How Hazardous Materials and Waste Affect the Environment

In developed nations, toxic waste is being disposed of by the tons every single day. Toxic waste includes everything from a plastic candy wrapper to waste products from radioactive materials. If steps are not taken soon, toxic waste will cause irreversible damage to the world’s ecosystem. It will also have a devastating impact on the world’s economy.

Recycling Lead and Acid Batteries

Rechargeable batteries are made from lead plates and sulfuric acid. And while using rechargeable batteries do minimize the number of disposable batteries that are created as well as the solid waste they produce, rechargeable batteries have a higher level of toxins. So when they are disposed of incorrectly, they pollute the water and contaminate the soil.

Mercury and Lead Production from Mining

The mining industry is essential to modern life. However, it is estimated that annually more than two million individuals are affected by the byproducts of mining and processing ore. This process releases hazardous chemicals like lead, arsenic, and mercury into the air and water supply.

Mining for Coal

Mining for coal has been around for centuries, and it is consistently releasing high levels of mercury into the air. Mercury damages the human brain and nervous system and can lead to birth defects when pregnant women come in contact with it. Coal mining also releases high levels of sulfur dioxide into the air, which can lead to lung cancer and bronchitis.

chromium pollution

Pesticide Pollution

Pesticides are used to destroy pests that attack agriculture. It is estimated that annually more than 200 million metric tons of pesticides are used around the world. This means that millions of tons of poison are being introduced into the food supply, soil supply, and water supply.

Arsenic in Groundwater

It is estimated that more than 750,000 people, the majority of which live in Asia, are dealing with water that is contaminated by arsenic. Drinking contaminated water of this sort will lead to blood vessel damage, cancer, as well as other ill effects.

Chromium Pollution

Chromium pollution is something that many occupational health professionals are concerned about. Pollution from chromium affects large numbers of individuals who work in factories where dye is used to color material. In extreme cases, exposure to Cr IV Chromium can be toxic and can lead to fatalities. If you are interested in improving workplace safety, consider getting a master’s in occupational health and safety.

Synthetic chemicals that are released into the environment are having a negative impact on the water, the land, and the air around our planet. Controlling these pollutants is in the best interest of all since it will impact the future of the planet and of those who live on it.

Pix via 1 & 2                                                Anita Ginsburg, the author of this post, is a freelance writer from Devner, CO.


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