Health and Environmental Effects of  Burning Waste Plastics & Rubber

Consumption of plastics has steadily increased over the years due their flexibility, affordability and durability as compared to other materials with similar use. Health Environmental Effects Burning Waste Plastics and Rubber
Being readily combustible, these plastics when burned under open and uncontrolled fire conditions at low temperatures generate black plumes of smoke and toxic volatilization products, which become incorporated into the ambient environment, resulting in human and environmental exposure. In addition, a lot of greenhouse gasses such as methane and carbon oxides and particulate matter are emitted into the atmosphere. When garbage or refuse is burned under open-fire low-temperature conditions, the waste plastics that they contain contribute to smoke generation and infuse toxic decomposition products of plastics into the smoke which can potentially cause significant health and environmental concerns.

 

 

Potential pollutant generated from burning of Plastics Health Effects Environmental Effects
Carbon Monoxide Causes dizziness, headaches and slowed reflexes. Affects mental function, visual acuity and alertness Oxidized to carbon dioxide (which is a greenhouse gas) in the atmosphere
Dioxins and Furans May cause cancer; causes growth defects; affects DNA; affects immune and reproductive systems Increased toxic loading on
environment; leads to
contaminated water/land,
affects animal health
Polynuclear Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) Cancer causing agent in most animal species including mammals, fish and birds Increased toxic loading on environment, leads to contaminated water/land, affects animal health
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) Directly toxic including problems ranging from cancer risks to nervous disorders. Causes respiratory irritation/illness, chronic lung disease Contributes to low level ozone (smog), causes vegetative damage. Leads to contaminated water/land, affects animal health
Particulate Matter (PM) Irritation of respiratory tract, aggravated asthma, contributes to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease Increased toxic loading on the environment; leads to contaminated water/land and affects animal health
Aldehydes This is a animal carcinogen. Causes eye and respiratory illness and headaches Increased toxic loading on environment, leads to contaminated water/land, affects animal health

By:- Dr. Dhyal Singh
Dean Student Welfare,Department of Zoology.
Uttaranchal (P.G.) College Of Bio-Medical Sciences & Hospital