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Things You Don't Want to Hear About Hazardous Waste Management

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Hazardous waste is a self-destructive element that humans bring upon themselves by its improper management. Improper hazardous waste management causes damage to the environment and all living beings. Impact of damage from hazardous waste can be seen in both short and long term. So, its proper management is essential to preserve the every aspect of living form and climate of the planet. Before understanding the harmful effects of improper management of hazardous waste we should understand what Hazardous waste is. Any waste having characteristics such as physical, chemical, biological, reactive, toxic, flammable, corrosive or explosive, can dangerously effect environment or health. It can be household garbage like cleaning solutions, batteries, non-biodegradable plastics to chemical waste and materials left over from manufacturing. Government have legislated rules regarding proper management of hazardous waste and has done every effort possible to spread awareness regarding hazardous waste management. We might have come a long way towards efficient management of hazardous waste but yet it is not enough to save the environment from being polluted by improper waste management. We might not see it, but it is definitely causing pollution and damage to the extent that if adequate steps are not taken in the present times, it would become inevitable to deal with. Hazardous waste has been causing damage to the environment by way of

Soil Contamination:

Ideally we need our waste to end up in a recycling facility but the reality is a bit different and we contaminate our soil by spilling and burying waste in the soil which leads to soil pollution, directly or indirectly affecting the environment. Soil contamination already is one of the concerns for a better tomorrow and hazardous waste piling on such contamination could make it invincible if not taken proper caution regarding hazardous waste management. Hazardous waste littered on ground mix up with soil and leads to soil pollution. Even the green lands are nowadays seen littered in garbage which should be an alarm to understand the effects of hazardous waste.

Water Pollution:

Water pollution is the main danger in the short term as water being an excellent solvent may contain numerous chemicals, moving through water can pick up pollution along the way or chemicals that get poured into our waterways makes rivers, streams, lakes, ponds and aquifers inadequate to be used for agricultural purposes or even drinking. Rainfall when mixed with toxic liquid substance and seep into water stream ending up in nearby water bodies contribute in water pollution. Such water would make the plants and animals sicken and die, they be drinking or using that polluted water. Humans in downstream area would also be affected by such pollution. Water is life, without water life isn’t possible. And without proper management of hazardous waste, we are contributing to the water pollution.

Global Warming:

Hazardous waste leads to the pollution of air that causes depletion of ozone layer. When we talk about ozone layer, it makes us feel hopeless for being unable to make changes to protect it from being depleted. Global warming is a precedent future of the human life keeping in regards human activities and this practise of hazardous waste add to such activities. Global warming is certain if humans did not stop themselves from littering garbage. Primary business and secondary waste treatment plants help in mitigation of pollution as emissions are poured into air every single day. This process destroys the ozone, as a result Earth is warmed allowing the Hazardous waste to harm the environment by wrecking more fragile ecosystems causing much more damage.

Human health:

Bodily fluid is another hazardous waste that get improper management and because of which it is now a reason to worry for the spreading of human diseases. Chemical combinations, like mercury and lead pose risk to humans especially in the developing children as they accumulate in tissues and can cause cancer, seizures or death. Fires in the landfills affects us a lot. Be it from the air or its accumulation in the cellars, these gases from landfills are exposed for causing deadly diseases like cancer, respiratory and visibility problems. Hazardous waste contribute in many ways which are disastrous for the health of humans and environment as well.

Another reason to worry for is the long term effects of hazardous waste management which includes signs of mutation in animals, garbage in our waterways and green space, natural resources are destructed, spread of dangerous diseases and cancer in humans. Not only humans but insects are being affected by improper management of hazardous waste. Insects like bees, plays a crucial role in ecosystem helping with the fertility of plants. But are becoming a victim of the human pollution and are dying off faster than they can repopulate.

Moreover, if we come in contact with any such waste, it would cause skin irritation or blood infection. Flies after breeding on solid waste become carriers of illness. Abundance of disease-carrying pests, makes difficulty for waste management facilities to be vigilant. Rats are one of the biggest problems for the facilities like these as well as humans, because rats prey on such waste and carry infections to the humans like Hantavirus.      

Marine Life:

Strict measures have been implemented to prohibit improper management of hazardous waste but instead the dumping of garbage, raw or untreated sewage continues, making it hard for the animals and marine life coming in contact with it, impacting their life in worst ways. Marine life such as coral and fish are in danger with the inevitable formation of algal bloom and contamination of clusters. Every species is important for the ecosystem but activities like improper waste management causes lot of damage to the ecosystem in many ways and affecting the marine life is one of the damage hazardous waste does, which should be a concern.

Climate change:

While decomposing waste, harmful greenhouse gases are created which rise up to the atmosphere and trap heat causing extreme weather reactions such as storms and typhoons. Moreover, it also affects precipitation levels in the air, acid rain, global warming or severe hail storms. Not instantly but with slow progress, hazardous waste would be a impacting the climate negatively. It is rightly said, “Don’t play with the mother Earth because you won’t be able to handle the consequences if it started playing with you”. It is about time we understand the saying and take hazardous waste seriously or else we soon will be regretting the time we did nothing to prevent such harm.

For the purpose of hazardous waste management, recycling is the key. All hazardous waste must be recycled before it starts polluting the environment. Countries did put their concerns in the effective management of hazardous waste and in lieu of that recycling facilities were made and government implemented rules regarding hazardous waste management. But we have to implement such waste management as our responsibility as we are the ones to benefit from it or suffer from it. Everyone on this planet must serve for the preservation of this planet as long as life inhabits on it, irrespective of their social or economic condition everyone should be educated about this waste management.

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Author
Sanya Arora
Highly motivated and innovative Environment MS graduate, highly effective at developing creative content and writing persuasive legal briefs. Expertise in writing E-waste, recycling, EPR, legal compliances articles, blogs, press releases and whitepapers etc. Excellent command over English Language with natural flair for writing. Excellent analytical skills and structured thinking capability.