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Encyclopedia > Toxic waste

Toxic waste is waste material, often in chemical form, that can cause death or injury to living creatures. It usually is the product of industry or commerce, but comes also from residential use, agriculture, the military, medical facilities, radioactive sources, and light industry, such as dry cleaning establishments. As with many pollution problems, toxic waste began to be a significant issue during the industrial revolution. The term is often used interchangeably with “hazardous waste,” or discarded material that can pose a long-term risk to health or environment. Toxins can be released into air, water, or land. It has been suggested that Pollutant be merged into this article or section. ... A Watt steam engine. ...


Legislation in the United States

In 1976 the Toxic Substances Control Act required the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate potentially hazardous industrial chemicals, including halogenated fluorocarbons, dioxin, asbestos, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and vinyl chloride. Other federal legislation pertaining to hazardous wastes includes the Atomic Energy Act (1954), the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (1446), and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, or Superfund Act (734). Toxic waste treatment and control has proved to be expensive and time-consuming with more resources spent on court battles than on actual cleanup. The disposal of toxic wastes is also a topic of international concern. In 1989, some 50 countries signed a treaty aimed at regulating the international shipment of toxic wastes. In some cases such wastes are shipped to developing countries for cheap disposal without the informed consent of their governments. The often substandard shipping, storage, and treatment methods endanger human health and the health of the environment. The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) is a United States law, passed in 1976, that regulates the introduction of new chemicals. ... Some important fluorocarbons. ... Space-filling model of 2,3,7,8- tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin Structure of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) Dioxin is the popular name for the family of halogenated organic compounds, the most common consisting of polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs) and polychlorinated dibenzodioxins (PCDDs). ... Fibrous asbestos on muscovite Asbestos Asbestos Asbestos (a misapplication of Latin: asbestos quicklime from Greek : a, not and sbestos, extinguishable) describes any of a group of minerals that can be fibrous, many of which are metamorphic and are hydrous magnesium silicates. ... Labelling transformers containing PCBs Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are a class of organic compounds with 1 to 10 chlorine atoms are attached to biphenyl and a general structure of C12H10-xClx. ... Vinyl chloride, also known as chloroethene in IUPAC nomenclature, is an important industrial chemical chiefly used to produce its polymer, polyvinyl chloride (PVC). ... Almost a year after World War II ended, Congress established the United States Atomic Energy Commission to foster and control the peace time development of atomic science and technology. ... The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), enacted in 1976, is a Federal law of the United States contained in 42 U.S.C. §§6901-6992k. ... Checking the status of a cleanup site CERCLA is an acronym for the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 9601 to 9675 (commonly known as the Superfund), which was enacted by the United States Congress on December 11, 1980 in response to the Love Canal...


Toxic waste can pollute the natural environment and contaminate groundwater. Love Canal is a famous incident in which homes and schools were built near an area where toxic waste had been dumped, causing epidemic health problems. A number of toxic substances that humans encounter regularly may pose serious health risks. Pesticide residues on vegetable crops, mercury in fish, and many industrially produced chemicals may cause cancer, birth defects, genetic mutations, or death. Many chemicals have been found to mimic estrogen, the hormone that controls the development of the female reproductive system in a large number of animal species. Preliminary results indicate that these chemicals, in trace amounts, may disrupt development and lead to a host of serious problems in both males and females. These range from infertility, increased mortality of offspring and disruptions of bodily functions (such as slowing heart rates, or breathing rates) to cold/flu like symptoms (such as vomiting, diarrhea and swelling) and behavioral changes (such as depression, tiredness and behavior confusion.) This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Groundwater is water located beneath the ground surface in soil pore spaces and in the fractures of geologic formations. ... Love Canal (1981) Love Canal is a neighborhood in Niagara Falls, New York, located at (43. ...

See also

This article describes hazardous waste as a substance; for the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal see Basel Convention // Put simply, a Hazardous waste is waste that poses substantial or potential threats to public health or the environment and generally exhibits one... Homeostasis is the property of an open system, especially living organisms, to regulate its internal environment to maintain a stable, constant condition, by means of multiple dynamic equilibrium adjustments, controlled by interrelated regulation mechanisms. ... This article or section is incomplete and may require expansion and/or cleanup. ... This page has a list of waste management topics. ... The following page contains a list of different forms of waste treatment Anaerobic digestion ArrowBio Composting Gasification Incineration In-vessel composting Landfill Mechanical biological treatment Mechanical heat treatment Plasma Pyrolysis Recycling Sewage treatment Tunnel composting UASB Windrow composting Categories: | ... Lists of Superfund sites in the United States designated under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) environmental law. ... This is a page listing articles relating to debate and controversy over environmentalism and issues of concern to environmentalists. ... It has been suggested that Pollutant be merged into this article or section. ... The skull and crossbones symbol (Jolly Roger) traditionally used to label a poisonous substance. ... An illustration showing the various sources of nuclear waste Radioactive waste are waste types containing radioactive chemical elements that do not have a practical purpose. ... Generally, remediation means giving a remedy. ... This article needs additional references or sources to facilitate its verification. ... Checking the status of a cleanup site Superfund is the common name for the United States environmental law that is officially known as the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 9601 to 9675, which was enacted by the United States Congress on December 11... Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Waste For the company, see Waste Management, Inc. ... There are many different waste types or waste streams which are produced by a variety of processes. ...

External links

  • Information on toxic waste from the CDC

  Results from FactBites:
Toxic Waste - Description of a Teambuilding Exercise (1089 words)
The challenge is to move the toxic waste contents to the neutralization container using minimal equipment and maintaining a safe distance within a time limit.
The rope circle represents the radiation zone emanating from the toxic waste in the bucket.
Toxic Waste is not an easy exercise and most groups will benefit from some coaching along the way.
Class Definition for Class 588 - HAZARDOUS OR TOXIC WASTE DESTRUCTION OR CONTAINMENT (4660 words)
These substances may be considered hazardous or toxic waste in the event they are introduced into the environment in a manner not consistent with their intended utility.
Waste proper for classification in Class 588 is considered to be too hazardous or toxic for placement in an ordinary municipal landfill.
Processes wherein the hazardous or toxic waste is confined in a permanent facility by means such that the waste is not permitted to move or migrate from the permanent facility.
  More results at FactBites »



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