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Waste Impacts to Safety and Health

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1 Waste Impacts to Safety and Health
By K.Subramaniam, MCIEH, PJK, MSc(Envt), BSc(Hons)(Envt & Occ.Health), Dip RSH.

2 Presentation Outline Introduction

3 Industrial Waste Land Reclamation

4 Introduction The Health Protection Agency (UK) (2009) has reviewed research undertaken to examine the suggested links between emissions from municipal waste incinerators and effects on health. While it is not possible to rule out adverse health effects from modern, well regulated municipal waste incinerators with complete certainty, any potential damage to the health of those living close-by is likely to be very small, if detectable. This view is based on detailed assessments of the effects of air pollutants on health and on the fact that modern and well managed municipal waste incinerators make only a very small contribution to local concentrations of air pollutants.

5 Life Cycle Assessment for Waste

6 Introduction The Committee on Carcinogenicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment has reviewed recent data and has concluded that there is no need to change its previous advice, namely that any potential risk of cancer due to residency near to municipal waste incinerators is exceedingly low and probably not measurable by the most modern techniques (HPA, 2009).

7 Introduction Since any possible health effects are likely to be very small, if detectable, studies of public health around modern, well managed municipal waste incinerators are not recommended. The Agency's role is to provide expert advice on public health matters to Government, stakeholders and the public. The regulation of municipal waste incinerators is the responsibility of the Environment Agency (HPA, 2009).

8 The land reclaimed is known as reclamation ground or landfill
Land reclamation, usually known as reclamation, is the process to create new land from sea or riverbeds. The land reclaimed is known as reclamation ground  or landfill Reclaiming in Perth, Australia 1964 1 Habitation 2 Agriculture 3 Beach restoration 4 Landfill 5 Environmental impact 5.1 Environmental legislation 5.2 Land amounts added The entire East Coast Park in Singapore was built on reclaimed land with a man-made beach.

9 Geotechnical Properties of Reclaimed Mined Lands
The process by which seriously disturbed land surfaces are stabilized against the hazards of wind and water erosion. Surface mining for coal is responsible for almost one-half of the total land area disturbed in the United States. The drastic disturbance of the overburden severely changes the chemical and physical properties of the resulting spoils. These altered properties often create a hostile environment for seed germination and subsequent plant growth. Unless vegetative cover is established almost immediately, the denuded areas are subject to both wind and water erosion that pollute surrounding streams with sediment.

10 In the US, the Federal Strip Mine Law requires that topsoil be
removed and reapplied on the spoil surface during regarding and reclamation. This aided material reclamation of surface mine spoil areas throughout the United States. Even when topsoil is reapplied, the surface may contain coarse- textured materials and rock fragments, making it difficult to establish vegetative cover. Many of the eastern mine spoils are derived from sandstone & shales and have a low water-holding capacity. These spoils tend to form crusts and thus create a water- impermeable layer. Practically all of these top soils have low fertility and thus require extensive fertilization for reclamation and seedling establishment (Krebs, 2009).

11 Geotechnical Properties of Reclaimed Mined Lands
Settlement of underlying mine spoils can affect buildings constructed on mine spoil fills. The spoil depth under Building A (left) is relatively uniform, whereas Building B (right) is built over an area where spoil depth varies. Building B is more likely to be damaged due to differential settlement because of variations in the depth of the underlying spoils, and because it covers a larger lateral area.

12 Recommendations for Geotechnical Reclaimation of Mined Lands
All recently reclaimed land in surface mined areas should be considered as potentially unstable ground, subject to settlement – even where normal engineering precautions for good stabilization have been taken in the placement of the fill – unless an engineer can certify that site conditions are such that potential settlement is likely to be of little consequence. The amount of settlement that can be expected to occur is a function of a number of factors, including depth of fill and degree of compaction upon placement. A major factor that cannot be controlled during fill construction is the subsequent water content of the fill. Changes in the water content of the fill can induce settlement, even when the best engineering practices have been utilized during construction. Thus, owners of homes constructed on mined lands should endeavor to keep excessive water out of the fill that supports the structure. Homes constructed on filled lands should be placed so as to minimize potential settlement and distortion (Krebs, 2009).

13 Recommendations for Geotechnical Reclamation of Mined Lands
Unless it can be established that settlement will definitely be a problem or the homeowner is willing to risk the effects of settlement that occur, homes constructed on filled lands should be designed to accommodate settlement without suffering severe damages. When adjustable foundations are used, these should provide anchorage against uplift and accommodate both horizontal and vertical movements of the supporting piers; provision should be made for periodic checks of the structure’s bearing and for adjustment of the structure’s individual support points when necessary. Appropriate engineering, based upon an understanding of the geotechnical properties of deep fills, can lead to the successful utilization of reclaimed mined lands for building construction and development. Anyone considering construction on fill materials or in areas over mineable coal reserves should consult a professional engineer with a geotechnical background (Krebs, 2009).

14 Case study: Powell River Project - Restoring the Value of Forests on Reclaimed Mined Land
The central Appalachian region of eastern Kentucky, West Virginia, and southwestern Virginia is gifted with abundant and commercially valuable natural resources – especially timber and coal. A huge amount of virgin timber was cut and marketed during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Toward the end of this virgin timber harvest, coal mining became the region’s economic mainstay. After the virgin timber cut, the Appalachian forest grew again as a sustainable, renewable, and economic resource. The annual value of the timber and wood-products industry is $7.7 billion in Virginia, $23 billion for the central Appalachian coalfield states (table 1), and $46 billion for states comprising the Appalachian region as it extends northward to Pennsylvania and Ohio. Today, coal and timber – natural resources produced in central Appalachia –  make significant contributions to the regional economy (Burger, 2009).


16 Industrial Waste

17 Industrial Output in Malaysia
((Statistics Dept, 2007)

18 (i) food and beverage processing
The most important forms of industrial pollution are suspended particulate discharges that cause air pollution, BOD discharges that cause water pollution and toxic waste discharges that affects all elements. Industry's main pollutants are discharged into water and take the form of toxic and hazardous waste. Approximately 95 % of the total volume of industrial wastewater discharge originates from three categories of manufacturing facilities: (i) food and beverage processing (ii) industrial chemicals and chemical products, and; (iii) textile plants and dye mills.

19 Food and beverage processors have waste high in
In a breakdown of wastewater effluents by types of industry, it was found that small to medium (SMI) electronics and electroplating plant discharges contained heavy metal contaminants that were disposed in sewage drains without treatment. Food and beverage processors have waste high in chemical oxygen demand (COD), biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), oil and grease, and; suspended solids. In the rubber products processing industry, which accounts for almost a quarter of all industry in Malaysia, wastewater contains several contaminants including hydrogen sulphide.

20 Case study on Waste Impacts
A part of Raniganj coalfield, eastern India, covering an area of about 156 km2 (60 mi2), was studied to identify the impact of mining on geo environment, in terms of heavy-metal mobilization.  28 soil samples were taken from 4 major landuse classes: mining area, land with or without scrub, agricultural field, and social forestry area, and analyzed for pH, electrical conductivity, organic carbon, and heavy metals (Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu, Ni, Co, Cr, Pb, Cd, and As). Intermediate groundwater flow system of the area was inferred through trend surfaces to the water-table elevation data from 55 observation wells for premonsoon, monsoon, and postmonsoon periods. Quantitative analyses of 17 groundwater samples (7 from mining areas and 10 from nonmining areas) were carried out with special reference to heavy metals (Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu, Ni, Co, Cr, Pb, Cd, and As) during these three periods. Twigs of selected planted species used in reclamation of one of the mine spoils in the area were also analyzed for heavy metals (Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu, Ni, Co, Cr, Pb, Cd, and As). Sahadeb De and Arup K. Mitra (2004)

21 Impacts of mining have been measured in terms of erosion and
heavy-metal mobilization from mine spoils to the surrounding geoenvironment. Leaching on mine spoils followed by surface runoff contaminated the soil with heavy metals, whereas leaching followed by percolation contaminated the groundwater with heavy metals. Effects were inferred in terms of changing ecosystem. Native plant species like Shorea robusta, Terminalia tomentosa, etc. are being replaced by smaller species like Buteamonosperma, which appears to be more tolerant in this changed ecosystem. Sahadeb De and Arup K. Mitra (2004) Spoils from a Gold mine Orlando, Johannesburg. February 2007

22 Human Waste (Biosolids)

23 Human waste affects the environment in three ways
it pollutes the air when solid waste is burned openly; it contaminates drinking water when inadequately treated sewage and leachates seep into the drainage system, and; it results in insect-borne diseases when sanitation is poor. Water pollution is the most serious environmental consequence of inadequate treatment of human waste. Sewage discharge seeps into the drainage system and ultimately affects the quality of river water.

24 In the coastal areas, lack of proper sewage disposal systems results in the waste being discharged directly into the rivers and seas. It is no wonder that the coastal waters of West Malaysia are highly polluted. The pollution load measured in biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) from domestic sewage was 366 tons per day. This is 80% of the national daily output. Domestic sewage from human sources = 76% of total organic load discharged into inland rivers, indicating a serious threat in terms of water pollution in Malaysia.

25 Mining Waste

26 Mining in Malaysia is synonymous with tin mining.
Mining deals with minerals such as tin, gold, copper, iron, kaolin and silica sand and has the reputation of devastating the landscape, polluting and silting the rivers. Mining for alluvial tin, which occurred on an extensive scale in the late 19th and early 20th century in the tin-rich states of Perak and Selangor, resulted in widespread degradation of the environment leaving behind its legacy of retention ponds, mine spoils and sand piles. Re-mining to extract residual minerals makes the land barren and renders it useless for agriculture and human occupation unless treated.

27 Two of the main causes of waterway siltation are
soil erosion aggravated by the lost of vegetative cover due to land clearance for mining, and the deposition of solid materials contained in mine effluents. Mines effluent containing toxic chemicals and low pH value can also have an adverse effect on rivers. River siltation has made some areas prone to flooding especially during the rainy season.

28 Water pollution not only affects the aquatic ecosystem but also riverine settlements relying on the river water for agriculture and domestic purposes. Failure of reservoirs, waste dumps, tailing lagoons and open pit sidewalls are additional side effects of mining. However, landslips, particularly of open-cast alluvial mines, pose the main hazard to life and property.

29 Although current legislation governing mining practices has provisions for:
the control of water use, water discharge and river diversions, there are no adequate guidelines, standards and regulation for any requirements for environmental rehabilitation and conservation.

30 Mining Land Reclamation


32 Hazardous Wastes

33 Heavy metals monitored in Malaysia: The DOE reports the most serious
Hazardous wastes, a by-product of industrialization, consist of a vast array of items: heavy metals and materials that are reactive, toxic, inflammable, radioactive, Infectious, and; corrosive. Heavy metals monitored in Malaysia: arsenic, copper, lead, mercury, zinc and cadmium. The DOE reports the most serious offenders in terms of hazardous waste generation in the total load.

34 Based on this criterion, the metal finishing sub-sector in the
machinery, engineering and electronics subsectors are the major offenders. Improper handling of hazardous waste can result in air, water as well as soil pollution. Existing databases suggest that the nine major industrial polluters are metal finishing, electrical and electronics, textiles, food processing, chemicals, palm oil, rubber, wood-based, and; iron and steel manufacturing units.

35 Most of these are concentrated in Selangor, Penang, Johor, Perak and Kuala Lumpur.
Although SMIs account for 60 % of the total firms in Malaysia and often use 'dirty' technologies, sophisticated industries generate larger amounts of hazardous and toxic waste per unit of output. The electronics industry, dominated by Japanese and US multinationals, uses hazardous chemicals intensively. Information on toxic and hazardous waste is sketchy especially about how much of it there is and what kind.

36 Some experts project that the total industrial waste will rise relative to water and air pollution industry. The estimated generation rate of this type of waste in 1992 was 1.08 million cubic meters per year. In 1994, the DOE reported that 420,000 metric tons of scheduled wastes were generated by industries. Acids, heavy metals, dross, slag, clinker and mineral sludge were over 70 % of the quantity, followed by asbestos, heavy metal sludge, oil and hydrocarbons, the balance of 30%.

37 In the states of Penang, Perak and Johor, on the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia, where industries are concentrated, heavy metal concentrations exceeded the standards set (Std.A and B in EQ (IER), 2009). Due to a lack of scheduled waste treatment facilities in Malaysia, industries have to store, pre-treat or export their wastes, and storage capacity is exhausted. Current hazardous waste management practices in Malaysia threaten public health. Exposure to hazardous waste has had public health consequences in Bukit Merah, Perak, with leukaemia and infant death cases.

38 Health and Safety issues related to waste

39 Health and Safety issues related to waste
2009/2010                             2010/2011p Incidence Rate per 100,000 All industry rate per 100,000 Comparison between W&R and all industry rates Fatal injuries 3 2.3 10 8.4 0.5 x 16.8 Major injuries 511 390 483 405 99 x 4.1 Over 3-day injuries 2089 1595 1954 1637 363 x 4.5 All injuries 2603 1988 2447 2050 462 x 4.4 * These statistics are based on waste and recycling activities (waste collection, treatment and disposal and wholesale waste and scrap). The majority of incidents do not account for Local Authority incidents that may be incorrectly coded (e.g. as public administration) or remediation activities and other waste management services such as street cleaning.

40 Main causes of injury based on the total number of reported accidents during the period 2001/2002 to 2010/2011 Kind of work Examples Percentage (%) Handling MSDs: handling large and awkward objects (33 %). Sharps: punctures, hypodermic needles, sorting of sharp objects (9%) 41 Slips and trips Vehicle access, egress, street environments, picking platforms, fixed plant maintenance ( MeRFs or waste transfer stations) 26 Hit by fixed or moving object During waste collections or at recycling facilities 16 Falls Sheeting and unsheeting of vehicles, undertaking maintenance work at height 6 Workplace transport ‘hit by moving vehicle’Most of the major and fatal accidents are in this category Working with vehicle (collection/sorting) in vicinity of members of the public or operatives. Inadequate vehicle and pedestrian segregation at fixed sites 4 Machinery Access to moving parts during cleaning, maintenance and repair of machinery; failure to isolate 3 Other e.g. electricity, fire, explosion, exposed to harmful substance 5

41 Health and Safety issues related to waste
Improper handling of solid waste and indiscriminate disposal in open spaces, road margins, tank beds, and etcetera, give rise to numerous potential risks to the environment and to human health. Other effects are from transportation, open burning, and odours (Dr.Kalpana Shankar, 2010).

42 Collecting waste and recyclables
Collection activities account for the majority (75 to 80%) of accidents within the industry. Particular safety and health areas that should be considered are:- Musculoskeletal injuries from handling receptacles of waste and recyclables. Slips and trips. Transport movements, particularly reversing and the risks of 'struck by injury' to both workers and members of the public. Personal protective equipment e.g. high-visibility clothing and cut-resistant clothing. Personal hygiene and on-board hand washing facilities. Hoist/ receptacle compatibility.

43 Exposure to bioaerosols Noise in kerbside glass collections, MeRFs etc
Health issues Statistical data on health issues within the waste and recycling industry is currently unreliable, and research into this area continues. The main health concerns include: Manual handling Hygiene  Exposure to bioaerosols Noise  in kerbside glass collections, MeRFs etc Exposure to harmful substances e.g. mercury or lead during WEEE recycling

44 Health and Safety issues related to waste
Direct health risks concern workers without using proper PPE (e.g.gloves & uniforms), and; a high percentage of waste workers and individuals who live near or on disposal sites are infected with gastrointestinal parasites, worms, and related organisms. For the public, the main risks to health are indirect and related to poor water, land, air quality, and; infrequent collection of waste provides a breeding ground for flies and rats.

45 Thank you…

46 References Burger, J.A. (2009). Powell River Project - Restoring the Value of Forests on Reclaimed Mined Land. Forestry and Soil Science, Virginia Tech; Carl Zipper, Extension Specialist, Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences, Virginia Tech. ( Dr.Kalpana Shankar. (2010). A PROPOSAL FOR SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT – Environmental Protection that Benefits the Poor. Hand-In-Hand, Tamil Nadu, India. Health Protection Agency (HPA). (2009). The Impact on Health of Emissions to Air from Municipal Waste Incinerators. ( DOE. (2010). Environment Quality Act, 1974 (A) 2000. DOE. (2010). Environment Quality (Industrial Effluence) Regulations, 2009. DOE. (2006). EQ Annual Report 2005. Krebs, R.D. (2009). Powell River Project - Foundations for Housing on Reclaimed Mined Lands. ( Sahadeb De and Arup K. Mitra (2004). Mobilization of heavy metals from mine spoils in a part of Raniganj coalfield, India: Causes and effects. Environmental Geosciences; June 2004; v. 11; no. 2; p ; DOI: /eg © 2004 American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG). HSE (UK).(2012). Health and safety statistics in waste management and recycling. (

47 Please ask if you have… any burning issues…
or Pls use my Or Please do not hesitate to see me for consultations as per my Time Table…

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