Hazardous Wastes: What Happens to Them When Burned?


There are many ways to dispose hazardous wastes and some opt to burn them instead of throwing them to the garbage can. Truth is, different hazardous wastes require specific types of disposal. Hazardous wastes in hospitals for example need proper medical hazardous waste disposal and industrial wastes on the other hand must be disposed by other means.

Photo of Hazardous Wastes: What Happens to Them When Burned? 1/1 by Carl Turner

Today, there are waste incineration facilities that burn hazardous wastes so they won't file up in many landfills. However, one has to consider the smoke fumes that come along with the process, adding to the current air pollution that we are facing. Burning creates ashes which in turn float to the air. This carries particulate matter and exudates that come from dioxins, heavy metals and toxic gases. If not addressed accordingly, they can get beyond tolerable levels, which can be harmful to humans. Though incinerators are claimed to be safe, one cannot just ignore the illnesses that results from them. Among these are reproductive disorders, cancer, birth defects as well as neurological damages. Anyone living near the incinerator has the risks of getting any of the above mentioned illnesses.

China serves as an example of country that resorts to burning in disposing their toxic wastes. In fact, coal burning is their main source of energy supply. And this resulted to a fog filled environment. If you check out the statistics, China ranks the first when it comes to air pollution related illnesses and deaths. There are more than twenty millions of their children who have contacted respiratory illnesses. Seventy percent of them had their illnesses since they are triggered by allergic reactions that may come from the air.

The greatest flaws seen in incineration are the environmental issue that arises from burning. This is the greenhouse gas release that adds up to global warming. We know that this problem can be unstoppable because of the world's industrialization. However, everyone must at least find ways to slow down its progress. And one perfect solution for this is by proper hazardous waste disposal and not through burning or incineration. You can read more about it online. Sometimes, hazardous wastes already exist in our residential area even before you transferred to your home. One example for this is Pennsylvania in New Jersey as well as in New York. It was discovered that radioactive elements were buried in these places even before they have been converted as residential areas. This caused emission of toxic radon gases to the homes erected on these places. This explained why there are high incidences of asthma and lung cancer in these places and in areas around them. The good news is; the government addressed the issue right away to ensure safety of its residents.

On the other hand, hazardous wastes serve as threat to human health and survival. That is why necessary precautions need to be done in handing and disposing them. As you learn and read more details about hazardous wastes, you will ultimately find ways how to dispose them right.

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