In this assignment we will learn how to deal with the toxic and hazardous waste, management and disposal. There are basically five terms to be discussed:
DEEP WELL DISPOSAL
Waste may be defined as something solid, liquid or gas which we no longer consider to be fit for use or which is no longer able to full fill its initial purpose of creating or manufacturing. For example, we have prepared food for eating, after serving its initial purpose the leftover food is now a waste and should be disposed off.
Toxic, literally means, something of poisonous nature, which could prove fatal for life or having other dangers. For example lead used in paint if toxic nature, fumes and waste water coming out of a chemical factory is toxic in nature.
Hazardous means things which have some hazardous or dangerous property and could prove fatal for health and life, having that power to produce harm for the society; they could possess properties like Ignitability, toxicity, corrosiveness and reactivity, they are solid, liquid or gas and are 'dangerous or potentially harmful to human health or the environment'. (US EPA 2009)
Management of hazardous things should be done in order to safeguarding the society from its harmful effects by adopting some measures of disposal of hazardous material, thereby, decreasing the harmful effects to the environment.
Disposal means the adapted measures for treating the hazardous materials, such as dumping, landfill, energy recovery, etc.
Achieving a perfect model of the society by zeroing the landfills with hazardous waste, thereby, minimizing the harmful effect to the society; spreading awareness among the masses that it is true that for development industries are its backbone but it is the dark side of industrialization that it emerges out hazardous wastes which are harmful for the society and create health issues.
We can attain the sustainable development by adopting three measures which can considerably lower the harm a hazardous waste can cause, they are '
Reducing the use of those materials which are causing danger to the environment and should encourage the use of eco friendly goods, in order to safe guard the society by reducing the pollution creating elements.
Re-using the same goods in industries and at personal level we can minimize the harm we are thereby causing it by emerging the quality of environment deteriorating substances, for example, there is an element A which when disposed off causes polluting and harm to the environment, we can re use it lessen the effect caused. (Basel 2010)
Re-cycling is another very good practice of disposing of things in such a manner that we can use it in another form, for example, polythene bags can be recycled to produce another lot from them, news paper can be recycled to produce paper bags, e-waste can be recycled to make some kinds of decorative items, etc. (US EPA 2013)
HAZARDOUS WASTE LANDFILLS
Hazardous wastes are having that potential which can cause harm to the society and is dangerous for human health, many of them when released in the atmosphere can cause cancer and birth defects.
Hazardous waste areas are the most dangerous areas spread in around 10,000 places all over New England. Many of the towns have lost their natural water drinking due to toxic elements; these hazardous sites are there because hundred of years ago no one pays heed to the industrial wastes that pollute the area and it goes on and on through years and most of the places are still practicing it illegally. Gas Station whose storage tank is under ground has contaminated water and river with hazardous and toxic waste.
Environmental Problems: The hazardous waste which is dumped under the ground or has subjected to its exposure in the atmosphere without its treatment can cause serious degradation to the environment whether it is a petroleum or chemical waste, they can spread as long as they remain there, contaminating river water, soil and cause harm to the living creatures.
Public Health Problem: The hazardous waste causes contamination of drinking water which causes several diseases in humans, children are develop with leukemia, the waste which got buried in the ground whenever come in contact with the skin, due to its chemical hazardous nature causes burn and other ailments. The toxic waste which is used as a landfill in the areas and when a building is built on it, develop a kind of respiratory problems in the human beings. There are several houses in the New England which are contaminated by these wastes and they always require the services of agencies to purify their homes.
Polluters try overlook their responsibility: The persons who are responsible for creating havoc of Hazardous and toxic waste often avoid their responsibility just because of the cost incurred in the process they try escape from the charges of cleanup this waste, in turn, they causes harm for the society. Though, the government has set up laws to roll back any kind of tax levied on the chemicals used for treating the hazardous waste, still the polluters avoid it to make more money illegally, without following the laws and regulations.
Brownfield: These are the places where the industrial waste is usually dumped. Initially, these places were having digs and pits which got filled up with the wastes put in it, so the industrialists, school, residential builders try to build over it. As per regulations industries and commercial factories are safer to build over these fields in this way minimizing the reach of children to these places as they are more vulnerable to ailments and diseases. (Toxics Action Centre, 1987)
Characteristics of Hazardous Wastes-
Flammability is one of its characteristic which means it can catch fire at relatively low temperature, a material is consider to be hazardous if it is flammable at low temperatures like at 60'' C or 140 '' F.
Toxicity which are of poisonous in nature and may prove fatal and deteriorates health if consumed by a living being for example, pesticides, insecticides, poisons, etc.
Corrosiveness is another property of hazardous material or waste, corrosive means it can corrode or deteriorate the metal or thing which came in contact with it, any item is potentially hazardous if it is corrosive in nature means having its pH scale lower than or equal to 2 and higher than or equal to 12.5.
Reactivity is the other property of hazardous waste. It can react with air to burn, or it is radio active, or it oxidizes with the material it came in contact with. (EHS, 2011)
All these properties solely or in combination are harmful for health and environment having their serious effect. Hazardous waste industries or premises result in many disorders in health and environment. They are the result of our exploitation of nature. They are:
1. Chemical Exposure: Many hazardous waste sites have chemicals in solid, liquid, or in gaseous form, they can enter the body through a cut in a skin, inhalation of chemical fumes, accidentally drinking of chemical or though forceful injection of chemical, for example, if we fall on a sharp edged solid chemical and it got pierced in our skin, thereby, injecting its fatal effects.
Chemical exposure could be acute or chronic, acute means exposure to hazardous chemical in large quantity for a smaller period and the chemical can affects the body immediately or it is chronic which means relatively low quantity of chemical is exposed to the body for a long time.
The effect of chemical exposure could be for shorter duration and the body could recover soon or it is permanent in nature that the body could not recover it.
The exposure of chemical hazardous things to the skin causes burns, irritation, etc, the inhaled fumes can cause harm to the lungs and if it is not causing any harm to the lungs the inhaled chemical then passes through the lungs to the bloodstreams and then causing any harm to the body.
2. Explosion and fire: At any hazardous site explosion and fire may broke out at any time automatically, which is dangerous at all levels, causing serious burns and life threat. Possible causes of fire broke out may be incompatible mixing of chemicals, fire and explosion due to friction in flammable objects and liquid container.
This kind of situation absorbs oxygen of the premises and therefore causes respiration problems; the flying object due to explosion may hit any body injuring him.
3. Oxygen deficiency: The gas release in a hazardous waste site can cause removal of oxygen and these gases taking its place there, naturally there is 21% oxygen present in the air, if it got lowers somehow will affect the working of human beings as their coordination, visuals, concentration got affected by the deficiency of oxygen.
Hazardous waste of chemical and their fumes causes such kind of situation in the atmosphere.
4. Ionizing radiation: Many radioactive waste of hazardous nature emits rays of alpha, beta and gamma; these rays can penetrate the clothes of the workers working over there, and can cause damage which is irreversible, harm to the blood system and damage to the tissues.
5. Biological Hazards: Biological wastes from the hospital have potentially hazardous nature because waste thus generated in the hospital like blood, puss, cotton, bandage, and may cause infections and other chronic diseases.
Thus we can say those hazardous waste sites if not managed effectively can cause:
' Threat to life and health.
' Diseases to workers which could be identifiable or not.
' Chemical reaction causing fire and explosion at site. (NIOSH & OSHA, 1985)
Solutions and Measures:
For the enormous amount of hazardous waste generated by the industries thus requirement for its disposal arises and it is carried out by various methods as shown '
Open Dumping of hazardous waste: In this kind of disposal the waste is dumped in a dig out land, this is the most practiced way of dumping waste into the ground, though is very dangerous for land as it pollutes the land and vegetation, and cause pollution, many nations around the world put a banned on this kind of disposal still, out of legal eyes, it is practiced at a large scale.
Ocean Dumping of hazardous waste: Ocean dumping is another way of disposing hazardous waste into the Oceans and sea, every year, tones of waste is dumped into the ocean, the concerned persons claims that there is no harm in dumping the waste on to deep ocean bed still ocean dumping is not the right way because the hazardous and toxic waste cause threat to the marine life.
Landfill with hazardous waste: It is another way of dumping the waste by filing the waste in land and covers it by another layer of dirt and soil, though this kind of disposal is least responsible for pollution still it pollutes the land, and cause threat to life and health of living creatures.
Exporting hazardous waste: Many industries based developed countries export their hazardous waste to less developed countries, on one hand they get rid of their hazardous waste, on the other hand they create risk to the lives of inhabitants of that less develop country, where people in need of mere money put their lives in danger, as this hazardous and toxic waste can cause serious illness or death. Many countries around the world has now stopped exporting their hazardous waste to less developed countries still illegally is being done proving fatal for many lives around the globe.
Incineration: It is a process in this waste is burnt in order to produce heat energy which in turn produces power; this is the way of recycling the waste, but incineration process done with hazardous waste is quite dangerous as poisonous gases may release, and there may be a fire broke out or any explosion take place, therefore it should be carried out in controlled environment, with proper supervision.
De-manufacturing: This is the process in which the products which are discarded by the users are separated by opening it, separation of toxic items and other items which can be re-cycled to produce other goods. Discarded appliances like Refrigerators, Computers, and DVD players are dissembled to separate out hazardous things out of them and remaining items are re-cycled.
Re-use: Reusing of waste items in their current for form is economical way of waste management.
Less production of waste: The best and foremost way of treating the hazardous and toxic waste is to produce the minimum of waste and in turn we need not to worry about its disposal and its harmful effect on the environment. (Miami University, 2013)
Hazardous Waste is mostly produced by chemical and petroleum industries which are the byproduct of the useful goods, most hazardous wastes are converted now days to non-hazardous form before disposing of but what creates the serious issue is the hazardous waste that enters the environment and thus pollutes it.
' The most economic and ideal way to deal with hazardous waste to less producing it. The industries are now put under the regulations of following the norms and produce as less possible waste.
' Recycling and reusing are the two better ways of dealing with the hazardous waste and to get rid of it too.
' Measures should be taken to covert hazardous waste to non hazardous by either physical or chemical way of treating it, before disposing it off. So that their toxicity to the environment should not cause any kind of harm. Incinerators should also be used to deal with such hazardous waste.
' Some biological methods should also be adopted where micro-organisms detoxify the waste.
' Special kinds of containers should be kept in the premises where the hazardous waste is produced and it could be collected and retrieved, without throwing here and there and causing trouble to the society and then they must be kept permanently like in a cavern or deserted mine, etc.
' The hazardous waste may be disposed of in safe landfills, exclusively built for the purpose of dumping hazardous and toxic waste.
Ideas to deal with toxic and hazardous waste:
In order to deal with the toxic and hazardous waste, their sites of production should be monitored and strict regulation should be followed to minimize their production and safe disposing, a check should be there on petroleum and chemical industries. Chemical items should be replaced with their herbal substitutes; use of natural goods should also be encouraged. (US EPA 2013)
1. Toxic use reduction ' Industries must reduce their chemical production and should encourage bio-accumulative toxins, they reduce the negative effect of chemicals by reducing their toxicity and hence, producing less toxic waste and less harm to the environment, instead we should use biological produced goods and medicine, chemically produced goods have toxic effect whereas biological produced are natural and without any harmful effect.
2. Polluters should pay - Though government is trying to reduce the production of harmful chemical which causes hazardous waste, instead many violators still pollutes the environment, they should be imposed of fines and charges should be levied to bear the expenses of clean ups and detoxifying the hazardous wastes.
3. Promptness in cleanups and precaution standards ' The site of the production of hazardous waste should be cleaned as soon as it is littered with it so that no human being should come in contact with it. Precautionary standards should be followed there to keep the toxic and hazardous wastes out of the reach of common people.
4. Citizen should feel their responsibility ' The Citizens of a country should feel their responsibility to dispose off their house hold toxic wastes in such a way that it do not pollutes the environment and they shall be provided with the government's standards and should be trained well, so that they can deal with the hazardous and toxic waste efficiently. After all citizens are the maker of any country, if they feel their responsibility, no harm can cause to the environment.
5. Cleaning should be permanent ' The cleaning thus carried on must be done of a permanent nature and not of temporary as it will not last long. The hazardous waste and toxic should be treated properly and not just put into a dig and covered with crap as it is not of a permanent nature and could be reversed and contaminate the environment.
6. The hazardous waste should be throw away into the outer space ' The availability of proper land to deal with toxic and hazardous waste is scarce, the landfills are less, therefore, whatever hazardous we are left with should be throw away into the outer space, where it will not be a health hazard and it will not pollute the environment either, e-waste comprising of computer parts, televisions, DVD players, and harmful chemicals and toxins, like lead, non-biodegradable wastes like polythene bags and other plastic bags should also be disposed off into the outer space.
Industries which deals in chemicals and petroleum industries produce produces waste which is toxic and hazardous nature and can not be disposed off like regular wastes like dumping in land, dumping in ocean, large land fill, etc, because of their hazardous nature of toxicity, corrosive, flammable and radio active, in that case if we dispose them off they will create threat to the health of living beings like plants, wild life, marine life, and human beings, and they also deteriorate the environment.
Prolong exposure of these hazardous and toxic waste can contaminate land, water and air, which in turn can cause several diseases in human beings.
Measures are taken at international level to reduce the movement of hazardous waste between countries; several norms are also introduced for that.
Physical, chemical and biological procedures are also there to reduce the toxic nature of the waste so that while disposing it, no harm shall arise.
Now days better management of refuse landfills in comparison to earlier times, is required because of the increasing trend of co-disposing of wastes, which means hazardous waste is disposed off with normal wastes on these landfills, which is already treated on plants to reduce the toxicity of it. (US EPA 2013)
DEALING WITH HAZARDOUS WASTE
' Basel Publications, 2010 'Environmentally Sound Management'. [online] Available at: <http://www.basel.int/> [Accessed 25 February 2014]
' EHS, 2011 'Hazardous Material Definitions'.[online] Available at:<http://ehs.utah.edu/research-safety/chemical-safety/hazardous-materials-and-waste/hazardous-materials-definitions> [Accessed 1 March 2014]
' Miami University, 2013 'Solid, Toxic and Hazardous Waste'. [online] Available at: <http://zoology.muohio.edu/oris/cunn06/cs6_23.htm> [Accessed 1 March 2014]
' NIOSH & OSHA, 1985 'Occupational Safety and Health Guidance Manual For Hazardous Waste Site Activities'.[online] Available at: <https://www.osha.gov/Publications/complinks/OSHG-HazWaste/all-in-one.pdf> [Accessed 1 March 2014]
' Toxics Action Centre, 1987 'ORGANIZING WITH RESIDENTS TO CLEAN UP AND PREVENT POLLUTION IN NEW ENGLAND SINCE 1987'.[online] Available at: <http://www.toxicsaction.org/problems-and-solutions/hazardous-waste-sites> [Accessed 2 March 2014]
' US EPA, 2009 'Hazardous Waste'.[online] Available at: <http://www.epa.gov/epawaste> [Accessed 2 March, 2014]
' US EPA, 2013 'Sustainable Practices Science'.[online] Available at: <http://www2.epa.gov/science-and-technology/sustainable-practices-science> [Accessed 28February 2014]
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