Why is correct waste management important?
Humans produce around 400 million tons of hazardous waste annually – almost 13 tons a second. The average person creates 60 kg of hazardous waste every year.
Hazardous waste poses a serious threat to humans and the environment. Incorrect disposal can lead to dangerous chemicals and toxins entering and contaminating groundwater supplies. This can cause illness and disease and also harm wildlife and ecosystems.
Hazardous waste can harm human health
Hazardous waste has the potential to contaminate our water, soil and air supply, leading to serious consequences for us and everyone on the planet. Exposure to hazardous waste can cause a wide variety of health issues, ranging from minor skin irritation to deadly diseases.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) warns that hazardous substances can cause severe health effects, including:
- Behavioural abnormalities
- Physical deformations
- Genetic mutations
- Birth defects
Hazardous waste must be disposed of correctly to protect workers and the general public against these serious health risks.
Hazardous waste can harm the environment
Hazardous waste can have a devastating impact on the environment, especially if it enters groundwater sources. Toxins may kill animals and organisms in rivers, destroy entire species of plants, or cause serious reproductive issues in contaminated areas.