The Dangers of Hazardous Waste

Updated on January 28, 2021
The Dangers of Hazardous Waste

There are many laws and regulations when it comes to disposing of hazardous waste due to the negative effects it can have. When hazardous waste is disposed of incorrectly, it poses a threat to everyone and everything in its environment. Humans and animals experience health problems, the ecosystem declines, and even babies in the womb can get birth defects. Learn more about the dangers of hazardous waste.

Human Health

From physical to mental health, hazardous waste poses negative threats. Scientists have found a connection between exposure to hazardous waste and cancer, behavioral abnormalities, kidney failure, chronic migraines, and weakened lung functioning. Help prevent these issues by being sure that you identify waste properly with an introduction to hazardous waste identification. Once you identify your waste, you can dispose of it in the safest way possible and not contribute to these health issues.

Genetic Mutations

Genetic mutations are also some of the dangers of hazardous waste. Gene mutation is an alteration in the DNA sequence that differs from the average person. The alteration is permanent. Individuals can acquire it over time and can even pass it on to kin. Studies show that where water is toxic from improper hazardous waste disposal, there is an increase in genetic mutations. Scientists have linked specific toxins such as carcinogens, hydrocarbons, ethylene dibromide, flame retardants, and ethylene dichloride to genetic mutations.

Birth Defects

Hazardous waste can lead to reproductive impairment and birth defects. Dioxins especially affect reproductive health, leading to infertility and sperm damage. Furthermore, hazardous waste in the environment negatively affects babies in the womb. Living by a hazardous waste site has led to possible risks such as spina bifida, certain heart and blood vessel defects, hypospadias, and cleft palate.

Damaged Ecosystem

Much like human health, the health of animals, plants, and organisms in the environment are at risk due to hazardous waste. This can put the ecosystem off balance, as ecosystem survival is dependent on all parts of the system thriving. When certain animals become endangered and even extinct, it ultimately puts others in danger. Furthermore, hazardous waste can destroy special organisms that keep lakes and rivers healthy. The oxygen cycles of plants and trees can also become weak, reducing air quality.