Dumpsite Closures “A Global Health Emergency”

Dumpsites-ISWAThe International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) is calling upon international organisations, governments and local authorities to help close the riskiest dumpsites around the globe, as it publishes a new report that lays out how untreated waste is leading to premature deaths, ill-health and stunted growth among millions of people.

Calling the sites “a global health emergency”, ISWA says it will work closely with all the involved stakeholders to accelerate programmes, initiatives and investments that will result in a world free of dumpsites.

David Newman, ISWA President – “It [The report] really is not recommended reading for the faint hearted”

Dumpsites receive roughly 40% of the world’s waste and they serve about 3.5-4bin people. The 50 biggest dumpsites affect the daily lives of 64m people, a population the size of France. As urbanisation and population growth will continue, it is expected that at least several hundred million more people will be served by dumpsites, mainly in the developing world.

Although there is a lack of systematic long-term epidemiological studies that fully document the health impacts from dumpsites, the existing scientific evidence demonstrates very important health risks, ISWA says.

The health problems associated with dumpsites are related to their emissions, which usually involve PoPs (persistent organic pollutants), heavy metals and VoCs (volatile organic compounds). The actual health risks depend on the practices followed and on the type of the waste disposed of in each dumpsite, as well as on the environmental and social conditions of the area.

Open burning and animal feeding increase the health risks substantially, the first by direct emissions of dangerous pollutants and the second by transferring the pollutants to the food chain.

uncontrolled disposal of hazardous and healthcare waste as well as manual on-site treatment and disposal of e-waste by informal workers result in important increases of all the health risks and the negative environmental impacts.

This report highlights the “disastrous position” in which many nations and their populations today find themselves through uncontrolled dumping of waste.

“It [the report] really is not recommended reading for the faint hearted,” David Newman, ISWA President states in the introduction.

For the full report CLICK HERE

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