Hazardous Waste Affecting Our Community

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Each year, five hundred thirty thousand tons of hazardous waste are disposed of in the United States alone. Most houses, with an average of four people, produce about twenty pounds of this waste (Solid). Hazardous waste is special because it is harmful and very dangerous. It is deemed hazardous if it contains one or more carcinogenic, mutagenic, or teratogenic compounds. This means that they are either cancer causing, capable of damaging our DNA, or can interfere with human fetal development. They are either flammable, may explode, may release toxic fumes, or may break down metal containers that would hold normal waste (Garbage). It is illegal to dispose of hazardous waste incorrectly, however, many humans do regardless. Batteries, e-waste from old computers and electronics, cleaners, solvents, antifreeze, oil-based paints, and thinners are examples of household hazardous waste that is often disposed improperly (Garbage).There are governmental regulations that work to prevent improper disposal and encourage the cleanup of improperly disposed waste. The EPA has the power to manage hazardous waste and how it is disposed of including superfund sites. A Superfund site is a declared site that has been used as a hazardous waste disposal area, and has high toxicity levels. Within the superfund, there is the NPL, the National Priorities list, that has the most toxic sites, lots of times located in family neighborhoods and communities. The main reason for the NPL is to cleanup the most dangerous cases as soon as possible, but why? Hazardous waste must be controlled because it is impacting our communities’ health, economies, and quality of life.

Hazardous waste is impacting health in communities. Hazardous waste contains many toxins such...

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