Hazardous waste is known to be those chemicals as well as byproducts of such chemicals, that can negatively affect human health as well pollute our environment. Every year tons of wastes in the billions, is produced in the United States alone largely in part by factories, laboratories, and chemical plants. It is estimated that between 2% – 3% of this waste is hazardous.
In 1976, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act as well as its 1984 amendments, states that waste are to be declared hazardous only if it can corrode other materials. Further, it can be seen as waste if it can explode, ignite easily, or react adversely to water; further finding itself unstable against shock and heat, or found to be poisonous. Toxic wastes are those wastes that are known to be poisonous.
This 1976 law also extends to radioactive wastes that are a direct result of those byproducts that are created from mining operations or come about from the use of substances of radioactive materials within labs, industrial plants, as well for military use. The Department of Energy in the US, is the department responsible for the proper disposal of any such wastes that is radioactive resulting from military means.
Producers of hazardous wastes: It is estimated that close to 1 million industries, laboratories, and hospitals within the US alone generate some form of hazardous waste.
Chemical plants, largely account for the majority of these hazardous wastes. In general when you manufacture a good there is always wastes that remain. For instance, the manufacture of yields (a plastic which contain adverse organic compounds) often consists of carbon.
Effects of hazardous wastes: Groundwater, when being exposed to harmful hazardous wastes can pollute the body of water in question. This even extends to the water below our earths surface. Variety of rural locations as well other cities are largely dependent on this water underground, as well above ground for their drinking supply.
Some of this hazardous waste will extend so far as to pollute our lakes and rivers; thus killing off plants and water, and fish, and thus places our water supply at endangered levels. There are hazardous wastes that could affect our food supply and therefore affect the individual or animal that consumes this negatively altered food product. Further, wastes that tend to be toxic can poison us individuals simply through touching or smelling this waste. There are a variety of wastes that can lead to air pollution as well create a high risk of fire.