Environmental Health
Environmental Health
Improper disposal of trash is damping household waste in unapproved areas, illegal
burning and dumping, as well as littering. Household waste includes all corrosive, toxic and
highly flammable materials. In addition, abandoned dish washers, dry cleaners and refrigerators
can be considered as waste. It is estimated that average homes accumulate over ninety pounds of
household waste. Littering is discarding of trash carelessly by either humans or animals that dig
into trash in search of food. Illegal dumping is throwing away of trash intentionally in the wrong
areas, it could be in lakes, ponds or vacant houses. Illegal burning is burning of trash near
homesteads which is considered illegal in some states.
There are many factors that contribute to improper disposal of waste materials. One of
the factors that lead to improper disposal of waste materials is ignorance. Most people are
ignorant of simple rules or warnings that are displayed on many items such as insecticides bottles
and car batteries. Most people ignore these warnings and for this reason, car batteries, insecticide
bottles and highly flammable materials are likely to be found in a fireplace instead of taking it
back to electronic stores where they can be recycled.
Laziness is another factor that contributes to improper disposal of garbage. Some people
may choose to throw away vegetable waste through the kitchen window instead of throwing it in
the dustbin that could be a meter or so away from where they are.
Another factor that contributes to improper disposal of waste is greed. Some people are
too greedy and selfish even to themselves. An example of this is when a person chooses to burn
plastic bottle in the backyard, instead of taking it to bottle recyclers.
Lack of effective and proper regulations governing the collection and disposal of waste
could also lead to improper waste disposal. Concerned programs such as the city council should
come up with these regulations, which will help in preventing improper waste disposal
(Environmental protection Agency, 2002).
Improperly disposed trash can lead to a number of long-term problems both in health and
in safety. Trash that come from disasters as well as waste from industries and households can be
harmful the health of humans. Improperly disposed waste and trash may include sewage,
hazardous chemicals and can cause contamination of water in the ground which when taken can
be harmful to the health. Most of these contaminations come from disaster such as floods or
earthquakes, which make sewer lines to leak.
Untreated chemicals such as polychlorinated biphenyls, mercury and cyanide are high in
intoxicants and their excessive intake whether through breathing, taking by mouth or contact
with the skin can cause cancer. Plastics that are not well disposed are a good breeding ground for
mosquitoes, which eventually lead to Malaria transmission and infection. When exposed to
young children, plastic papers can cause suffocation and even death. Color pigments found in
plastics are constituted by toxic metals such as chromium, copper, caladium, cobalt and
selenium, whose intake through inhaling causes harm to the respiratory system (Edugreen, 2007).
Waste materials are responsible for most infections found amongst humans, which lead to
infections and even allergies. If properly disposed off, these harmful effects can be evaded. It is
for this reason that some governments in the world have banned the use of such products as
plastics, as a way of reducing environmental degradation and health problems that are as a result
of improper waste disposal.
Edugreen. (2007). Health impacts of solid waste. Retrieved from
Environmental Protection Agency. (2002). What Are the Options for Waste Disposal?
Retrieved from http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/wycd/waste/downloads/disposal.pdf