Since the beginning of time, the waste management industry has been continuously evolving. This is not just owing to the newer technology being incorporated into the sector, but because of the increasing amount of changes they need to incorporate to deal with emerging increasingly dangerous wastes.
Waste disposal is an extremely challenging job. Not only does it present a direct threat to the workers, it needs to be handled in a highly specialized way to ensure that there is no further harm which emanates from being disposed of incorrectly that can harm others and the environment. Some of the health risks of waste management include:
Body parts, human tissues and organs, and fluids associated with pathological sources
Hazardous chemicals like heavy metals, disinfectants, and solvents from different laboratories form a part of chemical waste
This includes waste from pathological sources like blood, bodily fluids and infected samples from different labs as well as hospital waste that can be infectious
Extremely dangerous wastes including those from carcinogenic sources, mutagens or hazardous drugs fall in this category
Radioactive waste from various laboratories and therapeutic hospitals
Non-hazardous daily waste
Risks that may occur when disposing of certain waste
Every kind of waste requires 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 instance, improper disposal of solid wastes cannot only cause direct spreading of infectious diseases, but also indirect threats which include fermentation and thus, 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.
Exposure risks relate to risks that the workers in the waste management sector face as a result of coming into regular contact with different kinds of waste. There are several risks associated with exposure to waste. This is more so in this sector than any other sector, 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.