Medical Waste Pollution

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Have you ever wondered about why the air is so bad? Big cities across the world are experiencing drastically poor air quality. The reasons for this are plentiful and the overall hazards which accompany it are frightening. The incineration, or burning, of medical waste has been a major contributor to the current debilitated state of air quality. Unfortunately, society has not been sufficiently cultured on the causes and effects of medical waste pollution. I feel it is imperative that the Earth’s inhabitants become aware of this hazardous waste disposal and arm themselves with education.

When products of any type are broken down, the chemicals witch make up those items are released. The disposal of medical waste contaminated with communicable disease agents, such as HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis B, is becoming a growing concern here in America (Johnson, 1). When medical waste is disposed of, the air becomes saturated with harmful chemicals such as arsenic, lead, copper, and dangerous compounds known as dioxins (Waste 149). Dioxins, or chlorinated dioxins, are really badly toxic substances which affect both humans and animals when released into the Earth’s atmosphere. The effects of these dioxins have been witnessed in animals and also humans. According to an article by scientist Rachel Cohn, a suppressed immune system, birth defects, and death have all been seen in animals exposed to dioxins (Rachel). “Human exposure to dioxins has been found to cause liver damage, as well as risks for developing forms of cancer.” (Rachel). A highly toxic metal known as cadmium is also a run off of medical waste disposal. This waste product is severely harmful to humans as it has been reported to affect liver, kidney, and cardiovascular functioning. Cad...

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...lines and pillow cases, as long as they are free of blood, can be recycled without being medical waste. This simple act would assist in decreasing the amount of scrap taken to waste incinerators and in turn, the amount of toxins released into the environment.

Pollution is everywhere in this day and age. Due to the practice of medical waste incineration, that pollution is in the air, it’s in the water, and when it comes down to it, it is in our bodies. While it may not be possible to erase the damage that has been caused to the environment, or to cure the illnesses of those affected by it, it is possible to work towards revolutionizing the current manner in which things are done. The air pollution caused by medical waste incineration can be reduced, and with this, the amount of dangerous toxins being released in to the environment can be significantly decreased.

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