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TRP Chapter 2.3 1 Chapter 2.3 Environmental impacts and health risks.

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Presentation on theme: "TRP Chapter 2.3 1 Chapter 2.3 Environmental impacts and health risks."— Presentation transcript:

1 TRP Chapter Chapter 2.3 Environmental impacts and health risks

2 TRP Chapter Hazard and exposure Many activities have the potential to result in harm to health or the environment Hazardous wastes have properties (eg toxicity, persistence, flammability) which increase that potential Risks : –to human health –to wider environment –at the point of generation –along the chain Those exposed to the risks include: –manufacturing workers –waste handlers –general public

3 TRP Chapter Hazardous properties Toxicity Corrosivity Ignitability Reactivity Eco-toxicity Health hazard Physical hazard Environmental harm Ubiquitous wastes - small quantities, widespread - may pose greatest risks in developing economies Chemical wastes may exhibit … and may pose

4 TRP Chapter Exposure routes 1 Source: Jolley et al Effective and safe waste management, Interfacing Sciences and Engineering with Monitoring and Risk Analysis, 1992

5 TRP Chapter Exposure routes 2 Direct physical harm Biological infection Chemical contamination Chemical alteration

6 TRP Chapter Minimising risks by good management Little evidence of harm to general public health from well managed wastes Risks for industrial and waste workers reduced by proper management procedures and correct use of protective clothing and equipment Health risks may be higher : In countries or regions without modern hazardous waste management systems Around old sites with residual contamination of land or water For some groups eg children

7 TRP Chapter Evidence of harm Epidemiological evidence of health effects is variable Most ‘evidence’ is based on toxic effects from pure chemicals, not waste Often tests are based on animals, not humans Epidemiological evidence of causal links often weakened by confounding information

8 TRP Chapter Public concerns about hazardous waste Fear of damage to health Actual (chronic or acute) health effects Nuisance from noise, dust, traffic etc Effects on quality of life Damage to natural environment Reduction in property values Lack of trust in responsible authorities

9 TRP Chapter Public perception of risk Public concerns are increased by high profile accidents and rare catastrophes Most concern is about ‘involuntary’ risks Most people over-estimate risks There is most anxiety about long term exposure to low concentrations of compounds ‘Actual’ risks can be as imprecise as ‘perceived’ risks

10 TRP Chapter Occupational exposure In the absence of proper management systems and without the correct protection, waste workers have been shown to suffer from elevated levels of: Respiratory illnesses Skin infections Eye infections Gastric problems Moving from uncontrolled waste management to a properly controlled system will greatly reduce occupational risks

11 TRP Chapter Scavenging Scavengers: are widespread in developing economies may rely on on open dumps for their living have raised incidence of respiratory illnesses and skin and eye infections need an education programme need good personal hygiene Scavenging: should be phased out in the long term in the short term can pose lower risks by keeping high-risk wastes out of open dumps

12 TRP Chapter Risk assessment 1 Risk assessment procedures include making estimates of: The type of harm associated with a chemical or waste substance The degree of certainty of the potential harm The causal connection between the exposure and the potential harm The probability of the exposure and its duration The combined probabilities of harm and exposure that determine the magnitude of the risk The severity of any health or environmental impact depends on the length of exposure and the ‘dose’ or amount of the harmful compound

13 TRP Chapter Risk assessment 2 Conducting risk assessments: requires specialist skills is time consuming Enables comparison of relative risks from: wastes from different industries waste treatment and disposal methods locations and sites Helps set priorities for: control measures expenditure appropriate technologies

14 TRP Chapter Chapter 2.3 Summary This chapter covers: Need to identify hazard and exposure routes Reducing risks by good management Little evidence of harm Public concerns eg health, impacts, and public perception of risk Occupational exposure Scavenging Risk assessment


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