Hazards, Risks, and Exposure Dangers when Dealing with Waste Management

The waste management industry is evolving. This is not just because of the newer technologies being incorporated into the sector, but because of the increasing amount of changes they need to incorporate in order to deal with emerging increasingly dangerous wastes.

What Type of Hazards are there for Waste Disposal Employees?

Waste disposal is a very challenging job. Not only does it pose a direct threat to the workers, it needs to be handled in a highly specialised manner to ensure that there is no further harm which arises from the waste being disposed of incorrectly that can harm others in the environment. Some of the hazards faced by waste disposal employees on a daily basis include:

Pathological waste

Body parts, human tissues and organs, and fluids associated with pathological sources.
• Chemical Waste

Hazardous chemicals like heavy metals, disinfectants, and solvents from different laboratories are a part of chemical waste.

Infectious Waste

This comprises of waste from pathological sources like blood, bodily fluids and infected samples from various labs as well as hospital waste that can be infectious.

Genotoxic Waste

Highly dangerous wastes including those from carcinogenic sources, mutagens or hazardous drugs fall in this category.

Radioactive Waste

Radioactive waste from various laboratories and therapeutic hospitals.

General Waste

Non-hazardous daily waste.

Risks that may occur when Disposing of certain Waste

Every kind of waste needs specific handling procedures to make sure that they do not cause problems in the long run. As such, they do pose specific threats in their handling procedure. For example, improper disposal of solid wastes cannot only cause direct spreading of infectious diseases, but also indirect threats which include fermentation and thus, the attraction of various disease spreading factors.

Similarly, chemical waste can cause the groundwater to pollute while toxic waste can literally lay waste to a whole area, causing irradiation and various diseases (like cancer). The Chernobyl disaster is a prime example in this case.

What are the Exposure Risks to Waste Management Workers?

Exposure risks relate to risks that the workers in the waste management sector face as a result of coming in regular contact with different kinds of waste. There are a lot of risks associated with exposure to waste. This is more so in this sector than any other since waste relates directly to the refuse, which can be much more infectious. As such, the various kinds of wastes relate to different kinds of exposure risks. This can range from diseases from pathological or infectious waste to direct harm related to chemical waste. However, the risk can be less immediate as well, prolonged exposure to air particles or radioactive waste, resulting in cellular degradation which may occur.

What Biological and Health Hazards may affect those in Waste Disposal?

Human bodies are very strong and resilient however being resistant to the man-made wastes in the modern society is not always possible. As such, not only are the newer strain of diseases arising out of genotoxic waste highly dangerous to the waste disposal workers, the various forms of chemical wastes and the diseases that occur due to the infectious wastes are also equally problematic. If steps are not taken to handle such wastes separately, it poses a major problem to all the workers involved.

Chemical Substances and Substances that may Expose Risks

Chemical waste is one of the most difficult to get rid of. In fact, since chemicals are usually indistinguishable in the natural environment, they pose a much greater threat than other forms of wastes. Some of the ways chemical waste may percolate are:

Water

One of the most common forms of chemical waste is carried in water. As such, if they are not handled separately, they can pose a very big pollution threat.

Soil & Sediment

A hazardous chemical can be borne through soil or even via dust. This is highly dangerous especially to infants since they do not have the necessary protection.

Air

Airborne hazardous waste can cause lung diseases and breathing disorders.

Food

Unless waste is managed at the basic level, they may percolate directly into the food chain, or via indirect means like through fishes from polluted waters.

What part do Aerosols play in Waste Management Hazards?

Aerosols can contain either pressurised gases or liquids. However, they still remain one of the most important byproducts of a civilised society. Besides the cans themselves qualifying as a solid waste, the content itself can be a major problem since they may themselves be hazardous in nature. As such, be sure to not only puncture them (depressurising them) before disposal, make sure they are fully used up before disposal as well. Not only does that support recycling, it also ensures that you are not wasting any of the products you bought.

Hazards, Risks, and Exposure Dangers when Dealing with Waste Management

The waste management industry is evolving. This is not just because of the newer technologies being incorporated into the sector, but because of the increasing amount of changes they need to incorporate in order to deal with emerging increasingly dangerous wastes.

What Type of Hazards are there for Waste Disposal Employees?

Waste disposal is a very challenging job. Not only does it pose a direct threat to the workers, it needs to be handled in a highly specialised manner to ensure that there is no further harm which arises from the waste being disposed of incorrectly that can harm others in the environment. Some of the hazards faced by waste disposal employees on a daily basis include:

Pathological waste

Body parts, human tissues and organs, and fluids associated with pathological sources.

Chemical Waste

Hazardous chemicals like heavy metals, disinfectants, and solvents from different laboratories are a part of chemical waste.

Infectious Waste

This comprises of waste from pathological sources like blood, bodily fluids and infected samples from various labs as well as hospital waste that can be infectious.

Genotoxic Waste

Highly dangerous wastes including those from carcinogenic sources, mutagens or hazardous drugs fall in this category.

Radioactive Waste

Radioactive waste from various laboratories and therapeutic hospitals.

General Waste

Non-hazardous daily waste.

Risks that may occur when Disposing of certain Waste

Every kind of waste needs specific handling procedures to make sure that they do not cause problems in the long run. As such, they do pose specific threats in their handling procedure. For example, improper disposal of solid wastes cannot only cause direct spreading of infectious diseases, but also indirect threats which include fermentation and thus, the attraction of various disease spreading factors.

Similarly, chemical waste can cause the groundwater to pollute while toxic waste can literally lay waste to a whole area, causing irradiation and various diseases (like cancer). The Chernobyl disaster is a prime example in this case.

What are the Exposure Risks to Waste Management Workers?

Exposure risks relate to risks that the workers in the waste management sector face as a result of coming in regular contact with different kinds of waste. There are a lot of risks associated with exposure to waste. This is more so in this sector than any other since waste relates directly to the refuse, which can be much more infectious.

As such, the various kinds of wastes relate to different kinds of exposure risks. This can range from diseases from pathological or infectious waste to direct harm related to chemical waste. However, the risk can be less immediate as well, prolonged exposure to air particles or radioactive waste, resulting in cellular degradation which may occur.

What Biological and Health Hazards may affect those in Waste Disposal?

Human bodies are very strong and resilient however being resistant to the man-made wastes in the modern society is not always possible. As such, not only are the newer strain of diseases arising out of genotoxic waste highly dangerous to the waste disposal workers, the various forms of chemical wastes and the diseases that occur due to the infectious wastes are also equally problematic. If steps are not taken to handle such wastes separately, it poses a major problem to all the workers involved.

Chemical Substances and Substances that may Expose Risks

Chemical waste is one of the most difficult to get rid of. In fact, since chemicals are usually indistinguishable in the natural environment, they pose a much greater threat than other forms of wastes. Some of the ways chemical waste may percolate are:

Water

One of the most common forms of chemical waste is carried in water. As such, if they are not handled separately, they can pose a very big pollution threat.

Soil & Sediment

A hazardous chemical can be borne through soil or even via dust. This is highly dangerous especially to infants since they do not have the necessary protection.

Air

Airborne hazardous waste can cause lung diseases and breathing disorders.

Food

Unless waste is managed at the basic level, they may percolate directly into the food chain, or via indirect means like through fishes from polluted waters.

What part do Aerosols play in Waste Management Hazards?

Aerosols can contain either pressurised gases or liquids. However, they still remain one of the most important byproducts of a civilised society. Besides the cans themselves qualifying as a solid waste, the content itself can be a major problem since they may themselves be hazardous in nature. As such, be sure to not only puncture them (depressurising them) before disposal, make sure they are fully used up before disposal as well. Not only does that support recycling, it also ensures that you are not wasting any of the products you bought.