Importance of Waste Management Practices and Their Impact on Human Health
Waste refers to controlled and non controlled waste generated from households, commercial organizations, and construction and remodeling facilities. Waste items emit a large number of substances in small and extremely low levels. When dumped in the landfills they generate a series of toxic fumes and gases that cause air pollution.
The generation of waste and the process of waste management are important to the health of the public. In most developed countries, waste management has been tightly regulated. The process of waste management has been streamlined, and includes the generation, collection, processing, transport and disposal of waste materials. The major methods of waste management are recycling, composting, sewage treatment, incineration and landfill. Below are the impacts of waste management practices on human health;
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- Birth defects and reproductive disorders; researchers have extensively researched on the effects of landfill sites and found out they cause a number of disorders to infants. Landfills can cause low birth weight, infant mortality, spontaneous abortion and birth defects. The accumulation of waste in a landfill for a long period of time causes the waste to decay and pollute the air. A resident living near or around landfills breaths in the stench which later affects their health. The immune system of an infant is not as strong as that of an adult.
- Cancer; it has been proven that there is an increased frequency of cancer in landfills containing hazardous waste. E-waste products bring about gastrointestinal, esophageal, stomach, colon and rectal cancer. These cancer cells are brought about by the emission of radioactive materials from old mobile phones, old mobile phone batters disposed of wrongly, etc..
- Chest pains; people living near incinerators are exposed to the toxic fumes and smoke. The pollutants associated with incineration are particles, acidic gases, aerosols, metals and organic compounds.
Landfills and incinerations have had a huge negative impact on health. Waste management seeks to eradicate these potential problems.
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