WASTES & POLLUTION DR. AYESHA HUMAYUN ASSISTANT PROFESSOR & PUBLIC HEALTH CONSULTANT COMMUNITY HEALTH SCIENCES FMH, COLLEGE OF MEDICINE & DENTISTRY, SHADMAN, LAHORE, PAKISTAN .
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WASTES & POLLUTIONDR. AYESHA HUMAYUNASSISTANT PROFESSOR & PUBLIC HEALTH CONSULTANT COMMUNITY HEALTH SCIENCESFMH, COLLEGE OF MEDICINE & DENTISTRY, SHADMAN, LAHORE, PAKISTAN.
I had been teaching and training doctors in the fieldof Public Health for morethan five years. The topic of wastes and pollution is very vast but I have tried to cover it in one lecture. Details of each sub topic will be covered in my next lectures.
1. To conceptualize the natural and human sources of wastes and pollution.
2. To understand the hazards of waste production
3. To understand the importance of waste management
By the end of the lecture the students should be able to:
1. View environmental impact of the man made and natural sources of waste production.
2. Correlate different options of waste management with practical life.
As human beings, we are part of the environment.The way in which we interact with our environment influences the quality of our lives.WASTE is the by- product of human activities.It may be in the form of solid, liquid or gases. It may be Risk or Non- Risk waste.
TYPES OF WASTES1. Human body wastes: urine and feces2. Excess materials and foods: trash and garbage3. Vegetation wastes: grassclippings and tree branches4. Construction and manufacturing wastes (including excessheat and noise).
5. Transportation wastes: carbon monoxide, nitrous oxides, hydrocarbons, other gaseous pollutants and used motor oil6. Energy production wastes: mining wastes, electrical power (combustionof coal), nuclear power (radioactive) wastes and weapons production (radioactive) wastes
Man- Made Factors that contribute to a worsening of environmental hazards
are urbanization, industrialization, population growth, and the production of disposable products and containers.
Natural factors causing environmental hazards
can be physical such as volcanic activity; severe weather; biological, such as epidemic diseases; psychological or social.
I- SOLID WASTESinclude garbage, trash, yard waste, wood, metal, stone, and glass scrapes from domestic or industrial sources.(non- Hazardous)1. Sources of solid wastea. Agricultureb. Miningc. Industryd. Municipal sources
Solid waste managementis the collection, transportation, and disposal of solid waste.Collectionis the gathering and transporting of solid wastes from the point of origin to the point of disposal.
Disposalis the final disposition of solid wastes in such a way as to prevent them from harming the environment or human health.i. Sanitary landfills are sites or locations judged suitable for the in-ground disposal of solid wastes.ii. Incineration is the burning or combustion of solid wastes.iii. Recycling (resource recovery) is the collection and reprocessing of a solid waste "resource" so it can be reused.iv. Source reduction is the reduction in, or elimination of use of materials that could become solid waste.
II- HAZARDOUS WASTESare those that are dangerous to human health or to the environment.Hazardous wastes are solid wastes that can:a. Cause or significantly contribute to an increase in mortality or an increase in serious irreversible, or incapacitating, reversible illness.b. Pose a substantial present or potential hazard to human health or the environment when improperly treated, stored, transported, or disposed of, or otherwise managed.
Hazardous waste management
a. Secured landfills are the least expensive method of hazardous waste disposal when they are:i. Carefully designed and locatedii. Monitored for leakage
b. Deep well injection is the pumping of liquid hazardous waste into wells below the aquifer.c. Incineration of hazardous waste is the controlled combustion of hazardous waste.d. Hazardous waste recycling is the process of reusing hazardous waste to produce a usable product, a process sometimes accomplished through "waste exchanges" in Europe.
e. Neutralization of hazardous waste is the process of detoxifying the waste so it is less toxic, corrosive, or otherwise hazardous.f. Source reduction is the alteration of manufacturing processes to reduce or eliminate the generation of hazardous waste.3.Hazardous waste cleanupa. Since the disposal of hazardous waste was unregulated before 1976, there exist many hazardous waste sites around the United States.b. The "Superfund" Law (CERCLA) was passed in 1980 and amended in 1986 to clean up such sites.
Air pollutionis the contamination of the air by substances in amounts great enough to interfere with comfort, safety and health.1. Air pollution can arise from both natural and human sources.2. Air pollution can occur indoors as well as outdoors.3. Major sources of outdoor air pollution include:a. Transportationb. Electric power plants fueled by oil and coalc. Industry
1. Air pollutants of greatest concern are called "criterion pollutants".2. National standards for allowable levels of criteria pollutants are known as the National Ambient Air Quality Standards.3. The Pollutant Standard Index is a scale that relates pollution concentrations to health effects.4. Special concerns with outdoor air include: Acid rain, destruction of the ozone layer, global warming, and photochemical smog.
Acid rainrefers to the deposition on the earth surface of sulfuric and nitrous acids removed from the atmosphere during the formation of rain droplets.i. Acid rain can damage vegetation and human structures.ii. Acid rain often falls on areas distant to the pollution source.
b. The ozone layersurrounds the earth and filters out a significant portion of the sun's ultraviolet radiation.i. Chloro-fluorocarbons, a group of industrial chemicals, is believed to be partly responsible for depleting the ozone layer.ii. Industrialized countries have agreed to stop or reduce the use of CFCs.
c. Global warmingis the gradual increase in the earth's temperature.i. There is still controversy among scientists as to whether global warming is actually occurring.ii. It may be that the building up of greenhouse gases will trap heat radiated by the earth' s surface and cause global warming.
d. Photochemical smogis a secondary air pollutant created when primary pollutants react with sunlight and atmospheric oxygen.i. Denver, Los Angeles, Phoenix and Salt Lake City all experience photochemical smog.ii. Thermal inversions, the trapping of cooler air under warmer air, worsen the effects of photochemical smog.
e. Protection of outdoor airthrough regulation dates to 1815 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.i. Air quality in the U. S. deteriorated until the Clean Air Act was passed in 1963.ii. The first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970, the same year that the Environmental Protection Agency was established and important amendments to the Clean Air Act were passed.
f. Indoor airi. As outdoor air has become cleaner, there has been more concern about the quality of indoor air.ii. Indoor air pollutants are gases or particulate matter inside buildings that interfere with human comfort, safety and health.a) Asbestosb) Biogenic pollutantsc) Combustion by-productsd) Formaldehydee) Radonf) Environmental tobacco smokeg) Volatile organic compounds
Protection of indoor air qualitycan be achieved by changes in policy and/or individual behavior.a) Policy to regulate indoor air quality is generally aimed at smoking.b) Individual behavioral changes represent an important way to improve indoor air quality.
D. Water and Its Pollution1. Sources of fresh water include surface water and ground water.a. Surface water includes water from lakes, reservoirs, rivers and streams.b. Ground water lies in aquifers many feet below the earth's surface.c. Salt water must be desalinized before use.2. Treatment of water for domestic usea. Municipal water treatment plants provide water that is chemically and biologically safe for human consumption.b. Treatment of surface water includes several cleaning steps and then disinfection.
3. Sources of water pollutiona. Point source pollution occurs at a single point, for example and industrial plant.b. Non-point source pollution is all other pollution in water.4. Types of water pollutantsa. Biological pollutants are living agentsi. Viruses, bacterial and other parasitesii. Overgrowth of plant life in water sourceb. Toxic pollutantsi. Inorganic chemicals such as lead, copper, etc.ii. Radioactive pollutioniii. Synthetic organic compounds such as pesticides
5. Water Related Issuesa. Water quantityi. Overall there is ample freshwater in America.ii. Certain areas have experienced droughts resulting in water shortages.b. Water quality in the United States is threatened by four conditionsi. Population growthii. Growth of the chemical industryiii. Environmental mismanagement, including irresponsible waste disposaliv. Reckless land use practices
6. Strategies to insure safe watera. Policy: federal legislationi. The Clean Water Act had as its goal to make U. S. waterways swimmable and fishable.ii. The Safe Drinking Water Act had as its goal to ensure safety of public drinking water.b. Municipal waste water treatmenti. Primary treatmentii. Secondary treatmentiii. Tertiary treatmentb. Septic systemsc. Conservation of water
E. Radiation1. Sources of Radiationa. Naturally occurring radiationb. Human made radiation2. Policy and nuclear radiationF. Noise Pollutioncan be defined as excess noise.1. What is noise and how is it measured?a. Noise is the result of energy conversion to vibrations that are detected by instruments and our ears.
b. Noise has various qualities such as frequency and amplitude.2. Approaches to noise abatementa. Policyi. Most policies that deal with noise are local policies.ii. Noise Control Act of 1972 was the first federal law on noise control and dealt with consumer products only.b. Educational programs aimed at reducing noise are unproven in their effectiveness.c. Environmental modifications offer solutions for reducing noise in some situations.