about the threats associated with the disposal or storage of unwanted goods or materials.

Reference List

Bagchi, A. (2004). Design of Landfills and Integrated Solid Waste Management. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.

Pawlowski, M. (2008). Management of Pollutant Emission from Landfills and Sludge. New York, NY: Taylor & Francis.

Reddy, P. (2011). Municipal Solid Waste Management: Processing – Energy Recovery – Global Examples. New York, NY: CRC Press.

The Sanitation Districts. (2012). . Web.

Vaughn, J. (2009). Waste Management: A Reference Handbook. Boston, MA: ABC- CLIO.

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