How burning rubbish at garbage landfills are injurious to health
Just why managing waste efficiently needs immediate answers and lasting solutions is evident from the fire at Mumbai’s Deonar dumping ground that took nearly 10 days to be controlled. Days after the blaze, the smoke billowing from the mounds of trash has been a health hazard with the civic body shutting down 74 schools and the Out Patient Department of several private and government dispensaries witnessing a rise in the number of patients suffering from throat irritation and other respiratory issues.
Garbage dumped here is often mixed waste – with paper, plastic containers, bottles, cans and at times electronic goods. Moreover when it accumulates with decomposable wastes from food, dead animals, construction debris and even industrial waste then it is definitely a serious health concern.
Burning even small amounts of plastic and rubber releases chemicals that are unsafe, reveals Dr Hemant Purohit, Deputy Director of National Environment Engineering Research Institute (NEERI). Open burning is an inefficient combustion process that releases significant amounts of air pollutants and ash, and dense white or black smoke, the scientist explained.