Since we now know the current state of toxic waste, its time to know the steps on how to minimize or maybe eliminate the use of these chemicals.

Toxic waste are chemicals which can be either solid or liquid that are produced and released to the environment everyday. These chemicals contains toxins that can cause injury and death to humans, animals and plants. Most of the people think that the chemicals are all coming from commerial businesses like exterminators, dry cleaners, auto repair shops hospitals and industrial applications like hospitals and chemical manufacturers. Little did they know that product that are mostly found in their homes are can also cause toxic wastes like motor oil, drain cleaners, oven cleaners, solvents and paints. These waste should not be thrown out in a regular trashcan, here are some tips and ways on how these products can help you do your part to protect the environment.

Propoer Disposal

Toxic waste should not be poured down the drain, toxic waste which are poured down the drain will eventually find their way in the general supply water. When poured on the ground, it can seep into the soil which can cause environmental damage. Waste thrown into trash will end up at the dumpsite where it will be exposed to the environment. Fortunately the environmental protection agency has already categorized the waste into 4 namely F list, K list, P list, and U list. What does not fall into these categories is considered either a flammable toxic waste, corrodes metal, explodes easily or harmful to humans.If there is no current alternative for disposal, support businesses using responsible disposal programs, these businesses encourage to those people who do not to begin a more sustainable program.

Go Natural

How can be prevent toxic waste other than finding natural non-toxic alternatives. Changing your consumer habits and using alternative product made without toxic ingredients can also help reduce toxic waste. There are many commercial non-toxic products available in the internet. Sites like http://www.eartheasy.com and http://www.treehugger.com provides homemade substitite for toxic products. Another example of natural alternatives are baking soda, and vinegar. They can be used to replace many corrosive products.

Educate Others

Taking action in your community is one way of spreading the word in preventing the use of toxic wastes. Although you can make a difference by changing your habits in using toxic waste, sharing others your knowledge with others can increase the positive environmental effects as the whole community joins you in reducing toxic waste. Keeping up with environmental practice and organize action against waste dumping. Encourage people the to help and share all their knowledge to others or why not join greenpeace, a premiere organization that addresses toxic waste dumping.

Raise Your Voice

Be a difference maker, instead of being a follower be a leader and make a lead in preventing the use of toxic waste. Organize a demonstration to stop toxic waste dumping by local companies. Ask environmental experts to speak at a rally. Encourage people to boycott products from waste dumping companies. Write letters to the editors of your local papers about toxic waste dumping in your area. Doing this may help you’re community or city to be enlightened with the current state of our environment because of these toxic waste. Sign petitions protesting toxic waste dumping. Search the Petition Online website for “waste” and you will find many petitions addressing this problem all over the world. Online petitions are easy and effective. Use the power of the internet so that all of the voices of the people may be heard.

Sources:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/120397-prevent-toxic-waste/

http://www.ehow.com/way_5135214_ways-prevent-toxic-waste.html

http://www.ehow.com/how_2074082_stop-toxic-waste-dumping.html

by: Ryan Aaron Tiu

The problems posed by toxic wastes began to be a priority concern of the Philippine government, possibly due to the increasing number of transnational companies like the semiconductor industry, as well as local firms, and other countries like Switzerland and Japan which are generating wastes considered hazardous to health and the environment. The Philippines, like any Third World country is not properly equipped in terms of equipment and technical expertise to deal with these wastes, although steps are being done to define the regulatory and enforcement responsibilities of various government agencies. As an initial step to get rid of these illegal toxic wastes, the government promulgated Republic Act 6969 which is an act to control toxic substances and nuclear wastes.

Below is the content of the said act. 

Republic Act No. 6969

AN ACT TO CONTROL TOXIC SUBSTANCES AND HAZARDOUS AND NUCLEAR WASTES,

PROVIDING PENALTIES FOR VIOLATIONS THEREOF, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

Section 1. Short title. – This Act shall be known as the “Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Wastes Control Act of 1990.“

Section 2. Declaration of Policy. – It is the policy of the State to regulate, restrict or prohibit the importation, manufacture, processing, sale, distribution, use and disposal of chemical substances and mixtures that present unreasonable risk and/or injury to health or the environment; to prohibit the entry, even in transit, of hazardous and nuclear wastes and their disposal into the Philippine territorial limits for whatever purpose; and to provide advancement and facilitate research and studies on toxic chemicals.

Section 3. Scope. – This Act shall cover the importation, manufacture, processing, handling, storage, transportation, sale, distribution, use and disposal of all unregulated chemical substances and mixtures in the Philippines, including the entry, even in transit as well as the keeping or storage and disposal of hazardous and nuclear wastes into the country for whatever purpose.

Section 4. Objectives. – The objectives of this Act are:

a) To keep an inventory of chemicals that are presently being imported, manufactured, or used, indicating, among others, their existing and possible uses, test data, names of firms manufacturing or using them, and such other information as may be considered relevant to the protection of health and the environment;

b) To monitor and regulate the importation, manufacture, processing, handling, storage, transportation, sale, distribution, use and disposal of chemical substances and mixtures that present unreasonable risk or injury to health or to the environment in accordance with national policies and international commitments;

c) To inform and educate the populace regarding the hazards and risks attendant to the manufacture, handling, storage, transportation, processing, distribution, use and disposal of toxic chemicals and other substances and mixture; and

d) To prevent the entry, even in transit, as well as the keeping or storage and disposal of hazardous and nuclear wastes into the country for whatever purpose.

Section 5. Definition. – As used in this Act:

a) Chemical substance means any organic or inorganic substance of a particular molecular identity, including:

i) Any combination of such substances occurring in whole or in part as a result of chemical reaction or occurring in nature; and

ii) Any element or uncombined chemical.

b) Chemical mixture means any combination of two or more chemical substances if the combination does not occur in nature and is not, in whole or in part, the result of a chemical reaction, if none of the chemical substances comprising the combination is a new chemical substance and if the combination could have been manufactured for commercial purposes without a chemical reaction at the time the chemical substances comprising the combination were combined. This shall include nonbiodegradable mixtures.

c) Process means the preparation of a chemical substance or mixture after its manufacture for commercial distribution:

i) In the same form or physical state or in a different form or physical state from that which it was received by the person so preparing such substance or mixture; or

ii) As part of an article containing a chemical substance or mixture.

d) Importation means the entry of a products or substances into the Philippines (through the seaports or airports of entry) after having been properly cleared through or still remaining under customs control, the product or substance of which is intended for direct consumption, merchandising, warehousing, or for further processing.

e) Manufacture means the mechanical or chemical transformation of substances into new products whether work is performed by power-driven machines or by hand, whether it is done in a factory or in the worker’s home, and whether the products are sold at wholesale or retail.

f) Unreasonable risk means expected frequency of undesirable effects or adverse responses arising from a given exposure to a substance.

g) Hazardous substances are substances which present either:

1) short-term acute hazards, such as acute toxicity by ingestion, inhalation or skin absorption, corrosivity or other skin or eye contact hazards or the risk of fire or explosion; or

2) long-term environmental hazards, including chronic toxicity upon repeated exposure, carcinogenicity (which may in some cases result from acute exposure but with a long latent period), resistance to detoxification process such as biodegradation, the potential to pollute underground or surface waters, or aesthetically objectionable properties such as offensive odors.

h) Hazardous wastes are hereby defined as substances that are without any safe commercial, industrial, agricultural or economic usage and are shipped, transported or brought from the country of origin for dumping or disposal into or in transit through any part of the territory of the Philippines.

Hazardous wastes shall also refer to by-products, side-products, process residues, spent reaction media, contaminated plant or equipment or other substances from manufacturing operations, and as consumer discards of manufacture products.

i) Nuclear wastes are hazardous wastes made radioactive by exposure to the radiation incidental to the production or utilization of nuclear fuels but does not include nuclear fuel, or radioisotopes which have reached the final stage of fabrication so as to be usable for any scientific, medical, agricultural, commercial, or industrial purpose.

Section 6. Function, Powers and Responsibilities of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources shall be the implementing agency tasked with the following functions, powers, and responsibilities:

a) To keep an updated inventory of chemicals that are presently being manufactured or used, indicating, among others, their existing and possible uses, quality, test data, names of firms manufacturing or using them, and such other information as the Secretary may consider relevant to the protection of health and the environment;

b) To require chemical substances and mixtures that present unreasonable risk or injury to health or to the environment to be tested before they are manufactured or imported for the first time;

c) To require chemical substances and mixtures which are presently being manufactured or processed to be tested if there is a reason to believe that they pose unreasonable risk or injury to health or the environment;

d) To evaluate the characteristics of chemicals that have been tested to determine their toxicity and the extent of their effects on health and the environment;

e) To enter into contracts and make grants for research, development, and monitoring of chemical substances and mixtures;

f) To conduct inspection of any establishment in which chemicals are manufactured, processed, stored or held before or after their commercial distribution and to make recommendations to the proper authorities concerned;

g) To confiscate or impound chemicals found not falling within said acts cannot be enjoined except after the chemicals have been impounded;

h) To monitor and prevent the entry, even in transit, of hazardous and nuclear wastes and their disposal into the country;

i) To subpoena witnesses and documents and to require other information if necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act;

j) To call on any department, bureau, office, agency, state university or college, and other instrumentalities of the Government for assistance in the form of personnel, facilities, and other resources as the need arises in the discharge of its functions;

k) To disseminate information and conduct educational awareness campaigns on the effects of chemical substances, mixtures and wastes on health and environment; and

l) To exercise such powers and perform such other functions as may be necessary to carry out its duties and responsibilities under this Act.

Section 7. Inter-Agency Technical Advisory Council. – There is hereby created an Inter-Agency Technical Advisory Council attached to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources which shall be composed of the following officials or their duly authorized representatives:

Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources Chairman
Secretary of Health Member
Director of the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute Member
Secretary of Trade and Industry Member
Secretary of Science and Technology Member
Secretary of National Defense Member
Secretary of Foreign Affairs Member
Secretary of Labor and Employment Member
Secretary of Finance Member
Secretary of Agriculture Member
Representative from a non-governmental organization on health and safety Member

The representative from the non-governmental organization shall be appointed by the President for a term of three (3) years.

The Council shall have the following functions:

a) To assist the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in the formulation of the pertinent rules and regulations for the effective implementation of this Act;

b) To assist the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in the preparation and updating of the inventory of chemical substances and mixtures that fall within the coverage of this Act;

c) To conduct preliminary evaluation of the characteristics of chemical substances and mixtures to determine their toxicity and effects on health and the environment and make the necessary recommendations to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources; and

d) To perform such other functions as the Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources may, from time to time, require.

Section 8. Pre-Manufacture and Pre-Importation Requirements. – Before any new chemical substance or mixture can be manufactured, processed or imported for the first time as determined by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the manufacturer, processor or importer shall submit the following information: the name of the chemical substance or mixture; its chemical identity and molecular structure; proposed categories of use; an estimate of the amount to be manufactured, processed or imported; processing and disposal thereof; and any test data related to health and environmental effects which the manufacturer, processor or importer has.

Section 9. Chemicals Subject to Testing. – Testing shall be required in all cases where:

a) There is a reason to believe that the chemical substances or mixture may present an unreasonable risk to health or the environment or there may be substantial human or environmental exposure thereto;

b) There are insufficient data and experience for determining or predicting the health and environmental effects of the chemical substance or mixture; and

c) The testing of the chemical substance or mixture is necessary to develop such data.

The manufacturers, processors or importers shall shoulder the costs of testing the chemical substance or mixture that will be manufactured, processed, or imported.

Section 10. Action by the Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources of his Duly Authorized Representative. – The Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources or his duly authorized representative shall, within ninety (90) days from the date of filing of the notice of manufacture, processing or importation of a chemical substance or mixture, decide whether or not to regulate or prohibit its importation, manufacture, processing, sale, distribution, use or disposal. The Secretary may, for justifiable reasons, extend the ninety-day pre-manufacture period within a reasonable time.

Section 11. Chemical Substances Exempt from Pre-Manufacture Notification. – The manufacture of the following chemical substances or mixtures shall be exempt from pre-manufacture notification:

a) Those included in the categories of chemical substances and mixtures already listed in the inventory of existing chemicals;

b) Those to be produced in small quantities solely for experimental or research and developmental purposes;

c) Chemical substances and mixtures that will not present an unreasonable risk to health and the environment; and

d) Chemical substances and mixtures that exist temporarily and which have no human or environmental exposure such as those which exist as a result of chemical reaction in the manufacture or processing of a mixture of another chemical substance.

Section 12. Public Access to Records, Reports or Notification. – The public shall have access to records, reports, or information concerning chemical substances and mixtures including safety data submitted, data on emission or discharge into the environment, and such documents shall be available for inspection or reproduction during normal business hours except that the Department of Environment and Natural resources may consider a record, report or information or particular portions thereof confidential and may not be made public when such would divulge trade secrets, production or sales figures or methods, production or processes unique to such manufacturer, processor or distributor, or would otherwise tend to affect adversely the competitive position of such manufacturer, processor or distributor. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources, however, may release information subject to claim of confidentiality to a medical research or scientific institution where the information is needed for the purpose of medical diagnosis or treatment of a person exposed to the chemical substance or mixture.

Section 13. Prohibited Acts. – The following acts and omissions shall be considered unlawful:

a) Knowingly use a chemical substance or mixture which is imported, manufactured, processed or distributed in violation of this Act or implementing rules and regulations or orders;

b) Failure or refusal to submit reports, notices or other information, access to records, as required by this Act, or permit inspection of establishment where chemicals are manufactured, processed, stored or otherwise held;

c) Failure or refusal to comply with the pre-manufacture and pre-importation requirements; and

d) Cause, aid or facilitate, directly or indirectly, in the storage, importation, or bringing into Philippines territory, including its maritime economic zones, even in transit, either by means of land, air or sea transportation or otherwise keeping in storage any amount of hazardous and nuclear wastes in any part of the Philippines.

Section 14. Criminal Offenses and Penalties.

a) (i) The penalty of imprisonment of six (6) months and one day to six (6) years and one day and a fine ranging from Six hundred pesos (P600.00) to Four thousand pesos (P4,000.00) shall be imposed upon any person who shall violate section 13 (a) to (c) of this Act and shall not be covered by the Probation Law.f the offender is a foreigner, he or she shall be deported and barred from any subsequent entry into the Philippines after serving his or her sentence;

ii) In case any violation of this Act is committed by a partnership, corporation, association or any juridical person, the partner, president, director or manager who shall consent to or shall knowingly tolerate such violation shall be directly liable and responsible for the act of the employee and shall be criminally liable as a co-principal;

(iii) In case the offender is a government official or employee, he or she shall, in addition to the above penalties, be deemed automatically dismissed from office and permanently disqualified from holding any elective or appointive position.

b) (i) The penalty of imprisonment of twelve (12) years and one day to twenty (20) years, shall be imposed upon any person who shall violate section 13 (d) of this Act.f the offender is a foreigner, he or she shall be deported and barred from any subsequent entry into the Philippines after serving his or her sentence;

(ii) In the case of corporations or other associations, the above penalty shall be imposed upon the managing partner, president or chief executive in addition to an exemplary damage of at least Five hundred thousand pesos (P500,000.00).f it is a foreign firm, the director and all officers of such foreign firm shall be barred from entry into the Philippines, in addition to the cancellation of its license to do business in the Philippines;

(iii) In case the offender is a government official or employee, he or she in addition to the above penalties be deemed automatically dismissed from office and permanently disqualified from holding any elective or appointive position.

c) Every penalty imposed for the unlawful importation, entry, transport, manufacture, processing, sale or distribution of chemical substances or mixtures into or within the Philippines shall carry with it the confiscation and forfeiture in favor of the Government of the proceeds of the unlawful act and instruments, tools or other improvements including vehicles, sea vessels, and aircrafts used in or with which the offense was committed. Chemical substances so confiscated and forfeited by the Government at its option shall be turned over to the Department of Environment and Natural resources for safekeeping and proper disposal.

d) The person or firm responsible or connected with the bringing or importation into the country of hazardous or nuclear wastes shall be under obligation to transport or send back said prohibited wastes;

Any and all means of transportation, including all facilities and appurtenances that may have been used in transporting to or in the storage in the Philippines of any significant amount of hazardous or nuclear wastes shall at the option of the government be forfeited in its favor.

Section 15. Administrative Fines. – In all cases of violations of this Act, including violations of implementing rules and regulations which have been duly promulgated and published in accordance with Section 16 of this Act, the Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources is hereby authorized to impose a fine of not less than Ten thousand pesos (P10,000.00), but not more than Fifty thousand pesos (P50,000.00) upon any person or entity found guilty thereof. The administrative fines imposed and collected by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources shall accrue to a special fund to be administered by the Department exclusively for projects and research activities relative to toxic substances and mixtures.

Section 16. Promulgation of Rules and Regulations. – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources, in coordination with the member agencies of the Inter-Agency Technical Advisory Council, shall prepare and publish the rules and regulations implementing this Act within six months from the date of its effectivity.

Section 17. Appropriations. – Such amount as may be necessary to implement the provisions of this Act is hereby annually appropriated and included in the budget of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Section 18. Separability Clause. – If any provision of this Act is declared void or unconstitutional, the remaining provisions thereof not affected thereby shall remain in full force and effect.

Section 19. Repealing Clause. – All laws, presidential decrees, executive orders and issuances, and rules and regulations which are inconsistent with this Act are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.

Section 20. Effectivity. – This Act shall take effect after fifteen (15) days following its publication in the Official Gazette or in any newspaper of general circulation.

(SOURCE: philippinelaw.blogspot.com)

 

The Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), a policy making body of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is seeing that hazardous waste management is made an integral part of the industrial planning process. In the case of new industrial projects, environmental impact assessments are used to balance economic growth with ecological protection. Other activities of the EMB are geared towards providing baseline information that would eventually lead into the development of standards for hazardous waste management, environmental monitoring and the regulation of hazardous waste disposal.

By: Gel Jacobo

We do not own the footages and photos included on this video.

Voice over: Ryan Aaron Tiu and Ron Tuazon

 

This video shows information about the current state of toxic waste here in our country.

 

Hazardous waste piling up in Manila 

By Alcuin Papa

Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 21:22:00 01/24/2010

Filed Under: Waste Management & Pollution Control,Environmental Issues

MANILA, Philippines Hazardous electronic waste is piling up at the Pier 18 dump in Manila, according to an environmental group.

In a recent statement, Eco Waste Coalition called on the government to move swiftly to avert a full-blown chemical and humanitarian crisis due to the illegal disposal of electronic and computer parts by companies in the area said to be the newest dumping ground for garbage from Metro Manila.

The group said it found re claimers foraging through the dump in search of materials like linear and compact fluorescent lamps, computer circuit boards, and other electrical and electronic items they could sell, despite the chemical risks and hazards these pose.

“Our investigation confirms the apparent lack of regulation and system that would curb the improper disposal of e-waste and the perilous recycling taking place in dumps and junk shops, “said Thony Dizon, coordinator of Eco Wastes Project Protect (People Responding and Organizing against Toxic Chemical Threats).

EcoWaste said discarded electrical and electronic devices contain hazardous chemicals like beryllium, cadmium, lead, mercury, brominated flame retardants and poly chlorinated biphenyls that should not be combined with regular waste.

Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act classifies hazardous household trash like consumer electronics which include cell phones and computers; appliances like stoves, refrigerators, air conditioners and television sets; and bulbs and batteries as special waste that should be handled separately from other residential and commercial garbage.

“The toxic and hazardous chemicals in electronic waste can endanger the health of informal recyclers and the people around them, as well as contaminate the environment with toxic pollutants,” Dizon said.

Dizon added that they were worried about children and pregnant and breast-feeding women being exposed to the chemicals, especially cadmium, lead and mercury which are extremely toxic even at low levels.

On Friday, the group wrote to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to alert it to the dangers posed by the dump.

It urged the DENR to craft policies for the safe disposal of electronic trash to promote chemical safety and preserve environmental health. 

Compared to other cities in the country, Manila is considered as the most polluted city. This is because of the huge number of people living on it and as well as the lack of discipline of these people towards the proper disposal of their garbage.  If these hazardous waste continue to pile up in Metro Manila, the possibility of  having pollution state that is 4 times worse and residents that have abnormal health conditions will be hundred percent.

As what Mr. Thony Dizon explained, the main reason for this event to happen is the lack of regulation and system that handles the toxic wastes produced in Manila. Government agencies that involves in the proper disposal of toxic waste should monitor frequently where these toxic wastes were dumped to avoid future contamination on that particular area. In addition, the government should also invest on facilities that treat toxic waste so it will be less harmful to nature or better yet be recycled.

The fact that they urged the DENR to craft policies for the safe disposal of electronic trash to promote chemical safety and preserve environmental health is a good step towards a healthier and cleaner environment for Manila residents. All that needed are cooperation and discipline of the residents of Metro Manila. To make it possible, the government should be  responsible for injecting information to the residents about the possible effects of not properly disposing their hazardous toxic waste.

by: Gel Jacobo

The amount of hazardous materials within the global environment seems to have increased alongside the changes that accompany modernization. Toxic materials are present in liquid, solid and radiation forms.  They may be produced by heavy industry, but also comes from residential use (e.g. cleaning products, cosmetics, lawn care products) , agriculture (e.g. chemical fertilizers, pesticides), the military (nuclear weapon testing, chemical warfare), medical facilities (e.g. pharmaceuticals, radioisotopes), and light industry, such as dry cleaning establishments. In effect, they are poisonous byproducts that infiltrate different areas of the environment, according to National Geographic. Toxic waste contains chemicals, heavy metals, radioisotopes, dangerous pathogens, or other toxins. Toxic wastes spreads quite easily and can contaminate lakes and rivers. The term is often used interchangeably with “hazardous waste”, or discarded material that can pose a long-term risk to health or environment.

Ongoing exposure to these materials can have significant health effects on people, many of which remain unknown and can cause death or injury to living creatures. Runoff materials from manufacturing, farming and waste disposal processes can contaminate soil, water and air supplies. Household items such as paints, pesticides and used computer equipment are also generators of hazardous waste. All of these materials emit dioxins, which are classified as environmental pollutants, according to the World Health Organization. Once dioxins enter the body, the body stores them inside fat tissue. As a result, dioxins tend to accumulate in the body over time. As toxic waste materials permeate all areas of the environment, everyone has only a certain degree of dioxin accumulation inside their bodies, said the World Health Organization. Normal exposure levels are not known to have significant health effects on the body; however, developing fetuses and newborns may be particularly susceptible to adverse effects because of their developing systems. Short-term exposures to high levels of toxic waste can result in impaired liver function and skin lesions. Long-term exposures can impair the reproductive system, the immune system, the endocrine system and the nervous system. Here are some of the possible effects of toxic waste in the human body.

Cancer is a condition in which certain groups of cells in the body begin to mutate and reproduce at abnormal rates. according to Action PA, an environmental resource site, carcinogens, or cancer-causing agents are classified as the toxic waste materials inside the dioxins contained because of their effects on the body’s metabolism processes,. In effect, impaired cell metabolism processes contribute to how cancer forms in the body. A 2003 report from the U.S. Toxicology Program declared there is no safe threshold of toxic waste exposure in which the risk of cancer is not present.

The reproductive system, whichh includes the hormones and endocrine system activities are all subject to the effects of toxic waste exposure. Their carcinogen-like effects on the body can give rise to birth defects, difficult pregnancies, fertility problems and immune system disorders. The effects of dioxin agents on the endocrine system can appear in many physical conditions, skin disorders and diabetes are some of which. Prolonged exposures can significantly weaken the immune system defenses and hasten the body’s aging process according to the World Health Organization.

Luckily, there are still ways on how to prevent these effects to occur in our body system, one option is eating healthy foods. According to the World Health Organization, food products make up 90 percent of the toxic waste exposure experienced by people. Meat, dairy products and fish can contain elements, or sediment residues from soil and water contamination. And while farming and food processing practices are regulated by government controls, people can reduce the amount of toxins in their diet by avoiding certain foods. Fat portions on meats, and dairy fat are possible reservoirs for toxic materials so eliminating these food types from the diet can help. Healthy portions of fruits and vegetables can also help to strengthen the body’s ability to eliminate toxic materials.

Source:

http://www.ehow.com/about_6129669_toxic-waste-effects-people.html

By: Ryan Aaron Tiu

The Current State of Hazardous E-waste in the Philippines

Electronic waste is defined as discarded electrical or electronic devices. Informal processing of electronic waste in developing countries may cause serious health problems and pollution in the environment, even though these countries are also most likely to reuse and repair electronic devices. Some electronic waste may contain contaminants such as lead, cadmium, beryllium, or brominated flame retardants. Even in technologically advanced countries recycling and disposal of e-waste may involve different risk to workers and households. Ultimate care must be taken to avoid dangerous contact in recycling processes and discharging of material such as heavy metals from dumpsites and incinerator ashes. These materials must be managed with carefulness.

Greenpeace warned that the Philippines presently faces a looming electronic waste problem which is compounded by lack of international legal defence because the country has not ratified the Basel Ban to agree on which things must be prohibited by an industrialized nation from throwing away toxic waste into developing countries and further degraded by unregulated recycling processes of existing E-waste management facilities which actually violate the clean Air Act.

Because of the lack of proper measures for E-waste disposal in the country, the discarded technology is burned, dumped in landfills, and even in backyard recyclers, exposing human beings, and the environment to toxic metals such as lead, cadmium, mercury, chromium to name a few.

There is no question that the world has profited greatly from the fast growths in electronics industry. But most people remain unmindful of the undesirable and awful health and environmental impacts associated with the disposal of electronic products.

We are Encouraged to be Involved

SM Supermalls encourages shoppers to reduce waste and earn money at the same with its Trash to Cash program. “Trash to Cash” is SM’s open-to-all recycling market held every first Friday and Saturday of the month at all SM Supermalls. The program allows families to come in with trash like scrap paper and cardboard, empty ink toner cartridges, plastic bottles and scraps, used lead batteries from cars, and electronic waste and take home cash. These trashes produce toxic chemicals. Glad to know that with this project the Filipinos were able to uplift the spirit to save mother earth. Recently SM also launched the SM Supermalls Green Bag project, it was printed with the words “I am involved. The eco-friendly bag is intended to reduce the use and consumption of plastics as customers shop in SM malls. When plastics are thrown in bodies of water it decomposes it releases potentially toxic bisphenol A (BPA) and PS oligomer into the water, causing pollution. Plastics usually do not break down in an animal’s body after being eaten. However, the substances released from decomposing plastic are absorbed and could have adverse effects. BPA and PS oligomer are sources of concern because they can disrupt the functioning of hormones in animals and can seriously affect reproductive systems.

The solution to these problems lies in the hands of the manufacturers of such devices and materials. But as individuals, we can help too by upgrading or repairing electronic products, instead of replacing them with new ones. We can also donate our old equipment to a family member or friend or by simply knowing disposal options rather than just throwing the old, useless gadget in the trash.

Be Involved!

Sources:

http://www.greenpeace.org
http://www.smsupermalls.com

Written by: Ron Vincent Tuazon

Medical Waste

Health Impacts of Medical Waste

All beings exposed to hazardous medical waste are possibly at risk, comprising those within medical establishments that generate hazardous waste, and those outside these sources who either handle waste or are exposed to it as a consequence of irresponsible management.

Viruses transmit fast. As medical waste increases, viruses increases and multiplies. There is specific concern about infection with human immunodeficiency virus or known as ‘’HIV” and hepatitis viruses B and C, for which there is strong proof of transmission because of medical waste. These viruses are generally transmitted through injuries from syringe needles contaminated by human blood. In line with the existence in medical establishments of bacteria resistant to antibiotics and chemical disinfectants, these contribute to the hazards generated by poorly managed medical waste.

 

Medical Waste Treatment in the Philippines

Alongside with other hazardous wastes, the environment also cries because of risky medical wastes. Medical wastes are defined as the total waste generated by hospitals, healthcare establishments and research facilities in the diagnosis, treatment, immunization and associated research. Medical wastes include pathological, chemotherapy, sharps, scalpels, biological specimens, culture stocks, blood related/stained wastes, used gowns, masks, tubings, etc.

Medical Waste Autoclave

The Philippines already proved that it is possible to eliminate incineration totally. In the cities, infectious waste is dealt with by centralised facilities running autoclaves or microwaves. Last 2004, HCWH-Southeast Asia helped the Philippines Department of Health prove that it was possible to manage the waste from a country-wide vaccination program without resorting to open burning or incineration.

 

The Global Environment Facility

Lucky we are here in the Philippines for being a part of the a Global Environment Facility Project together with the World Health Organization and the United Nations Development Program, Health Care Without Harm.

The project entitled “Demonstrating and Promoting Best Techniques and Practices for Reducing Health Care Waste to Avoid Environmental Releases of Dioxins and Mercury.” It has been developed primarily under the GEF mandate to support developing countries in meeting the objectives of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. It is a $10 million project that will demonstrate dioxin and mercury-free medicine within model health care facilities. It is set to begin its implementation phase in eight participating countries: Argentina, India, Latvia, Lebanon, Senegal, Tanzania, Vietnam and the Philippines.

Mercury in Vaccine

The main objective of the project is to reduce environmental releases of dioxins and mercury by promoting best techniques and practices for reducing and managing health care waste. To attain this objective the following components stated below must be observed which each participating country will implement in collaboration with national governments, participating NGOs, professional associations, universities, hospitals and clinics.

  • Developing model urban and rural hospitals that demonstrate approaches to eliminate dioxin and mercury
  • Establishing national training and education programs on health care waste management to serve respective countries and the regions in which they sit
  • Assuring that new management practices and systems piloted by the project are nationally documented, promoted, disseminated, replicated, and institutionalized
  • Collaborating with Stockholm Convention National Implementation Plan preparation process
  • Disseminating and replicating project results regionally and globally

Sources:
http://www.doh.gov.ph/
http://www.thegef.org
http://www.who.int

Written by: Ron Vincent Tuazon